Once upon a time, the world was made of stories. They were the first kind of currency, the thing that brought meaning to life. Passed down from person to person, to hear a story was to have knowledge. As the centuries rolled by, the stories found their way onto the page. People read books and discovered new worlds. Stories became the key to unlocking the imagination and books inspired people to learn how to read and write.
Somewhere along the way, stories found their way onto the screen. The public loved watching films and it became a new form of entertainment. But the stories were still stories. With the birth of the internet, stories became something you could consume on a daily basis. The way people chose to engage with the stories had changed, yet the medium remained the same.
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Over the last decade, superheroes have shot into the mainstream, creating two cinematic universes. You might think the formula for a superhuman tale has become worn out with all the origin stories. But there’s still plenty of room for innovation, as writer Stephan Morse has shown with his novel, The Fiasco In News. The book tells the story of 21-year-old Adam Millard, whose superpower involves causing all sorts of mayhem to happen. Morse sent me an advanced copy of his self-published eBook in exchange for an honest review and here are my thoughts.
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Reading the final book in a series can be like saying goodbye to a friend who’s moving on to pasture’s new. As much as you’ll miss them, you know they have to go. That’s what it felt like when reading Tyrant’s Throne, the last book in The Greatcoats quartet. Written by Sebastien De Castell, the book follows Falcio Val Mond’s struggle to fulfil his dead king’s dream of bringing justice to Tristia. Falcio is more determined than ever to put Aline, the daughter of King Paelis on the throne, but he faces his greatest challenge yet. Here is my spoiler free review.
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Hell, March 13, 1919
They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman.
Ray Celestin’s debut novel, The Axeman’s Jazz, begins with a macabre letter that sets the tone for the rest of the book. The story is set in New Orleans in 1919 and is built around the real life case of the Axeman. The letter was written by the real killer, making the novel even more intriguing.
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The final book in The Greatcoat series, Tyrant’s Throne, is out soon, and I’ve been putting the main characters in the spotlight. Falcio Val Mond is the leader and strategist, Brasti is the glue that keeps them together and Kest is the born fighter. Kest Murrowson is the most practical member of the trio and at the start of the books he was the greatest swordsman in the world.
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With Sebastien De Castell’s Tyrant’s Throne coming out on the 20th April, I’m doing character spotlights on the three Greatcoats. Today, I’m focusing on Brasti, the most irreverent of the trio. Brasti is my second favourite character in the series and his quips make up some of the funniest moments in the books. But underneath his sarcasm and arrogance, there’s more to him than meets the eye.
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In literature, there are certain characters that stay with you from the moment you start reading about them. Sebastien De Castell’s Greatcoat series is full of them. With the release of Tyrant’s Throne on the 20th April, I’ve decided to do a character spotlight on each of the three Greatcoats, Falcio, Brasti and Kest. For those who haven’t been introduced to the series, it’s a mixture of the Three Musketeers meets Game of Thrones. There’s blood, violence, witty comments and no shortage of swashbuckling. Let’s start with the protagonist, Falcio Val Mond.
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After reading through Guadalajara, a short story collection by Catalonian author Quim Monzó, I’ve come to the conclusion that people can be bastards. Uncaring, fickle, hypocritical bastards. The short story collection features historical figures like Robin Hood, William Tell and Odysseus, and it’s often the people they try to save who turn on them. They take the form of the poor folk who exploit Robin Hood’s obsessive need to bring justice until they become the very monsters he fights against. Or, a family who religiously cling to their traditions of cutting off their fingers.
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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak can mean a lot of things to different people. To some it could be the tale of a girl with an insatiable hunger for books. For others it could be a vivid commentary on the Nazi regime from an insular point of view. It could even be a metaphor for how life is fleeting and death is the one constant uniting all of humanity. Whatever interpretation may be drawn there is a assumption that the reader comes away with a clear message. That is one of many reasons why The Book Thief is one of the most scintillating novels I’ve read in recent memory. Continue reading “The Book Thief Review”
Reviewing this book has been long overdue, considering it’s become my favourite book series. But then finding a good book to read can be like picking the best clothes to wear: There’s many of the same variation but only certain clothes really do it for you. The importance of a man’s clothing comes into play within the swashbuckling debut novel of Sebastien De Castell called Traitor’s Blade. Although The Greatcoats series has been out for a few years, going back to where it all began is still an enjoyable read.
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