Top Ten Tuesday –Novels from the First Half of 2022 I Still Need to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics.  For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, participants get a freebie so I thought I would continue my literary examination of the first half of 2022 by looking at the top books from the first half of the year that I still need to read.

While I have already enjoyed some amazing reads in 2022, there are still quite a few impressive novels that have come out in the first half of the year that I have yet to read.  Many of these were on my most anticipated reads lists for 2022 (both fantasy and other), and while I was really excited for them, I have honestly not had a chance to check all of them out.  Therefore, I am going to use this freebie session to shame myself in the hopes that it gets me into gear to finally get around to checking out these epic reads.  This was a very easy list to pull together for me, as many of these books had been weighing on my mind for a while.  All 10 novels below (plus honourable mentions) sound really, really good, and I hope I get a chance to read all of them soon.

Honourable Mentions:

Queen’s Hope by E. K. Johnston

Queen's Hope Cover

 

The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish

The Bladed Faith Cover

 

An Empty Throne by Robert Fabbri

An Empty Throne Cover

 

Road of Bones by Christopher Goldin

Road of Bones Cover

Top Ten List:

The Omega Factor by Steve Berry

The Omega Factor Cover

I am probably going to listen to an audiobook version of The Omega Factor next, so hopefully this will not be on my to-read list for too much longer.

 

The Martyr by Anthony Ryan

The Martyr Cover

Following on from last year’s epic read, The Pariah, I have been extremely keen for this book, and I know I am going to love it.  I got a physical copy of The Martyr a few weeks ago but I have not had a chance to pick it up yet.  I was actually holding out for an audiobook version of The Martyr (I really enjoyed The Pariah audiobook last year), although apparently The Martyr’s audiobook isn’t out till September.  Not sure if I will be able to wait that long to find out what happens in this cool sequel, although it might be worth it to enjoy it in audiobook.  No matter what though, I will be reading The Martyr before the end of the year.

 

The Girl and the Moon by Mark Lawrence

The Girl and the Moon Cover

I definitely need to find out how this cool series from the sensational Mark Lawrence ends and this will be a major reading priority for me during the next six months.

 

Star Wars: Midnight Horizon by Daniel Jose Older

Star Wars - Midnight Horizon Cover

I have been trying really hard to keep up with the impressive new High Republic sub-series of Star Wars tie-in novels, and Midnight Horizon ended up being one of the first ones I have missed.  This is a real shame as it is apparently quite a good book, and I am very curious to see what else happened in this universe around the same time as the main novel, The Fallen Star.  I should really carve out a few days to listen to Midnight Horizon before the next batch of High Republic books come out later this year, especially as I know that I am going to have a great time with it.

 

In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan

In the Shadow of Lightning Cover

I was very excited to check out this new novel from highly acclaimed fantasy author Brian McClellan, and I have plans to read this in the next few weeks.  I am already hearing some excellent stuff about this book though and I am sure that if McClellan keeps up his usually impressive writing style, it will be an outstanding read.

 

Kingdoms of Death by Christopher Ruocchio

Kingdoms of Death Cover

There is no way that I am going to miss out on the fourth book in the Sun Eater Sequence, especially after having such a good time with Empire of Silence, Howling Dark and Demon in White.  However, the trick is finding the time to read or listen to this big book amongst all the other novels on my reading list.  I reckon I’ll have to try soon though, as Ruocchio apparently has the fifth book in the series, Ashes of Man, coming out in December.

 

The Starless Crown by James Rollins

The Starless Crown Cover

Another awesome fantasy novel from the start of the year that I need to check out!  The Starless Crown is supposed to be a very good read, and I will have to try and fit it in at some point in the next few months.

 

Catachan Devil by Justin Woolley

Catachan Devil Cover

I have been having a great time with some of the recent Warhammer 40,000 novels, especially those that focus on the ordinary human soldiers, such as Steel Tread, Krieg, and The Vincula Insurgency.  However, due to the sheer number of Warhammer novels released each year, I haven’t had a chance to read them all (I’m only one man), and this includes the very cool sounding Catachan Devil by Justin Woolley.  Following a regiment of the elite Catachan jungle fighters as they engage in a brutal battle, this sounds like an extremely awesome and action-packed read and I look forward to checking it out as soon as I can.

 

Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham

Age of Ash Cover

One half of the writing team behind The Expanse series returned to his fantasy roots at the start of the year with Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham.  A massive and sprawling fantasy epic that serves as the introduction to a new series, Age of Ash is a key book I missed earlier this year and I will hopefully fix that mistake before the end of the year.

 

The Misfit Soldier by Michael Mammay

The Misfit Soldier Cover

The final book that I most regret not reading in the first half of 2022 is The Misfit Soldier by Michael Mammay, who has previously wowed me with his Planetside trilogy (made up of Planetside, Spaceside and Colonyside).  This latest novel from Mammay, which I have honestly just not had time for, sounds very fun, as it follows a new science fiction protagonist in a Kelly’s Heroes-esque escapade on a futuristic battlefield.  I really need to take the time to read this outstanding book, especially as Mammay has just released a new audiobook that I will also try and enjoy this year.

 

 

Well, that is the end of this latest list.  As you can see, there are a bunch of exceptional novels from the first half of the year that I need to check out.  All the above books sound incredibly epic, and I know that I will have a brilliant time getting through all of them.  So, I am going to have to try a lot harder to start reading through them as soon as I can.  In the meantime, let me know which books released in the first half of the year you most regret not reading in the comments below.

Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics.  For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, participants are tasked with listing the top 10 authors that they haven’t read but which they really want to.  This was a pretty interesting topic as there are actually quite a few authors out there that I want to read, but I haven’t had a chance to.  As such, I had a bit of fun looking at some of the big authors I have been meaning to read for some time and coming up with the absolute top authors I have neglected from my reading this.  This resulted in a very interesting list with some great names on it (including my usual honourable mentions section), all of whom have produced some brilliant novels I really want to read.  So, let us see who made the cut.

Honourable Mentions:

James Rollins

The Starless Crown Cover

Ok, so I am technically cheating with this first honourable mention, James Rollins, as I have read a couple of his books before.  However, that was a fairly long time ago when I was pretty young, so I decided to include him as an honourable mention.  I really do want to go back and check out all his Sigma Force novels though, which sound like bonkers fun, and I have been meaning to read his latest fantasy release, The Starless Crown, for a couple of months now.

 

Julian Stockwin

Thunderer Cover

An acclaimed historical fiction author, I have been trying to read one of Stockwin’s Thomas Kydd novels for years but just never get the chance to.  Set during the Napoleonic Wars, the Thomas Kydd books are awesome sounding naval historical fiction books that sound so very cool

 

Daniel Abraham

Age of Ash Cover

While I have enjoyed Abraham’s writing with Ty Franck as the due behind The Expanse novels, I have never had the opportunity to read any of his solo fantasy works.  Not only do I want to check out his most recent book, Age of Ash, but several of his existing series, such as The Dagger and the Coin and The Long Price Quartet, sound particularly awesome.

 

Neil Gaiman

The Sandman

A major author whose works I have somehow failed to read for a while, I need to check out some of the quirky Neil Gaiman books, as well as the cool Sandman comics (or their recent audiobook adaptations).

Top Ten List:

Glen Cook

The Black Company Cover

First on this list is acclaimed fantasy author Glen Cook, who I have been meaning to read for years.  Known for various series, including his Garrett P. I. novels, I mostly want to read Cook’s The Black Company novels, which are I have heard are pretty exceptional pieces of dark epic fantasy.  Following an elite group of mercenaries as they fight for and against a legendary evil sorceress, this series sounds so cool and I really hope I get a chance to read it at some point.

 

Gav Thorpe

Last Chancers - Armageddon Saint Cover

Next up we have one of the leading voices of the Warhammer extended universe, Gav Thorpe.  A talented author and game designer, Gav Thorpe has written multiple intriguing novels in the Warhammer universe, which I have been really getting into lately.  There are multiple Thorpe books I want to check out, although the one I will probably try first is the Last Chancers series, which is essentially The Dirty Dozen in space.  I cannot wait to read some of Thorpe’s awesome Warhammer novels and I know I am going to have an amazing time doing so.

 

Victor Milán

Dinosaur lords_rev1_MM.indd

Another talented fantasy author I want to try and get into is the late Victor Milán, who has written some fantastic sounding stuff over the years.  Also know by the pen names Richard Austin, Robert Baron, S. L. Hunter and Alex Archer, Milán wrote multiple intriguing series, including the Rogue Angel, Guardians and Stormrider series.  However, I mostly want to read his last trilogy, The Dinosaur Lords series, which is set in a world where knights fight atop the back of dinosaurs.  This sounds so freaking awesome to me, and I am very excited to see what sort of whacky and epic story Milán wrote around these dinosaur knights.

 

Sandy Mitchell

Ciaphas Cain Cover

Another great author known for their Warhammer novels, Sandy Mitchell (real name Alex Stewart), is a fantastic sounding writer who has added several key entries into the wider Warhammer 40,000 universe.  While I really want to read all of Mitchell’s Warhammer novels at some point, I mostly want to check out his iconic Ciaphas Cain books.  Following a reluctant war hero whose attempts to avoid combat always lead him to the most danger, the Ciaphas Cain books are widely considered on of the best pieces of Warhammer 40,000 fiction out there and I am very excited to try them out.

 

Pierce Brown

Red Rising Cover

I must admit that science fiction is a genre I have only really started getting into in recent years, so there are some serious gaps in my reading knowledge.  However, the one science fiction author I most regretting not checking out is Pierce Brown.  Best known for his iconic Red Rising novels, Brown is an exceedingly talented author and I really need to try to check out his epic main series.

 

John Connolly

Every Dead Thing Cover

There are so many impressive crime fiction authors whose works I have yet to experience out there, but the one that intrigues me the most is probably John Connolly.  A major crime fiction veteran, Connolly is best known for his long-running Charlie Parker series, which follows a tortured private investigator as he dives into a series of disturbing and shocking cases.  I have been hearing some impressive things about Connolly for years, especially from one of my more crime-fiction savvy review colleagues, and I think I will have to try and read some of his stuff when I get a chance.

 

James Swallow

Blood Angels Cover

While this list seems to be getting full of authors of tie-in fiction, I had to include the talented James Swallow as well.  While Swallow has written some great original work, including the recent Marc Dane thrillers, most people will be familiar with his fantastic novels that tie into many different fandoms, including Stargate, 2000AD, 24 and Doctor Who.  However, his most significant work has been in the Warhammer 40,000 and Star Trek fandoms, where he has contributed multiple novels.  I love the sound of several of his fantastic books and I will be reading several of them soon.

 

Peter V. Brett

The Core Cover

I have heard some brilliant things about Peter V. Brett’s Demon Cycle series over the years and I think I need to make a real effort to check them out soon, especially with the follow-up Nightfall Saga series currently doing so well.

 

Guy Haley

Flesh and Steel Cover

I had to slip in another tie-in fiction author here with Guy Haley, who has been writing some truly awesome sounding books lately.  While he has some other cool series out, I am deeply intrigued by some of the cool and unique Warhammer books he has come up with.  Not only did he devise the major Dark Imperium trilogy and contribute to the massive Horus Heresy series, but he has also written some intriguing Warhammer crime fiction novels, such as the fascinating sounding Flesh and Steel.  I have several of his books currently queued up to listen to and I will probably start enjoying this interesting author by the end of 2022.  

 

Jenn Lyons

The Ruin of Kings Cover

The final author on this list is the wildly talented Jenn Lyons, who has produced some impressive fantasy novels over the years.  Lyons has written some excellent stuff over the years, although the main reason I want to check her out is because of her current epic fantasy series, the A Chorus of Dragons books.  Following a prophesied destroyer as he gets dragged into world shattering events, I have been trying to get into the A Chorus of Dragons series since 2019.  I have most of this series currently sitting on my shelf at the moment, and I really need to make an effort to try and read them.

 

 

That’s the end of this latest list.  As you can see, there are some excellent and talented authors out there that I really want to start reading.  While this list may be a little heavy with Warhammer fiction authors (its one of my current obsessions), I am pretty happy with how it turned out and I think it reflects the current authors I would love to become a fan of.  Let me know what you think about my entries in the comments below, and also let me know which author you really want to try and start reading.

Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2022 (fantasy)

Welcome to my second Top Ten Tuesday list of the week, were I look at my most anticipated fantasy novels coming out in the first half of 2022.  Traditionally I usually only do one list to represent the top upcoming books for the year, however, I was inspired to separate out the fantasy novels into a second list due to all the awesome and impressive fantasy reads coming out extremely soon.

2022 is shaping up to be one of the absolute best years for fantasy books with a ton of epic and amazing sounding novels set for release throughout the year.  I am particularly excited about the next six months as there are some deeply impressive books coming out that I am extremely excited for.  This includes some fantastic sounding sequels, continuations to brilliant series, and several cool new novels for some very talented authors.  I have already highlighted several of these books in some previous lists and Waiting on Wednesday articles.  Indeed, the last three Waiting on Wednesday posts I have published have all highlighted some particularly epic upcoming fantasy novels.  This, as well as some other recent novels I have talked about, made me really appreciate just how awesome the upcoming year is going to be fantasy wise, hence this list.

Just like with my other list of the night, I am only featuring books that are set for release in Australia between 1 January 2022 and 30 June 2022 which I have some descent details about.  I also excluded one of the top fantasy books of the year, A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K. J. Parker, because I have already read it (spoiler alert, it is incredibly awesome and hilarious).  Despite only being fantasy books, I ended up with a huge collection of exceptional novels that I wanted to feature, which made completing this list surprisingly difficult.  I was eventually able to break it down to the best 10 books (with honourable mentions), and I feel that I have capture the books that are going to be the best fantasy reads of 2022.  So let us see what made the cut.

Honourable Mentions:

Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford – 25 January 2022

Rise of the Mages Cover

An interesting start to a fun new series.

 

League of Liars by Astrid Scholte – 22 February 2022

League of Liars Cover

A brilliant sounding young adult fantasy book with a great story about a magical prison break.  I already have a copy of this book and I look forward to seeing what happens in it.

 

One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold – 26 April 2022

One Foot in the Fade Cover

The third book from Australian author Luke Arnold that follows on from his fantastic first two novels, The Last Smile in Sunder City and Dead Man in a Ditch.

 

Engines of Empire by Richard S. Ford – 31 May 2022

Engines of Empire Cover

This is a compelling and interesting fantasy novel that I think has a bit of potential.  Focusing on a family of industrialists in a fantasy landscape, this sounds like a great start to an awesome new series, and I am very keen to read it.  It looks like we have a bit of a later release date here in Australia, but hopefully I will get a chance to read it at some point this year.

 

Top Ten List:

The Starless Crown by James Rollins – 4 January 2022

The Starless Crown Cover

The first book on this list is the impressive sounding The Starless Crown by James Rollins.  Rollins, who is best known for his thrillers, is making an interesting jump back to fantasy with this novel and I like the cool and intriguing plot this book has.

 

The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan – 22 February 2022

The Justice of Kings Cover

The next entry, The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan, is another awesome fantasy read with a great deal of potential.  Set to combine legal thriller elements with a fantasy setting, I love the sound of this amazing sounding novel and it is already receiving some very positive reviews.  I have a feeling that this is going to be one of the best books of the year and I can’t wait to check it out.

 

Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham – 22 February 2022

Age of Ash Cover

One half of the team behind The Expanse series (make sure to check out my review for the last book, Leviathan Falls), Daniel Abraham heads back to the fantasy genre with the epic Age of Ash.  An interesting sounding novel filled with political intrigue and a murder mystery, I think this will be an amazing read and I cannot wait to check it out.

 

The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish – 5 April 2022

Bestselling fantasy author David Dalglish presents a cool and intriguing first novel in a new series with The Bladed Faith.  This book follows a deposed prince who takes up a role of a legendary hero and assassin to avenge his parents and gets sucked into a deadly mission of vengeance.  I love the sound of this outstanding read and I look forward to seeing how its fantastic story turns out.  No cover yet unfortunately, but hopefully that will come out soon.

 

The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne – 7 April 2022

The Hunger of the Gods Cover

After having one of the best books (and audiobooks) of 2021 with The Shadow of the Gods, fantasy author John Gwynne continues his brilliant Bloodsworn Saga with The Hunger of the Gods.  This intense and action-packed series had an incredible introduction and I am extremely confident that The Hunger of the Gods will be an exceptional and excellent read, especially with that epic cover.

 

The Girl and the Moon by Mark Lawrence – 26 April 2022

The Girl and the Moon Cover

The always enjoyable Mark Lawrence continues his great Book of the Ice series with The Girl and the Moon.  The previous two novels, The Girl and the Stars and The Girl and the Mountain have been extremely compelling and I cannot wait to see how this cool series continues.

 

Kagen the Damned by Jonathan Maberry – 10 May 2022

Kagen the Damned Cover

One of my favourite thriller authors, Jonathan Maberry, is diving into the fantasy genre this year with Kagen the Damned.  Set to be an intense and brutal revenge read, I really love the sound of Kagen the Damned and have no doubt it will be another exceptional five-star read.

 

Master of Furies by Raymond E. Feist – 9 June 2022

Master of Furies Cover

One of the best fantasy authors of all-time, the exceeding talented Raymond E. Feist, brings his fantastic Firemane Saga to an end with Master of Furies.  Following on from King of Ashes and Queen of Storms, this should be an excellent read and I look forward to seeing how this trilogy concludes.

 

In the Shadow of Lighting by Brian McClellan – 21 June 2022

In the Shadow of Lightning Cover

After wowing the world with his exceptional Powder Mage novels, Brian McClellan is returning with a brand-new series this year.  The first book in this series, In the Shadow of Lighting, sounds like an excellent and captivating read and with the talented McClellan at the helm this will easily be one of the best books of the year.

 

The Martyr by Anthony Ryan – 28 June 2022

The Martyr Cover

The final entry on this list is The Martyr, the follow up to Ryan’s epic 2021 novel, The Pariah.  I had an amazing time reading the first book in this series and I already know I am going to deeply love The Martyr when it comes out later this year.

 

 

Well that’s the end of this second list.  As you can see, there are some mighty impressive fantasy books coming out the first half of this year.  All the above entries on this list have an incredible amount of potential and I have a feeling I am going to deeply enjoy every single of one of these great reads.  I honestly think that 2022 is going to be an outstanding year for fantasy, not only with these amazing books, but because of some of the other ones potentially coming out later this year (I’m really hoping Joe Abercrombie, Jim Butcher and R. J. Barker all have new novels this year).  I look forward to seeing how all these cool novels turn out and I think I am going to have an incredible time reading fantasy in 2022.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books on my Summer 2021-22 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics.  The official Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week was around Bookish Memories, however, I decided to instead move up my quarterly post about the best upcoming books to be read (TBR) for the following three months.  This is a regular post I do at the start of each season, and as this is the first week or Summer (Winter for you folks up North), this is the ideal time to put this up.

For this list, I have come up with 10 of the most anticipated novels that are coming out between 1 December 2021 and 28 February 2022.  There are quite a few very cool novels set for release in the next few months that I am very excited for, including some highly anticipated reads.  I was eventually able to whittle these down into a Top Ten list (with a few honourable mentions).  I have primarily used the Australian publication dates to reflect when I will be able to get these awesome novels, and these might be somewhat different to the rest of the world.  I have previously discussed a number of these books before in prior Top Ten Tuesdays and Waiting on Wednesday articles and I think all of them will turn out to be some really impressive and enjoyable reads.  I am incredibly excited for the next three months as there are some incredible novels coming out, several of which I already know are going to be amongst the best books of 2021 and 2022.

Honourable Mentions:

The Liar’s Knot by M. A. Carrick – 9 December 2021

The Liar's Knot Cover

 

Outcast by Louise Carey – 25 January 2022

Outcast Cover

 

Warhammer 40,000: Day of Ascension by Adrian Tchaikovsky – 1 February 2022

Day of Ascension Cover

 

Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham – 22 February 2022

Age of Ash Cover

Top Ten Tuesday (by release date):

Armored by Mark Greaney – 9 December 2021

Armored Cover

 

The Starless Crown by James Rollins – 4 January 2022

The Starless Crown Cover

 

Star Wars: The High Republic: The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray – 4 January 2022

Star Wars - The Fallen Star

Over the last year, some of the best Star Wars novels have been part of the awesome High Republic publication range.  Set hundreds of years before the films, High Republic fiction covers a whole new era of the Star Wars universe and has an extremely distinctive feel and some great new antagonists.  The Fallen Star will be the third adult novel in this series and will continue the major storylines set up in Light of the Jedi and The Rising Storm.  I am really looking forward to this new novel, especially as the plot suggests that the villainous Nihil will be launching an attack on the Jedi stronghold of Starlight Beacon, which will force the various characters into a desperate life and death struggle.  I cannot wait to see how this book plays out, and I am excited to see another book from author Claudia Gray, especially after how her impressive last two novels, Into the Dark and Master & Apprentice (one of my favourite Star Wars books).

 

A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K. J. Parker – 11 January 2022

A Practical Guide to Conquering the World Cover

I had to include the third and final entry in K. J. Parker’s brilliant Siege trilogy, A Practical Guide to Conquering the World, on this list.  The Siege trilogy features three loosely connected fantasy novels that depict the comedic defence of a besieged city through unconventional tactics.  This outstanding fantasy comedy series has so far featured Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City (one of the best books of 2019) and How to Rule an Empire and Get Away With It (one of the best books of 2020).  While there are only minimal details about this novel now, I already know that I am going to laugh myself silly reading it and that it will be one of the most entertaining novels I will check out in 2022.

 

Dark Horse by Gregg Hurwitz – 8 February 2022

Dark Horse Cover

 

City of the Dead by Jonathan Kellerman – 8 February 2022

City of the Dead Cover

 

Usagi Yojimbo: Volume 36: Tengu War! by Stan Sakai – 15 February 2022

Usagi Yojimbo - Tengu War!

 

Sierra Six by Mark Greaney – 15 February 2022

Sierra Six Cover

 

The Misfit Soldier by Michael Mammay – 22 February 2022

The Misfit Soldier Cover

 

The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan – 22 February 2022

The Justice of Kings Cover

 

 

Well that is the end of my Top Ten list.  I think it turned out pretty well and it does a good job of capturing all my most anticipated books for the next three months.  Each of the above should be extremely epic, and I cannot wait to read each of them soon.  Let me know which of the above you are most excited for and stay tuned for reviews of them in the next few months.  In the meantime, it looks like I have quite a few books to get through soon and they should all be pretty awesome.

Waiting on Wednesday – The Starless Crown by James Rollins

Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy.  I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings.  Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.  For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday, I check out a cool upcoming fantasy novel from an intriguing author, with The Starless Crown by James Rollins.

The Starless Crown Cover

James Rollins is a great author who I have had the pleasure of reading before.  I best known Rollins as an author of intense thriller novels, having enjoyed some of his awesome SIGMA Force novels which follow an elite team of soldiers as they face all manner of unique and crazy threats.  I have been meaning to read some more of Rollins work recently, especially as, after finishing the Joe Ledger series by Jonathan Maberry, I have been really in the mood for more weird science stuff.  Not only have I been thinking about once again diving into his SIGMA Force novels (his last book apparently took the protagonists to Tartarus, now that is cool), but I also have a copy of his 2000 thriller/horror novel, Excavation, sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.  However, before seeing the details of his latest book, I never realised that Rollins previously wrote fantasy fiction.

It turns out that Rollins used to write fantasy fiction under the penname of James Clemens.  Indeed, Rollin’s debut novel was the fantasy novel Wit’ch Fire, which came out a year before his thriller debut, Subterranean.  Rollins ended up releasing two fantasy series as James Clemens, The Banned and the Banished series and The Godslayer series.  However, despite his history as James Clemens, his next fantasy novel will instead be released using the James Rollins name.  This upcoming book, The Starless Crown, is set for release in early January 2022, and will be the first book in the intriguing new Moon Fall fantasy series.

Synopsis:

An alliance embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover the secrets of the distant past and save their world in this captivating, deeply visionary adventure from #1 New York Times bestselling thriller-master James Rollins.

A gifted student foretells an apocalypse. Her reward is a sentence of death.

Fleeing into the unknown she is drawn into a team of outcasts:

A broken soldier, who once again takes up the weapons he’s forbidden to wield and carves a trail back home.

A drunken prince, who steps out from his beloved brother’s shadow and claims a purpose of his own.

An imprisoned thief, who escapes the crushing dark and discovers a gleaming artifact – one that will ignite a power struggle across the globe.

On the run, hunted by enemies old and new, they must learn to trust each other in order to survive in a world evolved in strange, beautiful, and deadly ways, and uncover ancient secrets that hold the key to their salvation.

But with each passing moment, doom draws closer.

WHO WILL CLAIM THE STARLESS CROWN?


The Starless Crown
sounds like it is going to be a very fun and compelling novel, and I really like the cool plot synopsis that has been released.  Having four unique protagonists come together to survive and save the world is classic fantasy fare, and their separate and distinctive storylines will probably come together into a big epic narrative.  I am rather intrigued about the idea of the key protagonist predicting the apocalypse and then getting hunted for it, and I am sure that will result in quite a cool story.  The three supporting characters also sound suitably eclectic, and it will be great to see four disparate personalities come together as the book continues.

Overall, I like the sound of The Starless Crown and I have a feeling it is going to be an awesome and captivating read with some cool fantasy elements to it.  I must admit that I am mostly keen to grab this book to see how a Rollin’s fantasy novel turns out, although I am extremely confident that this talented author will produce something truly amazing.  This upcoming book does have a great sounding story, and I honestly believe that it has an awful lot of potential.  I am very excited to check The Starless Crown out, and no doubt it will be a great start to Moon Fall series, which I am hoping will be a major feature of the fantasy genre for the next few years.

Canberra Weekly Column – Holiday Reads – 17 December 2020

Canberra Weekly Column - Holiday Reads 1 - 17 December 2020-1

Originally published in the Canberra Weekly on 17 December 2020.

The review can also be found on the Canberra Weekly website.

Reviews of Hollow Empire and The Emperor’s Exile were done by me, while the reviews of Unrestricted Access, The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home and Box 88 were done by my colleague Jeffrey over at Murder, Mayhem and Long Dogs.

Make sure to also check out my extended reviews for Hollow Empire and The Empire’s Exile.

Book Haul – 4 November 2020

It has been a few weeks since I have done a Book Haul post so I thought it would be good to mention a few of the awesome books I have been lucky enough to receive since my last post.  I have recently been sent a great collection of intriguing books and I am really looking forward to checking them all out.

The Queen’s Captain by Peter Watt

The Queen's Captain Cover

I was pretty happy to receive my copy of The Queen’s Captain last week.  Not only is this the exciting third novel in a great series from Australian author Peter Watt (check out my reviews for the first two novels in the series, The Queen’s Colonial and The Queen’s Tiger), but I was also very chuffed to find out that they quoted my Canberra Weekly review for The Queen’s Tiger on the back cover (see below).  I am hoping to check this one out soon and I am expecting another action packed historical read.

The Queen's Captain - Back Cover

Map’s Edge by David Hair

Map's Edge Cover 2

The next book in this post is Map’s Edge by bestselling fantasy author David Hair.  Map’s Edge is the first entry in a cool new fantasy series that follows a group of treasure hunters as they enter a wild new land to claim a vast fortune.  I have actually already read this book (I am hoping to get a review up soon), and it was an awesome and compelling novel.

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly

The Law of Innocence Cover

The latest novel from the master of crime fiction, Michael Connelly, The Law of Innocence is a cool sounding book that sees the Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey Haller, forced to defend himself in court when he is framed for murder.  I have really enjoyed Connelly’s recent novels (including Dark Sacred Night, The Night Fire and Fair Warning) and this is one of my most anticipated books for the second half of 2020.  I am planning to read The Law of Innocence next and I have high hopes that will turn out to be one of the best novels of the year.

Either Side of Midnight by Benjamin Stevenson

Either Side of Midnight Cover

This is an intriguing murder mystery novel from Australian author Benjamin Stevenson that serves as a sequel to his 2018 debut, Greenlight.  I really like the sound of this book’s plot as the protagonist investigates an impossible murder.

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War Cover

Rhythm of War is the latest novel from Brandon Sanderson, who may be the best fantasy author in the world today.  This is the fourth book in his major series, The Stormlight Archive, and it is one of the most anticipated books of 2020.  This should prove to be an absolutely amazing novel, although I might not get around to reading it for a while.  I have still only read the first book in the series, The Way of Kings, and I would really prefer to read the books two and three first before I attempt to get through Rhythm of War.  I will read this book one day and I have no doubt it will be another five-star read from Sanderson.

Excavation by James Rollins

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This is an older novel that was recently lent to me by my colleague Jeffery at Murder, Mayhem and Long Dogs after I mentioned wanting to read some of  James Rollins’ books in my review for Dogs of War by Jonathan Maberry.  This sounds like a really cool read that see’s a group of archaeologists attacked by a creature deep within an ancient tomb and I have no doubt I will enjoy this compelling horror thriller.

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Instant Karma Cover

The final book on my list is Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer, a young adult novel about opposites literally attracting.  Now I have to admit this is not a book I would usually go for, but I am willing to give this one a go due to how much I enjoyed Meyer’s Renegades series (check out my reviews for Archenemies and Supernova).  I am planning to read this book in the next month or so and I am curious to see how much I enjoy it.

That’s all the books I have received recently.  As you can see it is an interesting assortment of novels from across a variety of genres.  Each of these books are rather enticing and I am rather looking forward to seeing how each of them turn out.