Thursday, June 22, 2023

 It's In Your Hands

See my Latest Review Of. . .

Dark Fate

I’m sure we can all relate to those nights of revelry lost to drink, where the carousing continued into the wee hours and you wake up the next day, remembering hardly any of it. But what happens when you discover huge chunks of your memory have been taken by a stunning dark elf, apparently, with your consent in order to . . . what? Your guess is as good as mine. Why? Because you can’t remember and no one will tell you, THAT’s why!

Ah, such things are just another day to Jakobus Shaw, as he highlights:


I’ve been through a lot in the last few years.

I escaped from the Deep, a prison of eternal torment, fought living nightmares, stopped wars, and banished an immortal dark phoenix in the eternal abyss of an Old One’s fathomless mind. All while making some damn good friends and allies along the way.

I’ve done all this and yet, when Shareal, a dark elf, a creature of beauty and danger, returns from the past I didn’t even know I had, I can’t help but be afraid.

Shareal needs the safety of my bar to house a meeting of the world’s most powerful and treacherous dark elves. I don’t want to do it, but the elf drives a hard bargain, so…I better put out the good silver.

Dealing with dark elves is never a wise thing to do, but I’ve never been renowned for my intelligence. They say blood is thicker than water, but for the dark elves, power is the only true family they have ever known.

I tried to run from my past, tried to bury it and hope it stayed dead, but the seeds I planted long ago are growing fruit and it’s time I started reaping what I sowed.



Yes, Marcus Abshire presents us with a corker of an adventure in Dark Fate, as the past begins to catch up with Jakobus in ways he can’t begin to comprehend. And that’s the thing when you’ve been involved with the deepest, darkest magic. It never goes away, and the consequence of wielding it can turn up out of the blue when you least expect it.

The thing is – and without giving anything of the plot away – why now? What has Jakobus been involved with in the past that now obligates him to a certain course of action that may not only result in his own death, but the end of everything he holds dear? And why are the dark elves so certain in his compliance?

Yes, not everything is as first appears, and as Jakobus begins to navigate this latest path of magical eggshells, he must try and unravel what it is about his abilities that everyone seems to want a piece of.

As always, we have a roister-doister, action-packed, mayhem filled adventure, where our protagonist’s penchant for getting down and dirty often gets in the way of making swift progress. But THAT’s where the fun lies. Because when the fate of the world lies in your hands, who wants boring and easy? Blunt humor; great dialogue; superb interaction between characters; thrills & spills galore. It’s all there, waiting for you to turn the next page.


Sunday, June 11, 2023


Into the Vortex Book 2 of The Vortex of Worlds Series

By – Charles E. Gannon


I’ve been a fan of Chuck Gannon for quite a while, having discovered his Caine Riordan novels about ten years ago. The time and effort he puts into his world building really pays off in the substance of his writing. So, when I discovered he was branching out into fantasy, I just had to take a look.

The first book of his The Vortex of Worlds Series – This Broken World – was an absolute treat to read, and you can find out what I thought in the link provided at the end of this review.

Into the Vortex continues Druadaen’s adventures– and indeed, those of his erstwhile companions – as they try to discover the disparities riddling the land in which he lives, and especially, why knowledge of the truth might prove so fatal.


Here’s the blurb:


A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing . . . but knowing the full truth might get you killed.

Druadaen, Outrider for the once-mighty Dunarran Consentium, has proven that there are irreconcilable contradictions between magic and physics on Arrdanc, the world of his birth. And what is his reward for this important discovery, made against all odds and at considerable personal risk? Exile—organized and compelled by nervous temple hierarchs.

However, Druadaen remains determined to uncover what several ancient persons and beings have urged him to seek: “the truth of the world”—which might only be gained by traveling beyond it. Indeed, the mysterious Lady of the Mirror speculates that he might find the answers by journeying to the other side of her unusual looking glass: a reflective, ethereal portal that she calls a “shimmer.”

But there’s a catch: because the mysterious portal only allows a single person to pass through, Druadaen must leave his companions behind. Unfortunately, once he has, they discover that the “shimmer” only allows travelers to leave Arrdanc, not return to it. So his friends, led by stalwart swordsman Ahearn, resolve to find another means by which they can retrieve Druadaen—and with him, the truth of the world.

There’s just one small problem with their quest: the closer they come to finding a solution, the more obvious it becomes that various powers on Arrdanc don’t want them to succeed. In fact, they’d rather Druadaen doesn’t return at all.


Yes, the reaction of those in power doesn’t add up. After all, why would they exile someone if all they were doing was searching for the truth?

We begin to see the answer to that question when Druadaen and his companions actually seek counsel with the Lady of the Mirror, and Druadaen ends up stepping through a mysterious portal into an entirely different world. He discovers people there, much like those from home, who have also endured chaos at the hands of an unknown power – from long, long ago – the likes of which was unmatched by all but the gods. And get this. The echoes of that chaos are similar to that on Arrdanc.

Of course, his friends are left floundering in his wake, so they also begin trying to fit the pieces of this larger puzzle together. In doing so, they begin to appreciate that the real truth as to the origins of Arrdanc has been hidden from mankind. And if they want answers, they’ll need to follow in Druadaen’s footsteps and journey across time and space to find them.

Thereafter, our story is told from two perspectives: By Druadaen, after his journey through the shimmer; and by his friends, who continue their efforts to be reunited with their friend, as they also strive to uncover the truth.

As before, the story arc is as compelling as it is thoroughly entertaining. It’s vivid, it’s bright, and dark and menacing. Murder, mystery, and mayhem, and abound in equal measure. That, along with engaging characters and an appealing, ‘you’re one of us’ dialogue helps to immerse you in the trials and tribulations of the gang as they begin to pick apart the scales masking the truth, to reveal a truly astonishing revelation As they do so, a bigger, much more complex, and insidious picture begins to emerge. (Fantastic world building there), which really adds an additional weight to an already well-established foundation.

Now, as to what that maleficent cancer is, you’re given plenty of clues (adding to those sprinkled throughout the first book). And as it continues eating away at the fabric of the world, you can only begin to imagine what’s coming. And whatever it is, it’ll be huge. The tension is building, and I for one can’t wait to see what happens.

And isn’t THAT what it’s all about?

Go on, enjoy yourself. It’ll be one hell of a ride.

Amazon - This Broken World