WWW Wednesday – 23 March 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan (Audiobook)

The Justice of Kings Cover

I started listening to the awesome new novel, The Justice of Kings, this week and boy is it really good.  The debut fantasy novel of author Richard Swan, The Justice of Kings is a unique book that combines intriguing crime fiction elements with an excellent fantasy setting as a magically-empowered justice tries to solve a murder. This was one of my most anticipated fantasy books of 2022 and it is proving to be just as awesome as expected.  I should hopefully finish The Justice of Kings off soon and I look forward to seeing how everything unfolds.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi (Trade Paperback)

The Kaiju Preservation Society Cover 2

 

Sierra Six by Mark Greaney (Audiobook)

Sierra Six Cover

 

Firefly: Carnival by Una McCormack (Hardcover)

Firefly Carnival Cover

 

Daughters of Eve by Nina D. Campbell (Trade Paperback)

Daughters of Eve Cover

 

Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook (Trade Paperback)

Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter Cover

What do you think you’ll read next?

Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone Cover

 

That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

Book Haul – 11 March 2022

I have been having an absolutely fantastic couple of week for books, as I have been lucky enough to receive several incredible and amazing new novels from some of my local publishers.  As I am anticipating getting some more books in the near future, I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight some of the recent releases I have received before my new book pile got too big.  These novels include some truly awesome new releases, several of which I have been eagerly awaiting for some time.  I am extremely keen to read all of the books below and I cannot wait to check them out.

The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

The Justice of Kings Cover

I was very happy to recently receive a copy of The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan, an epic sounding fantasy novel with an interesting legal edge to it.  This is one of my most anticipated fantasy books of the year, mainly because I have heard some amazing reviews about this book already.  I am hoping to read this one soon and I am anticipating an exceptional and impressive read.

 

Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham

Age of Ash Cover

I was pretty excited to receive Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham, a cool and massive fantasy novel that also has a ton of potential.  Written by one half of the team behind The Expanse novels (see my reviews for Tiamat’s Wrath and Leviathan Falls), this looks set to be an exciting and elaborate fantasy read and I look forward to exploring Abraham’s complex new world.

 

36 Streets by T. R. Napper

36 Streets Cover

One of the more unique novels I recently received was the brilliant cyberpunk thriller 36 Streets by Australian author T. R. Napper.  Set in a futuristic version of Hanoi, this exciting and compelling read follows a young gangster as she investigates a massive conspiracy.  I have actually already read this book and its pretty damn awesome and well worth checking out.  Review to follow soon.

 

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

The Kaiju Preservation Society Cover 2

I was so very, very happy to receive a copy of The Kaiju Preservation Society by bestselling author John Scalzi.  Following a group of humans who attempt to save a race of giant monsters in an alternate universe, I have been waiting a long time to read this fantastic and funny sounding book, especially after having so much fun with Scalzi’s previous novel Redshirts. I am hoping to trying to check this novel out very soon and I know I am going to love it.

 

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson

Nine Lives Cover

Another recent release I am hoping to get to soon is Nine Lives by the very clever Peter Swanson.  This cool thriller sounds really intriguing and I cannot wait to see how it’s captivating mystery turns out.  I loved Swanson’s last book, Rules for Perfect Murder, and I know I will have a great time with Nine Lives.

 

Black Drop by Leonora Nattrass

Black Drop Cover

An awesome and fascinating historical thriller that sees a British clerk trying to uncover a dangerous conspiracy while England fights against the French.

 

Daughters of Eve by Nina D. Campbell

Daughters of Eve Cover

An intense and incredible thriller that sees a detective try and take down a group of killers targeting abusive men.  I like the intriguing plot hook around this novel and I look forward to checking it out.

 

Brunswick Street Blues by Sally Bothroyd

Brunswick Street Blues Cover

An exciting Australian murder mystery debut set in Melbourne, I think this one will be a fantastic read and I look forward to checking out this new author.

 

The Game by Scott Kershaw

The Game Cover

An awesome sounding thriller that sees five strangers forced to play a mysterious game to save someone they love.  I know I’m pretty excited to check this one out and I cannot wait to see what chaos and intense games they are forced to play.

 

Lies My Memory Told Me by Sacha Wunsch

Lies My Memory Told Me Cover

An interesting new young adult science fiction thriller about memory, lies and secrets.

 

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

The Stardust Thief Cover

One of the more compelling and distinctive fantasy releases of 2022, this captivating novel contains an fantastic sounding story inspired by One Thousand and One NightsThe Stardust Thief is already getting a lot of buzz around it and I look forward to seeing how it turns out.

 

Firefly: Carnival by Una McCormack

Firefly Carnival Cover

The final book in this post is Carnival, the latest entry in the cool series of the impressive Firefly novel series I have been enjoying recently.  This series has had some amazing reads, including Big Damn Hero, The Magnificent Nine, The Ghost Machine, Generations and Life Signs, and I cannot wait to see how the next adventure unfolds.  I am particularly excited to read a Firefly novel by bestselling author Una McCormack who has written some excellent Star Trek novels (The Way to the Stars and The Last Best Hope), and I am expecting this to be a really awesome read.

 

Well that’s the end of this latest Book Haul post.  As you can see I have quite a bit of reading to do at the moment thanks to all these awesome books that have come in.  Let me know which of the above you are most interested in and make sure to check back in a few weeks to see my reviews of them.

 

WWW Wednesday – 9 March 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws):

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get to it.

What are you currently reading?

A Great Hope by Jessica Stanley (Trade Paperback)

A Great Hope Cover

I just started reading this intriguing Australian political drama novel, A Great Hope by debuting author Jessica Stanley.  This compelling novel follows a political family in Australia following the death of their famous politician father.  I have only made a little progress on this novel, but so far I am enjoying its fascinating story and interesting dive into Australian politics.

 

Sierra Six by Mark Greaney (Audiobook)

Sierra Six Cover

I also started the latest Mark Greaney Gray Man novel today, Sierra Six.  This novel continues to tell the story of Court Gentry, the legendary assassin known as the Gray Man, and this latest entry dives back into his first mission for the CIA.  I am only a short way into this book, but it is so far proving to be pretty awesome.  Due to how cool the rest of the series (The Gray Man, Mission Critical, One Minute Out and Relentless) have been, I am expecting great things from this book and I look forward to seeing all the carnage unfold.

What did you recently finish reading?

Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner (Trade Paperback)

Her Perfect Twin Cover

 

Dark Horse by Gregg Hurwitz (Audiobook)

Dark Horse Cover

 

League of Liars by Astrid Scholte (Paperback)

League of Liars Cover 2

 

Warhammer 40,000: Krieg by Steve Lyons (Audiobook)

Warhammer 40,000 - Krieg Cover

 

36 Streets by T. R. Napper (Paperback)

36 Streets Cover

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

The Justice of Kings Cover

 

That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday to see what progress I’ve made on my reading and what books I’ll be looking at next.

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 – Rise of the Mages and The Justice of Kings

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.  In this week’s Waiting on Wednesday article, I look at two fun upcoming fantasy debuts that I think have an immense amount of potential.

Here at The Unseen Library, we have a lot of love for debut novels, and it is always awesome to read and review the first book a new author has produced or to see a writer break into a completely new genre.  I have had a brilliant time reading some great debuts in recent years, with some proving to be quite exceptional reads.  For example, two amazing debut novels of 2020, The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell and The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, ended up being some of the best books (and audiobooks) of the year.  This year has been no different, as I had read some exceptional debuts in 2021, such as The Councillor by E. J. Beaton and The Frenchman by Jack Beaumont.  I have some other glowing reviews for debut novels coming up shortly, and I am planning to do a Top Ten List highlighting some of the best debut novels of 2021 in a few weeks.  However, before I do any of that, I thought I would take the chance to look at two exceptional upcoming fantasy novels that are likely to be some of the best debuts of 2022.

Rise of the Mages Cover

The first of these books is Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford.  Currently set for release on 25 January 2022, Rise of the Mages in an interesting epic fantasy novel that will serve as the first book in The Age of Ire trilogy.  Rise of the Mages has an outstanding story of blood, magic and rebellion, as well as an awesome cover, and I really like the sound of this cool novel.

Synopsis:

Scott Drakeford’s epic fantasy debut, Rise of the Mages combines gripping, personal vengeance with compelling characters for an action packed first book in a trilogy.

Emrael Ire wants nothing more than to test to be a weapons master. His final exam will be a bloody insurrection, staged by corrupt nobles and priests, that enslaves his brother.

With the aid of his War Master tutor, herself an undercover mage, Emrael discovers his own latent and powerful talents.

To rescue his brother, Emrael must embrace not only his abilities as a warrior but also his place as last of the ancient Mage Kings—for the Fallen God has returned.

And he is hungry. 

This book has an awesome synopsis, and I am deeply intrigued by the fantastic sounding story that Rise of the Mages looks set to have.  Dark rebellions, rogue wizards and fallen gods are all excellent bases for great fantasy books and I very interested in the idea of a “Mage King”.  Based on this synopsis, it sounds like Drakeford is looking to produce a pretty epic and intense read, and I look forward to seeing all the magic-fuelled action, adventure and blood shed that Rise of the Mages contains.

The Justice of Kings Cover

The other book I really want to highlight in this post is the brilliant sounding The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan.  Set to be the first book in his proposed Empire of the Wolf trilogy, The Justice of Kings is Swan’s debut fantasy novel, after he previously wrote several intriguing science fiction novels, such as The Art of War trilogy.  The Justice of Kings currently has a release date of 22 February 2022 and I think it has the potential to be one of the best books of next year.

Synopsis:

The Justice of Kings, the first in a new epic fantasy trilogy, follows the tale of Sir Konrad Vonvalt, an Emperor’s Justice – a detective, judge and executioner all in one. As he unravels a web of secrets and lies, Vonvalt discovers a plot that might destroy his order once and for all – and bring down the entire Empire.

As an Emperor’s Justice, Sir Konrad Vonvalt always has the last word. His duty is to uphold the law of the empire using whatever tools he has at his disposal: whether it’s his blade, the arcane secrets passed down from Justice to Justice, or his wealth of knowledge of the laws of the empire. But usually his reputation as one of the most revered—and hated—Justices is enough to get most any job done.

When Vonvalt investigates the murder of a noblewoman, he finds his authority being challenged like never before. As the simple case becomes more complex and convoluted, he begins to pull at the threads that unravel a conspiracy that could see an end to all Justices, and a beginning to lawless chaos across the empire.

This sounds like such an outstanding and compelling read, and I am deeply intrigued by the proposed combination of crime fiction, legal thriller, and epic fantasy fiction elements.  The Justice of Kings’ plot about an honourable knight concerned only with justice, hunting through an elaborate conspiracy with magic and a sword has an amazing amount of promise, and I cannot wait to see what clever and complex mystery Swan has written around this.  I have already heard some substantial buzz around this book, with several reviewers I follow raving about The Justice of King’s story and fantasy elements after receiving advanced copies.  As such, I am extremely excited for this novel and I cannot wait to see if it lives up to all the hype.

2022 is already shaping up to be an excellent year for debut fantasy novels, especially with Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford and The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan.  Both these exceptional sounding novels have an immense amount of potential and promise, and I know I am going to have a great time reading them.  These two novels have amazing synopses, and I am extremely interested to find out how these compelling plots turn out.  Out of the two, I think that I am a little keener for The Justice of Kings, due to what I have already heard about it, but I am sure that Rise of the Mages will prove to be just as epic and fantastic.