I’d like to thank Bradley P. Beaulieu for providing me with the review copy. I found reading the book to be rather frustrating, not because of any flaw in the story or writing. Just the opposite. Life has been chaotic for a number of reasons which are worth getting into. I’ve been reading the book in snatches, with many interruptions. I’ve wanted to simply dive in. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happened.
But I did manage to carve out some time to read most of the second half over the weekend and finished the last twenty pages tonight. Of Sand and Malice Made is an excellent fantasy adventure.
It’s also a great introduction to the world of Shattered Sands, which we saw in the first volume of the series, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (reviewed here). You don’t have to have read that volume to enjoy this one. Of Sand and Malice Made is a prequel, telling an adventure of Ceda before the tale of her quest for vengeance against the kings begins. In fact the kings are hardly mentioned. Continue reading →
Think of this post as what’s been falling out of the holes in my head lately. I’m working on a story with a deadline. Late last week I figured out why it had stalled and how to fix it; I’ve gotten a few thousand words done over the last couple of days. I figure I’m about half done unless the thing goes in an unexpected direction (again).
But that means I’m not getting as much reading done as I usually do. Lately my habit has been to read one novel in print form (usually a review copy) while reading something else on the phone’s ereader app (usually when I have time on my hands and am not at home), plus assorted nonfiction as I can fit it in. I’m not making much progress on the current paper novel.
I’m enjoying it quite a bit, but it’s rather thick. So I’ve been thinking a lot lately, in odd moments here and there, about how things have changed since I was a kid. (It’s a requirement for me to earn my Geezer Merit Badge.) As a teenager, there were paperback books all over the place, for sale in a variety of venues. Most of them were around 200 pages in length, if not slightly less. I could finish one of them in a day or two. They had bright, eye-catching covers and (although I hadn’t yet encountered the term) were full of all kinds of pulpy goodness. (I’m looking at you, DAW books.) Swords, monsters, NSGs.
And it wasn’t just science fiction and fantasy, either. There were plenty of mystery and thriller titles around (Fawcett Gold Key, anyone?), although I really didn’t get into those until I was an adult fully grown. Continue reading →
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a big fan of Bradley P. Beaulieu. So when he asked me if I would be interested in an advance ebook for review purposes, there was only one answer. (Many thanks, sir.)
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai is the first volume in The Song of Shattered Sands. It’s an ambitious book, and it’s clear that the series is going to be ambitious.
Now, I’ve long said that writers, in an ideal world at least, should continue to improve and get better as time goes on. If the quality of the first book is any indication, this is going to be a major series. I loved The Lays of Anaskaya, but The Song of Shattered Sands looks to be even better.
Transit to Scorpio
Dray Prescott #1
Alan Burt Akers (Kenneth Bulmer)
ebook $2.99 Kindle $0.00 (free as of this writing) Nook
Sword and Planet is one of the more neglected subgenres of science fiction. Or fantasy if you prefer. It tends to be a blend of both, with examples that tend more towards one or the other.
The Dray Prescott series is one of the longest running, with a total of 53. Of these, DAW books published the first 37. The remaining titles were published in German, although a few more have been released electronically in English. According to the Dray Prescott site, all of the remaining volumes are being reprinted in English this year.
The stories concern an English sailor, the titular Dray Prescott, who through means that are not well explained, is transported instantaneously to the planet Kregen. Kregen orbits the star Antares in the constellations Scorpio. Continue reading →