A to Z Bookish Survey

Thought to try my hand at this interesting book tag. I got the idea from this blog.


“The Spirit Thief” by Rachel Aaron

Plot Summary: In the city of Allaze, the king is presumably missing from his ruling throne room. The renowned Eli Monpress has a way with words. In particular, words with the spirits of things. Would his desire for fortune and more importantly fame, jeopardize his freedom at the hands of the Spirit Court’s Miranda Lyonette? Or can Eli continue to utilize his skill, magic, and unmatched wit to evade the unfaltering Miranda in her bid to apprehend him and stifle his continued scheming once and for all? Moreover can Miranda and Eli both throttle the plans of a mutual enemy by combining their strengths to save themselves along with a city that despises them both?


“Free the Darkness” (King’s Dark Tidings Book 1) by Kel Kade

“Good men want only the power to make things right. Great men seek to make things right and gather the power to do so. Great leaders find those who are worthy of wielding power and set them to the task of making things right”    -Coroleus, J.E. 1,067   

                                                                                                            Excerpt from the Prologue.

Title: Free the Darkness (King’s Dark Tidings Book 1)

Author: Kel Kade

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 6.5/10

Plot Summary: Rezkin, a warrior of little renown, seeks answers from the sole remaining “Striker” present as his tenure at a mysterious fort in the Northern reaches, ends in betrayal. Befriending a similar-aged girl, Frisha Souvain, along with Tamarin “Tam” Blackwater, her guard and escort, the trio embarks on adventure en route to Frisha’s uncle’s estate in the city of Kaibain as Rezkin follows Striker Farson’s ever-growing cold trail. Journeying through lands teeming with bandits, dishonest merchants and a ply for control of a chaotic underground network of thieves, would test Rezkin’s well crafted and numerous abilities, beyond mettle. However, Rezkin carries a shrouded, dark secret. Will his intentions remain hidden from the enamored Frisha? Or will Tam’s developing friendship evaporate with discovering Rezkin’s true motives and ultimate plan?

My take: “Free the Darkness” is the first novel I have read by Kel Kade . While I enjoyed the story and overall theme, I did have qualms with a couple of key elements. Rezkin, to me, is seemingly just too “skilled” or “good” to be bested. Certain mannerism’s he displays make perfect sense to me, yet others do not seem to fit. At least where I think they should. While I can appreciate a “bad a##” warrior that has mastery over a multitude of weapons, I would have preferred him to be presented with more of a challenge, containing moments of strife tossed in to break up the monotony. Ultimately resulting in giving his presence better substance. Therefore transforming those repeating moments I felt during the book in the manner of, “Oh he will have no problems dispatching these bandits or this opposition. He will easily do this or that with little resistance or worry.”,  to suspenseful and provoking pauses while reading, more akin to “Well he should be victorious and overcome this challenge, fight, etc… but..”, would be my ultimate desire to have seen during these junctures. Championing for Rezkin was easy for me. He possesses an uncanny martial prowess and is remarkable in his application of the numerous “Skills” he can employ to ultimate effect, due to the years of his youth into young adulthood, he spent mastering these arts. Yet even heroes of legend have those moments of shortcomings. And it does not have to be total, failure. Minor shifts in momentum, less than desirable outcomes every so often or just common complications sprinkled throughout would have added much depth to the story in that one lacking area in my opinion.

By no means am I bashing the author. I was very impressed with the fight scenes found in the book. They were described with detail to put you on edge, oftentimes graphic and gory in detail, fitting perfectly. This is a dark and gritty world. Engagements in sword fights are not for the faint of heart and I appreciate the fact that the author exposes this fully.

I will read the next installment in this series with the hope that these minor blemishes are just that. Due to the story having equally well-written scenes, I feel the author is perfectly capable of delivering that needed “balance” I yearn for and I look forward to becoming better acquainted with more of the author’s future works and particular style. I would recommend this book to those readers who enjoy fantasy with plenty of pace.

I would love to hear your comments and feelings about my review. Along with your thoughts on the book if you have read it as well. Thank you for reading.

A “Bookish” Genie Bottle of Fantasy?

What is this? A genie bottle granting me three “bookish” wishes? Count me in!

I saw something similar to this online and decided to list my three “fantasy bookish” wishes. Below are my wishes, in no order of importance.


Number 1: I would have to visit Middle-earth and seek tutelage from the elf Legolas.

J.R.R Tolkien crafted a fantastic elf in Legolas. He has eagle-eye precision when it comes to marksmanship with a bow and his prowess with this ranged weapon is unmatched. My desire to meet and learn from this elf stems from a time during my teenage years, that I spent learning, practicing and hunting with a longbow. I have always had an affinity for archery. Meeting and learning from Legolas would be fantastic. I cannot think of a better fantasy archer to study with. Typically, all of the tabletop role-playing games characters I have played and continue to play, are often chosen with his forte in mind. Twang goes the bowstring!

Number 2: This wish is quite juxtaposed to my previous one, for here I would choose to enter the Forgotten Realms setting to meet (and hopefully survive), that crafty and devious rogue-assassin, Artemis Entreri.

Created by another of my favorite authors, R.A. SalvatoreArtemis Entreri is exactly what I picture as a rogue. Of the numerous heroic characters Salvatore’s mighty pen has graced us with, Artemis Entreri is my favorite. Yes I know he is evil and operates with a horrendous motive along with little regard for anyone other than himself, but bottom line for me is this guy can flat-out fight. Regardless whether his skill is born of hate, anger, greed or time-honored devotion and practice, Entreri is not one to cross blades with. Salvatore’s superb ability to describe a great fight scene with Entreri’s thoughts and motivations in the forefront for readers to digest, make for engaging confrontations that have you ducking for cover. Pointers from Entreri can help anyone hoping to gain skill with a blade. Only if he does not use the wrong point to teach with!

Number 3: My third and final wish would be for Scott Lynch to gamemaster a Burning Wheel game for some of my tabletop gaming friends and I.

Lynch perfectly weaves intrigue and deception like no other. His Gentleman Bastard series showcase some of the finest storytelling of the decade. I devoured all three of the books in the series with a voracious appetite and patiently await the fourth novel to be released. Lynch has a way of hooking you into following from one page to the next, in a hypnotic trance, totally unaware until he decides to expose you to his hidden and crafty agenda. I have no doubt he would run a fun and exciting tabletop game full of challenges blended with character engagement around each twisting turn.

I hope you enjoyed reading my three choices for “fantasy bookish” wishes from a genie. I would love to hear what yours are as well. Thank you for reading.