Review: Exile and Nandor by Martin Owton

Hey folks, hope you’re all well. 🙂

Today I’ll share my thoughts on Martin Owton’s ‘Exile’ and ‘Nandor’, a dualogy which focuses on Aron of Darien.

Aron is the title’s exile, struggling to survive in a world in which basically everything except his talent with a sword and his sense of duty has been taken from him.

When we meet Aron, he’s in the wrong place at the wrong time – and pays the price for that by being pressed into the local Earl’s service, which not only launches the first novel’s plot and introduces us to most of the tale’s important players, but also gives us a good understanding of Aron. He doesn’t suffer fools, and yet also doesn’t blindly barge into situations which might overwhelm him. He can be headstrong, but also shows empathy and sympathy. He’s the kind of guy you wouldn’t mind getting to know, and the kind of guy who’ll have your back as your friend. His skill with a sword is cool to behold, and most of the time he knows how to navigate politics and intrigue – but his skills don’t help him when it comes to ladies. 😉

‘Exile’ gives us a good view of the world Aron lives in – a distant king who seems to not really give a damn; dukes vying for prestige and honours from said king; scattered towns filled with merchants and men-at-arms; slavers and bandits. There are also magicians, and what’s interesting is that they serve, and aren’t served – it’s a refreshing angle to read, especially in Fantasy.

And Exile also sets us up for book two’s events, in which Aron’s quest will culminate, while bringing to a close certain threads begun in the first book. The book has (and maintains) great pace, is peppered with witty dialogue and serious moments, has an important love story, and features great combat, as well as what reads as well-researched knowledge of the kinds of pre-industrial technology present in Aron’s world.

Exile is old school and enjoyable – it doesn’t reinvent anything, but also doesn’t need to. 🙂

9/10

Nandor, the sequel to Exile -and the book which brings and end to Aron’s tale- picks up nine months after Exile’s end; Aron returns to the family he met in Exile when he receives dire news, and decides to lead a rescue mission, which takes him and the people with him into the kind of dangerous territory only hinted at in the first book. the excellent pacing which made Exile tick along is carried through into Nandor, and the characters are really put through their paces, as they find themselves caught up in a war very few people know about. This war, which is also being fought with terrifying magic, forces Aron to make some truly difficult decisions, and no-one escapes unscathed. I was sad when I ended the book, as that meant that Aron’s adventures were done and that we wouldn’t get to explore more of the world Martin created, but you all know what they say about ‘all good things’, right?

8/10

The books are available in a variety of formats:

Kindle (ExileNandor)

and Hardcover (Exile) (as well as signed editions from Tickety Boo Press)

And do check out Martin’s site for more of his work and an exclusive short story featuring Aron.

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

Cover Reveal: Conviction’s Pain – Book Two of The Mahaelian Chronicle

Here it is, folks – the excellent cover for the second novel in my trilogy, created by Gary Compton. 🙂 Incredibly pleased with this! And trust me, you’ll find out who the creatures on the cover are… 😉

14682011_1151176941642772_7758916811123099747_oAnd here’s the back-cover blurb:

***

Avidar and its people are reeling in the aftermath of a deadly attack.

Alun Dronald, now Lord General of Avidar’s armies, must contend with a murder investigation, political games, and growing religious fervour, while Del’Ahrid, seemingly the most powerful man in the kingdom, plans his next move.

Elsewhere, Brice Serholm serves an enigmatic, powerful being with direct ties to the growing conflict and its ancient roots, while Khyber, the only free Elvayn, makes a discovery which could put an end to millennia of war and strife.

The Mahaelian Chronicle continues.

And the true enemy will finally be revealed…

***

I’ll keep you up to date with pre-order info and the like. 🙂

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

Release Day and ‘Static’

Hey everyone, hope you’re all well. 🙂 Today is a damned cool day!

The first Mahaelian Chronicle Tale, ‘A Song of Sacrifice’ is officially available, so folks who’ve read Betrayal’s Shadow can now get a glimpse of the Elvayn, their culture and world thousands of years before the events in Betrayal’s Shadow. 🙂

In case you missed it, here’s the blurb:

The beginning of a conflict which will change two worlds…

When Ordaefus, Song Priest of the Elvayn, discovers that his people are capable of a new, incredible ability, his brother, Mahaelal, believes that this new way is wrong – an affront to the very foundations upon which the Elvayn built their civilization.

And when war breaks out, both brothers must make a choice – do they fight to protect what they believe in, or surrender, and exchange freedom for restriction?

What choice do they have left, when all choices lead to destruction and death?

And there’ve also been a couple of reviews on Goodreads:

Melissa Du Plessis: Admittedly I’m not the greatest fan of epic fantasy, but it never fails to thrill me when a story presents fresh and exciting ‘otherworld’ abilities in its characters. A Song of Sacrifice thrilled me silly!

Sergio Pereira: The perfect companion to ‘Betrayal’s Shadow’. Fascinating and entertaining read from de Burgh, who is quickly becoming South Africa’s next big epic fantasy author.

Hannah Strauss: A thoroughly enjoyable read that will have you on edge from start to finish!

Song of Sac Master

 

Here are the links to order, if you’d be so kickass. 😉

https://www.amazon.com/Song-Sacrifice-Mahaelian-Chronicl…/…/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Song-Sacrifice-Mahaelian-Chroni…/…/

https://books2read.com/u/3kZpkn (for Nook, Kobo and iBooks)

And so, onto the next bit of news…

the-3rd-spectral-book-of-horror-stories

I’ve got a short story in this epic collection! 🙂 It’s called ‘Static’, and tells the tale of what begins to unfold when a woman hears voices in static… 😉 Here’s the full Table of Contents:

Foreword: A Word on Fear

Portfolio – A. H. Day

Dysfunctional – William F. Nolan

Playthings – Eugene Johnson

Beyond the Grave – Alex Marco

Three Twilight Zone Variations on a High School Reunion – Lou Antonelli

Sins of the Father – Mark Allan Gunnells

Cotton Face – Dan Weatherer

Disappearing in the Desert – Billie Sue Mosiman

It Knocks – Paul Longmate

The Eyes Have It – Tim Major

Boat Trip – David A. Riley

And the Woman Loved Her Cats – S. L. Edwards

Lacey – David Wellington

The Day the Leash Gave Way – Robert Clarke

The Door into Envy – Adrian Cole

Penelope’s Song – Samuel Marzioli

Government Work – Richard Farren Barber

Static – Dave-Brendon de Burgh

“Grave ‘Neath a Willow” – Alexander G. Tozzi

Trigger Fate – Lisa Morton

Coulrophila – Jason V. Brock

I am beyond excited to have a tale in this anthology, and I really looking forward to folks reading it – and to reading the anthology myself! 🙂 I’ll keep you updated on Goodreads’ listings, pre-orders, and all that jazz. 🙂 If you’re a writer, too, you might want to check out this announcement over at Tickety Boo Press… 😉 And the creepy, brilliant artwork was created by Holly Madew; she’s doing the cover art for Conviction’s Pain, and I’m extremely excited to share the cover with you, once it’s done. 🙂

Right, there we go – that’s my news for now. 🙂

Until next time,

Be EPIC!