Category Archives: Books

Brother Druid

Hermitage, Wat and Some Druids
(The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage #5)
by Howard of Warwick (2015)

 

Brother Hermitage is at it again – this time with druids.

When his nemesis, the Norman conqueror Le Pedvin orders him to Wales, Brother Hermitage knows it is going to go wrong. He’s had a prophecy it’s going to go wrong. And from his first steps on the road it strides firmly in that direction.

Firstly, the title is a bit too derivative of the previous. Maybe is should have been call “Brother Druid” or ‘Wales and Things”. Anyway, Hermitage is off to Wales with an increasingly larger group of migrants. There is a significant part of the plot that takes place in Wales with the Druid they will meet. As usual there is a good portion of the characters doing dumb or stupid things that drives the plot along. As expected, when the two groups finally get together, chaos reigns.

Howard is definitely getting better at these tales, increasing the jokes and comedy scenes. This is one of the best (so far) in the series.

Jet-carceration

Incarceration
(Jet #10)
by Russell Blake (2015)

Jet’s peaceful existence in Kosovo is shattered when unexpected enemies surface to settle old scores and make her pay in blood. Spanning the globe from Russia to Syria to Romania to Washington, nothing is as it seems, and her adversaries will scour the earth to destroy her and the new life she, Matt, and Hannah have built.


Better than the last, this involves Jet and Matt separating. With Jet in a prison, most of the book it Jet’s story of how she escapes, teams up with fellow inmates and peruses her enemies. However at the end it looks like she has made a new enemy. Another fast and gripping read.

 

Hermitage 4

Hermitage, Wat and Some Murder or Other
(The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage #4)
by Howard of Warwick (2015)

It’s not clear what Le Pedvin is up to.
It’s not clear that anyone is actually dead.
Not much is clear about Norman villagers at all.
It’s definitely not clear how Hermitage and Wat are going to get out of this alive.
But it will be….


Simpler in story and execution (murders) this story has the hapless duo going off to find who a Duke has murdered. It seems to be around the wrong way, but with the help of Cwen, the apprentice weaver they successfully bundle their way through not just one, but three murder investigations.

Not much in the way of jokes or outright comedy, but the tone of the writing and the entertaining characters kept me reading to the end and wanting more.

 

Dis-illusioned

Disillusioned
(Land of Dis #3)
by Robert Kroese (2015)

 

Despite the peaceful, civilized veneer of modern-day Dis, Vergil is convinced that a great evil still threatens the land, and he and Handri set about to uncover and vanquish it. But Vergil’s prejudices and chivalric principles prove worse than useless in this strange new world, and he succeeds only in getting himself in deeper and deeper in trouble while stirring up simmering animosities between goblins and humans.

Can Vergil separate illusion from reality and uncover the true threat to Dis before it’s too late?


Not as good as the two previous novels, this swings from adventure fantasy to satire and back again. The relations between Humans and Goblins appears to be a metaphor for modern inter-racial problems. The story points these out, but never really resolves anything.

Still, it’s a fun read and everything accumulates into a suitably engaging ending.

Jet-scape

Escape
(Jet #9)
by Russell Blake (2015)

After a harrowing escape from a gun battle at a hilltop Colombian monastery, Jet must risk it all in order to evade pursuers as they hunt her and her loved ones across South America.


The story continues from the last in the same style. Jet, Matt & Hannah move through South America evading several adversaries. Along the way they kill each other off, leading to a anti-climatic ending. It does end this plot thread, so the next book can get onto something new.

 

Dis-topia

Distopia
(Land of Dis #1)
by Robert Kroese (2015)

 

Distopia tells the story of Wyngalf the Bold, the legendary hero renowned for ridding the land of Dis of the scourge of dragons. The story begins as Wyngalf, a young missionary for an obscure religious sect, arrives in the port city of Skuldred. Desperate to prove his worth to his superiors, Wyngalf finds himself drafted into leading a missionary voyage across the sea to the semi-legendary land of Dis.


It’s not until the second book that I realized just good an author Kroese is. The prose is always clear and precise. He gives a good description of the environment and character motivations are always apparent.

Then there is the story, just when you think you know what will happen, there is a twist. When you think you have figured out the tropes he is using, things will change.

And on top of all that he writes some brilliant comedy scenes. Not that the rest is devoid of humour, the tone is always witty and fun without being crude Writing humour is difficult and he does it with ease. All this keeps you reading to the end and wanting more.

Survival

Survival
(Jet #8)
by Russell Blake (2014)

From the squalid ports of Panama to the cartel enclaves of Colombia, Jet and Matt must battle the deadliest threats they’ve yet faced if they are to survive.


Essentially a chase from country to country as the two protagonists and their daughter journey to be together. Chased by drug lords, police and anyone out for a fast buck. Still got the action, but less of the intrigue this time. Another exciting read.

 

 

 

Dis-enchanted

Disenchanted
(Land of Dis)
by Robert Kroese (2013)

King Boric the Implacable knows death comes to all great warriors. He just didn’t expect it to be so damn fickle.

Felled by an assassin’s blade, he should be spending eternity carousing in the Hall of Avandoor. Instead, his spirit is bound to his decaying body by the enchanted sword of Brakslaagt. And unless he can hunt down the mysterious Lord Brand, who gave him the weapon so long ago, he is cursed to wander the earth forever as an undead wraith.

This is the first book by Robert Kroese I have read and for some reason have started with the second book in the series
(it doesn’t matter).

Thoroughly enjoyed the book.

It has the type of wit and humour I enjoy. However I find comparisons  to Terry Pratchet strange. This is more like a combination of Paul Dale’s Dark Lord Trilogy and Dan Abnett’s Darkblade series. It certainly has the pacing of a Dan Abnett story and the wry humour of Paul Dale.

Now a Kroese fan…

Transcendence

Transcendence
(The Second DemonWars Saga #2)
by R.A. Salvatore (2003)

It is the summer of 839. Brave and beautiful Brynn Dharielle sets out on a daring mission to free her beloved homeland from tyrannical rule. But she cannot imagine the depth of chaos, corruption, and betrayal that seethes admist a ruthless sect of warrior priests, led and manipulated by an evil chieftain who conceals a dark, age-old secret.


This is number six, and it has taken six months to get through these audio-books. Sometimes there has been breaks that mean I have to pick up on the story each time. It’s definitely a  slow way to read and after this series (one more to go) I’m done with long novels in audio format.

The story itself is involved and involves a Dragon, wars, intrigue and lots of bloodshed. Still interesting enough to see where this ends.

 

Books of 2018

The 5 star rated books of 2018 are:

David Blake – The Space Police Series
David Blake – Inspector Capstan

Russel Blake – JET Series

Jeremy Robinson – Jane Harper Series

Dennis E Taylor – Bobiverse Series

New Year’s Resolution: Read and support living Authors