Sunday, May 20, 2018

Review: The Mountain Throne by A. M. Sterling

Interesting Characters in a Well-Crafted World

I am really impressed by The Mountain Throne (Sindathi Twilight Trilogy Book 1) by one of our Horde writers by A.M. Sterling. It's a well-told fantasy story, with layered characters who act in understandable and human, if sometimes frustrating, ways. The heroes are sometimes petty and short-sighted, and the villains act from logical motivations and not for the sake of being villanous. Bad things happen to both heroes and villains, and they react in keeping with their personalities.

The world-building is highly detailed, and the author even has a link to a whole wiki on it called Everdeep. The wiki has maps and details on the world. It's a cool extra that gives the setting a lot of solidity.

If you like lovingly crafted fantasy with interesting characters and a lot of exciting action, give this a read.

Here's the (rather long) blurb:
The Mountain Throne is the first book of the Sindathi Twilight trilogy, set in the fantasy world of Urrael. Two decades in the making, this world is well-developed and realistic, with histories, languages, calendars, professions, and cultures that bring it to life.

The Plot: Aged Emperor Thelden III Arrigar's last days are approaching and the Empire's leaders are taking sides in a struggle for power between rival heirs. Blood runs in the streets and the nights are thick with intrigue.

Drake Arrigar, bastard prince and half-blooded sorcerer. Darius of Lorradon, foreign-born Initiate of a holy order of warriors sworn to the Empire. Leasha, senior maiden and chief spy for the Emperor's daughter. These three unlikely friends must navigate the coming storms as plots, violence, and unholy barbarians tear their lives apart. Their trials, failures, and triumphs will have far-reaching consequences, for their people and for their own futures.

Characters and Theme: As rich as the world is, the story is ultimately about its characters and their choices. The book follows three protagonists, each with distinct themes.

Drake's story is one of self-mastery and discovery, of unlocking the arcane secrets that only one of his kind can understand and struggling to come to terms with an unrealizable birthright.

Darius's is one of internal conflict, investigation, and corruption. As a Champion of Ryack, patron deity of the Empire and defender of the weak, what sacrifices is he willing to make to support and protect his Emperor? What deaths are acceptable? What crimes? And at what cost to his own immortal soul?

Leasha's is a tale of treachery: secrets, lies, and espionage. A young woman trapped as a pawn of courtly intrigues, she must use her wits, beauty, and ruthless political mind to extract herself and wreak vengeance upon those who wrong her.

The World of Urrael: It is a world where sorcerers obtain their powers by stealing it from the divine realm and channeling it through their own souls. They pay for this by suffering persecution by priestly powers for their blasphemous theft and by hearing strange disembodied voices in their minds, spoken by demons of the other world through their tainted souls.

The continent upon which the story focuses, Terryth, is dominated by a great empire that arose by conquest, but is now weakened by decadence, mismanagement, and corruption. Barbarians, rebels, and enemy nations test its defenses, waiting for the Imperial dynasty to stumble. Its defenders must decide what crimes they are willing to commit to save it, or abandon it to the chaos of revolution or civil war.

The uncertainty in the Empire feeds intrigues as powerbrokers and political rivals fight for the greatest shares of power. Falsehoods, betrayals, and poisonous plots abound and even maidens of the court cannot escape.

The Mountain Throne is free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you want to see if subscribing is right for you, can get a Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial.
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Saturday, May 19, 2018

FREE: A Scientist in Search of God by Stuart Fickler

Science and Judaism

One of our dear Horde regulars emailed me about this book. Ibguy writes:
Last summer, a dear friend and mentor passed away. Stuart was a physicist and student of theology, interested in exploring the relationship of science with religion, particularly Judaism. For many years, he had talked about publishing his writings, but never got around to it. So to honor his legacy, I have (with permission from all involved).
The book is titled A Scientist in Search of God.

Here's the blurb:
Collected works of Dr Stuart Fickler. Melding science and religion, Dr Fickler brings physics and Judaism together. A noted scientist on a lifelong search to reconcile his rational, scientific self with his spiritual side. Written in a variety of (online) media, these essays reflect his journey, and his passion. This book’s purpose is to serve as his written legacy.

The PDF version is FREE and there is also a print version available at cost, both on Lulu.

PS. Our sympathies and prayers to Ibguy and family on the passing of his sister Joyce.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

99c SALE! The Hidden Truth by Hans Schantz

On Sale Through May 20

One of my favorite Book Horde books is on sale through Sunday! The Hidden Truth by Hans G. Schantz is only 99c all this week!

Check out my review,

From the blurb:
They subverted science, rewrote history, and corrupted society. Now he knows. And he'll prove it, if they don't kill him first.

Read the amazing new science fiction techno-thriller about the conspiracy corrupting the world and the young man who rallies his friends and family to fight back.

After you read The Hidden Truth you will want to check out the sequel A Rambling Wreck.

These books are free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you want to see if subscribing is right for you, can get a Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial.

Friday, May 11, 2018

New Release Review: The Narrative by Deplora Boule

Glitter-Bomb Masterpiece

I just read the newly release satirical novel The Narrative by Deplora Boule.

Here's the blurb:
Majedah is gifted with good looks, an elite journalism degree, and uncanny reporter senses that tingle when news is about to break. Plucky and ambitious, she’s determined to climb to the top of the broadcast world and land a job at global media giant News 24/7.

A story with a flawless narrative catapults Majedah to national prominence—and a position as a pool reporter at News 24/7’s swanky Manhattan headquarters. With one eye on the coveted primetime feminist anchor slot and the other on a past love she can’t quite forget, Majedah uses her impeccable social justice credentials to keep climbing. When she’s pigeonholed as the media expert on an unlikely presidential candidate, will Majedah break the biggest scoop of the century? Or will the scoop break her?

This is the funniest book I've read in a long while. It tells the story of MandyMajedah, a woke young journalist who is determined to expose every Injustice. We see the story through her point of view, and every ridiculous SJW trope is written in the funniest dead-pan manner.

What's even greater is not only is the book funny, the story is interesting. The novel is set in a fictional world much like ours, where a Republican president (who seems loosely based on a recent losing GOP Presidential candidate) is under constant attack by the media, specially the big network "24/7". The media is all in for the historic female Democrat candidate in the upcoming election, an aging woman senator. However, the media inadvertently weakens the GOP President so much that a grassroots Republican challenger rises to upset the applecart. And the wacky SJW hijinks escalate.

This book fearlessly mocks and ridicules the Left, and yet the remarkable thing is that it manages not to be angry. I feel like the author had a lot of fun writing this, and does not view her character with contempt, but rather with compassion. I actually found myself rooting for Majedah to be redeemed.

This book made me snort my coffee with laughter, made me stay up too late reading, made me nod my head in agreement with it's description of the Left. All in all this novel a satirical glitter-bomb masterpiece.

The Narrative is free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you want to see if subscribing is right for you, can get a Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

CLFA 2018 Book of the Year Winners!


CLFA 2018 Book of the Year

Congratulations to Jon Del Arroz for winning First Place in the CLFA 2018 Book of the Year with his steampunk novel For Steam and Country: Book One of the Adventures of Baron Von Monocle.

Here's the blurb:
Her father's been pronounced dead. Destructive earthquakes ravage the countryside. An invading army looms over the horizon. And Zaira's day is just getting started...

Abandoned at an early age, Zaira von Monocle found life as the daughter of a great adventurer to be filled with hard work and difficulty. She quickly learned to rely on only herself. But when a messenger brought news that her father was dead and that she was the heir to his airship, her world turned upside down.

Zaira soon finds herself trapped in the midst of a war between her home country of Rislandia and the cruel Wyranth Empire, whose soldiers are acting peculiarly—almost inhuman. With the enemy army advancing, her newfound ship’s crew may be the only ones who can save the kingdom.

Jon Del Arroz is on my list of "banned book authors" and I am very happy to see him get this fan award. Read his great and gracious acceptance post here.

And congratulations also to second place winner Moira Greyland for her memoir The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon. This was actually my personal pick as best book of the my reading year, and I highly recommend it in my review.

2nd Place Winner
3rd Place Winner
Final congratulations to third place winners Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey and the contributors to the anthology A Fistful of Credits: Stories from the Four Horsemen Universe (The Revelations Cycle Book 5).

These books are free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you want to see if subscribing is right for you, can get a Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

New Release: A Light in the Darkness by David Vining

David Vining Fiction Series

David Vining, who is better known to the Horde as movie guru TheJamesMadison, is building up to the release of his first full-length novel with a unique strategy. He will release 25 short stories, 5 at a time, every month for 5 months. And on the sixth month he will publish his novel. (And on the seventh month, I presume he will rest.)

The first 5 stories have just been published today, in A Light in the Darkness: A Collection of Short Stories.

Here's the blurb:
From Ancient Britain to the Amazon jungle to pre-history, follow five extraordinary tales as men and women find those little glimmers of light that comfort them in worlds that seem too large and too terrifying to truly comprehend.

In this collection of short stories from David Vining, experience the adventure, wonder, and freedom that comes with discovering the keys to one's own freedom.

A Light in the Darkness is free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you want to see if subscribing is right for you, can get a Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial.

Friday, April 27, 2018

In the Mail: Meet Our New Writers

New on our Horde Writers List

I've had a bunch of emails from right-thinking writers asking to be included on my Horde list. I feel so popular. (Kidding!)

A big welcome to our AoSHQ Authors List additions:

award-winning SF writer
William Alan Webb
Fantasy writer
A.M. Sterling

prolific mystery writer
MaryJo Dawson
techno-thriller author
Sean Jenan
Stand-up comedy couple
Brian McKim & Traci Skene
Also a solo stand-up
Traci Skene
Gainzz Fitness Guru
Ron Marinella
Illustrator & historian
Matt DiPalma
Short fiction writer
Blake Hiatt
Short story writer
Linda S. Fox