Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vlad Taltos and Something Very Special

Wanting something quick to read for this week's review, I picked up the second Vlad Taltos book, Yendi. It's got it's problem (go read my review at Black Gate), but the characters, world, and writing are all a blast. I'll definitely read more. 

Over the summer, Milton Davis, publisher, writer, sword & soul/steamfunk mastermind, asked me if I'd like to read a book he was going to be publishing later this year:  Charles R. Saunder's first novel in a new series. Sure, I said. Why wouldn't I want to get an early look at something brand new from one of the real greats of S&S? 

The book, Abengoni: First Calling is an epic. I won't say too much at this point, but dang, this is good, exciting stuff. It's a huge-canvas work, with dozens of characters, and lots of plot, but written without a spare word or fat. This is what epic fantasy should be. 

It's been about a year since I started blogging reviews for Black Gate. Looking back, I'm pretty happy with what I've done. Hopefully, readers have enjoyed them and picked up some good books that they might have missed. 

I've read thirty-seven books and thirteen batches of stories for the monthly round ups (that's about sixty-five stories). Twenty-five of those novels were first time reads for me and most were pretty damn good. I'm glad John O'Neil gave me the chance to do this and I hope to keep it up for as long as I can manage. 

As I often do these days, I'm going back in time for my music this week. Here's some Black Dio and early Deep Purple. In the video for "Lazy", watch Ritchie Blackmore's face as during the bit before Gillan comes in. Absolute fun.