Tag Archives: flintlock fantasy

Book Review: Blackthorne by Stina Leicht

2 Aug


Eledore has fallen! In the wake of the near-genocidal attack on the already plague-ridden kingdom, the remnants and survivors of the attack by the Acrasian Empire have several pressing problems. First, the Acrasians, now that they have smashed the Kingdom, consider the flinders to be easy pickings. Kainen hunted for sport, territory conquered, a proud kingdom ruined. Worse, the remaining Kainen polities, like the Waterborne Nations, and Ytlain, have to deal with this new political reality, and Eledore’s fallen status means that its people must often go cap in hand to their brethren, and suffer and bargain for what they once could ask for freely. Even more of a problem is the problem that Eledore has stood athwart for centuries and no longer can: The otherdimensional, eldritch problem of the malorum. Now that the gates are opening and malorum are coming through, the survivors of Eledore are under literal siege from this threat.

Not that the Acrasians are as well off as they might be. Yes, the great victory against the Eledorean menace has occurred. But in the wake of that victory, the local and resident nonhuman population, overt and covert, have been restive. Some have even been seeking escape from the Regnum, to get beyond the borders of a state slowly and inexorably tightening into Caesarism. Besides the high level political problems, seen only at a distance and remove, the street-level problems of life in the Regnum are multiplying. The malorum are now a looming threat on the streets of Novus Salernum itself. Continue reading


Book Review: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

9 Mar


The Ironship Syndicate has a problem. This Trading Company turned governmental body has lands and operations to run, and the basis of its profitability and its strength is the blood of drakes, or dragons. Certain people can ingest elixirs made from their blood to gain temporary magical abilities. This magical science of plasmology allows for amazing temporary feats by the Blood-blessed. The sale and internal use of these elixirs, more than guns, more than steel, is what makes the power of the Ironship Syndicate possible. And the drakes are being hunted to extinction, and the captive drakes are not breeding.  Without drakes, there will be no blood. With no blood, there will be no elixirs. And without elixirs, the power of the Trading Company will be under threat. The neighboring, pugnacious Corvantine Empire might take advantage, to the ruin of the Syndicate and its holdings.

And so a cunning plan has been hatched at the highest levels of the Syndicate. Long there have been rumors of a color of Dragon beyond the usual Red, Blue, Black and Green. A White dragon, located in the wilderness, whose blood might … well, what the power of the blood of a white could do isn’t quite known, but it could be the one thing to change the fortunes of the Syndicate, and perhaps the world as well. And even as the Syndicate brings together agents and talented amateurs and more to make an expedition into Terra Incognita in search of the White Drake, others have their own agendas and plans in these turbulent times. Continue reading

Book Review: COLD IRON by Stina Leicht

15 Jan

High, epic fantasy is perhaps my favorite genre. Yet, its books can easily turn tired and formulaic. Epic fantasy also tends to reach high page counts, both in a given novel and within a giant series, filled with a rich tapestry of characters and world building. But in so doing they can also become bogged-down with superfluous detours and asides. They can balloon into the unmanageable. What I adore about Stina Leicht’s Cold Iron, the first entry in a series entitled The Malorum Gates, is that that she effectively tinkers with many of the genre conventions, merging them with elements more typically stressed in other fiction, while keeping the joy of epic fantasy intact in a hefty read. Continue reading

142. Brian McClellan (a.k.a. Das Schwarzpulver) — Promise of Blood (An Interview)

17 Apr

Muskets, magic, and books, oh my!  Brian McClellan, author of Promise of Blood, joins us to talk about his new novel, writing fantasy set in industrializing cultures, cultural changes, and much more.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 142 — Download (MP3)

Intro and Discussion (0:00 – 1:15:07)

Check out Brian’s book!  It’s good stuff!

You can also support this podcast by signing up for a one month free trial at Audible.  Doing so helps us, gives you a change to try out Audible’s service, and brings joy to everyone.

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

%d bloggers like this: