Book Review – The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blade Itself is a fantasy novel about ā€¦ well, a host of characters and the parts they play in this tale of feuds, conspiracies, and wars. Set in a vicious world with well-established cultures and classes, magic and science, superstitions and beliefs.

The Bad Stuff: The only bad thing about this book is it comes to an end and leaves you wanting more.

The good stuff: This book has a full cast of characters from Logen Ninefingers, Bayaz and Jezal Dan Luthar, to Major Collem West, Sand dan Glokta, and Ferro. Their paths woven seamlessly into the story in a world where life is neither fun nor fair. The characters own their individual personalities, their individual traits and their individual problems, while war broods all around. Abercrombie weaves a tale of respected men who lie and scheme, barbarians who have honour and respect and strong women who kick some serious arse.

In my opinion, this is a superbly written fantasy novel with a mix of aristocratic society and down-in-the-gutter, bang-to-rights hard men. This action packed novel packs a punch and deserves a place on the shelf of any true fantasy fan. Iā€™m giving it 5 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review – Zen of ebook Marketing by Guido Henkel

Zen of eBook MarketingZen of eBook Marketing by Guido Henkel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Zen of eBook Marketing is written for writers who want to know how to market their eBooks. Written by author and programmer, Guido Henkel, this is the second book in his Zen series and provides a general overview on marketing ebooks.

The Bad Stuff: This book will give you a general overview of marketing techniques and the Social media available to market your books through, however it does not provide a detailed breakdown of how. If you are a seasoned writer that has been selling your books online, you will know most of the information within this book already.

The Good Stuff: This book gives a wide range of methods and provides a good deal of content around the differences in the social media available. There is a wealth of information between the pages and I certainly learnt a few things from reading the content. This would be an ideal book for someone starting out and will more than likely provide something new to the authors already well on their way to marketing their books. As with Zen of ebook formatting, this book is easy to read and understand and has some valuable tips inside.

This is another great addition to the toolbox of Indie writers. It will give you a better understanding and good insights on how to market your books. This one is worthy of receiving 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review – Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure by Janice Hardy

Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure (Foundations of Fiction #1)Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure by Janice Hardy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Planning Your Novel:Ideas and Structure, is a book for writers who want to learn more about planning. It will provide you with the knowledge you need to help you plan your novel.

The Bad Stuff: If you are an experienced writer, you will know most of the information within this book, however it may help to solidify the steps and technique used in planning and you may even pick up one or two new things.

The Good Stuff: If you are new to writing, I strongly recommend you read this book. It gives an in depth insight into how to plan and structure a novel, come up with ideas, write a synopsis and more. I wish I had read this book when I started out, it would have jump started my writing skills. While I knew a lot of the information between the pages, I have learnt from this book and it has helped me gain a better understanding of what I already knew. Janice Hardy shares the knowledge she has acquired over years of writing and explains it all in easy to understand terms.

For the value this book offers to new writers, I am giving this one 5 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review – Zen of eBook Formatting by Guido Henkel

Zen of eBook FormattingZen of eBook Formatting by Guido Henkel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Zen of eBook Formatting is a book for writers who want to know how to format and create eBooks. Written by Guido Henkel, a writer and an experienced programmer, for writers. This book provides a step by step guide on how to correctly format and produce your own eBooks.

The Bad Stuff: If you are just looking for a book that says do this, then do that, this book may frustrate you a little. There is a lot of explaining, but to be fair, it is of value to know ‘the why’ behind what you are doing. I think the book would benefit from a summary at the end, that details what you have learned in the book without all the explaining in between, and can be used as a quick reference guide.

The Good Stuff: This book gives you a great insight into how to format and create an eBook, from cleaning up your manuscript to adding the cover. Guido provides all the code and links to the tools you will need within the pages, making the process as simple as possible. I certainly recommend you read this book if you are looking at publishing your own eBooks online. I have definitely gained some knowledge in the process that I will be putting into practice in the future.

This is a great addition to the toolbox of Indie writers. It will save you time and effort, and could even prevent you damaging your brand name as an author, by giving you the advice you need to produce quality eBooks. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review: The Magician by Raymond E. Feist

Magician (The Riftwar Saga, #1-2)Magician by Raymond E. Feist

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Magician is an epic fantasy novel about the lives of Pug and those around him, their victories, their defeats, their friendships, oh… and there is magic.

The Bad Stuff: If I said I had just read a book with wizards, dwarves, elves, goblins and a mad king, what would you think of? Well, The Magician is not the title that most people would think of. There are a few similarities to another well read epic fantasy in this book, some over explaining and repetition, with a fair bit of telling in the writing style.

The good stuff: While The Magician bears some similarities to another Tolkien’s work, it is an epic tale in its own right. Feist has put an original spin on a plot that has been used before and has some well rounded characters. His world building is done well, creating different races and cultures in worlds far apart. The Magician has everything a great fantasy epic should have: magic, magical weapons and armour, dragons, elves, dwarves and more.

In my opinion, this is a great fantasy novel and is a much loved classic that deserves a space on the shelf of any true fantasy fan. This one gets 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks from me.

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