Posts Tagged ‘Book Review’

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Shroud of Darkness is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Celadmore, but it was the first book in the series to be written. It is also the first book in the Shroud of Darkness trilogy.

“When I started writing Shroud of Darkness I was 12. I had been inspired to write something epic, but it wasn’t called Shroud of Darkness until I was 15. Originally the book was going to be a single volume called Flight of the Swallow. The heroes and villains were the same, but the portals that feature in the series were used quite differently. Starting writing something when I was so young, it was hardly surprising that the book transformed into what it is now. This was partly due to me growing up and gaining more experience of the world, but also from the inspiration I drew from the trailer for Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring. Arwen threatening the Ringwraiths in the river gave me the inspiration to create the warrior women of the Anaguras and the appearance of Strider in the trailer gave rise to the Queterians. At that age I hadn’t read Lord of the Rings and I hadn’t even seen the movies before I started writing.”

Shroud of Darkness is an epic that sees Celadmore as a very different realm to the one that Kasnata and her people inhabited.

“Things have changed in the 400 years between the two trilogies. War still remains though. Celadmore is recovering from a twenty year war that has ravaged the land and the characters are all feeling the after effects of the events from the war. The Order is much more divided and the Valians are far more of a threat than they were in Rising Empire.”

Though the world has changed since Rising Empire, you also get to experience much more of the realm too. The central character in Shroud of Darkness is Venetia, one of the RAVEN queens of the Anaguras, the Queterians have their own king and though they are still one people, their lives, cities and military forces are split.

“Shroud of Darkness is a book that still holds a very special place in my heart, it’s the least serious of all the books in the Chronicles of Celadmore and the characters are living in a state where they are still celebrating the end of conflict and really don’t want to be drawn into another war and most don’t even want to admit that there is anything wrong.”

There are a few customer reviews to be found for Shroud of Darkness:

“It’s hard for books to distinguish themselves nowadays, especially books in the fantasy genre.

There are many books out there that are well marketed but when it comes to the text, it is always disappointing. This one is brilliant. It says it’s the third book in a series, but it’s the first one I have read and I was able to follow everything that was going on without a problem! The characters are a myriad of people that seem to be written in a very realistic way – you hate some of them, find some of them irritating, some of the stupid, some of them extremely unlucky, some of them that you fall instantly in love with and some you just like because they are, for want of a better word, cool. I’ve talked to my friend who recommended this book and their favourite character is completely different to mine.

The character of Caslo had to be my favourite, he isn’t a major character as far as the plot goes but I instantly fell for him and felt that that he was, to put it simply, cool.

The feel of the book is a bit like the writing of Tolkien but without the long drawn out conversations. The world you enter into is well fleshed out, complete with different languages, races of people, kingdoms, tensions and feels fully formed from the first page. The history is well established and it almost feels like you are about to go exploring the realm of Celadmore as you delve into the pages.

The plot on the face of it seems to give you everything upfront, but this is a ruse. There are many twists to the plot and C.S. Woolley has managed to keep the plot simple without being boring, focusing on key elements of what makes a good story and filling out the book with the many subplots that are woven together with the main plot line and flesh out the story into something wonderful.

I am now reading the next book in the series as the cliffhanger at the end demanded I read on before going back to find the other books in the series. I would recommend this to anyone who loves to read and especially those who don’t like the fantasy genre – it may just turn you!” – Taken from Amazon.com

“My favourite character in both the Chronicles of Celadmore and the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren books first appears in Shroud of Darkness and there is a child-like quality to a lot of the characters. Most of them are still young and have a very narrow view of the world that has been forged by the war. There are a lot of insular attitudes and misunderstandings that come out of these. Shroud of Darkness will also always be really special for me as a book as it got to number 4 in the Kobo fantasy charts and was outselling George R.R. Martin, Raymond E. Feist, Robin Hobb and it was the first moment when I felt like a real author.”

Shroud of Darkness is available for £1.99 in digital formats and £9.99 in paperback formats from all good retailers. You can get your copy now from amazon.

Did you know?

Shroud of Darkness was originally over 1,000 pages long and comprised most of the events of Lady of Fire and End of Days. When C.S. Woolley finished writing the original draft, she decided there was just too much for it to be featured in one book and so split the story into three to let it develop more and ultimately led to a more satisfying story as well as the creation of the other 18 books in the series as well as the 20 part spin off series, The Dragonian Wars. For those of you that are counting, that’s 41 books in total!

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If you already own a copy of Shroud of Darkness, then the fun doesn’t have to stop there! A line of Chronicles of Celadmore merchandise has been created and some of it is already available for purchase!

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Other Shroud of Darkness Merchandise

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A range of notecards and other posters featuring the character faces and quotes (some of which you can see further up in this blog post) are due to be released along with a range of bookmarks and postcards** slightly later this year. The notecards and posters featuring the characters are being released to raising money for charity. 50% of the profits from every sale of the notecards and posters featuring the characters are to be split between two charities – 25% of the profits going to the Broad Appeal and 25% of the profits going to the British Heart Foundation. Though we don’t have an official release date for these yet, we do know you will be able to order them for collection at the UK Indie Lit Fest (that C.S. Woolley and Steven M. Caddy are attending) and you will be able to purchase them for delivery through this site as well as through Etsy.

** the designs for the bookmarks and postcards have yet to be released.

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With the weather turning colder it was only a matter of time before germs started invading the office with germs and as we had just gotten back to full strength we are seeing our numbers dwindle as sickness descends.

For fans of Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren, regular posting has been resumed on her blog site and you can keep up with the latest thoughts and smaller adventures that she runs through in her action packed life. There is also more news on the Raven Siren filming front – yes the shorts project is going ahead under the Fastidious Monks filming label and there is a crowdfunding campaign being run on GoFundMe that C.S. Woolley has set up to help cover some of the costs. The Monks have pulled together the most expensive elements including the cameras, lighting rigs, safety equipment and sound equipment but are asking for a little bit of help getting the last few items that are detailed in the project. If you can support financially then that’s great but sharing the link on social media is appreciated too.

We have a new book review added to the site: Ahriman: The Spirit of Destruction that seems to have captured the imagination and led to all sorts of discussions about strong women so naturally Joss Whedon has been greatly talked of amongst others.

As people are complaining about colds and flu and even chest infections we would like to leave you all with the thought that whiskey and a good book go and awfully long way to helping you feel better.

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Well it’s Sunday and sad to say that most of us here at Mightier Than the Sword UK haven’t had much time off at all this weekend and already Monday is looming.

There was a leak on Friday and a problem with the electrics so it’s been so we’ve had to spend ours moving things out of harms way and waiting for tradespeople to appear to help us in our time of need. Not all the problems are fixed, but we are getting there.

We’ve also lost Goldie, one of the tropical fish in the office, a golden gourami (yes we were highly imaginative in naming her) who died after what appeared to be a fit that sent her crashing around the fish tank.

So really we haven’t had the best weekend.

But we do have some good news. We’ve got a new book review up on the site Social Wealth: How to Build Extraordinary Relationships By Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Lead and Network by Jason Treu one of the non-fiction books we’ve been asked to review. If you haven’t seen the other books we’ve had the pleasure of reading then you should check out our book reviews section which has a full list of the title.

We’re also going to be launching our very own goodreads page in the not too distant future so please feel free to connect with us there. We’ll post a link when we are happy with the profile and have got it all up and running.

Those who are still doing NaNoWriMo are cross as they have lost valuable writing time with all the drama of the weekend as well as losing valuable working time on Friday. We’re hoping that next week is going to be a quiet one but who knows what tomorrow will bring – except for probably rain.

Well the number of shopping days that are left until Christmas are quickly dwindling away and before we know it the last posting date for Christmas cards will be upon us. There are some very smug people in the office who have finished with the rush of Christmas for the most part and merely have some items to finishing knitting before they are all prepared. Others amongst are number are still saying there is plenty of time left to go shopping.

So with that in mind we thought it appropriate to announce our latest book review is now up on the site, The Return of Knecht Ruprecht by Olivia Black and what a seasonal treat it is! Something that brings a fresh twist to Christmas and may even get those of you who are struggling to find their Christmas spirit to get in the mood before December even arrives.

NaNoWriMo continues to march on and there isn’t a day that goes by when it isn’t mentioned to some degree, mostly, we must admit, with a large amount of frustration, though there seems to have been a break through and the 50,000 word count target seems to be rapidly approaching for most.

It does mean that End of Days from the Chronicles of Celadmore may well be coming to all good retailers a lot sooner than we all hoped – watch this space for more news as it arrives and just to tempt your literary tastebuds we give you the teaser back blurb from End of Days:

The end is here. Aksoth’s forces roam unchecked across the plains of Celadmore, the Allied Spirit have been forced to retreat to the fallen city of Grashindorph. Within the city there is trouble. Leaders of each of the countries of Celadmore seek to control the city. Scheming and corruption distract the people from preparing to stand against Aksoth in one final battle. Revolution stirs amongst the poorest of the people, Venetia seeks to restore Gruagadon to his rightful place on the throne of Grashindorph. In this final bastion, they must find victory or Aksoth will purge the realm of light of all life.

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Well the celebrations of halloween and bonfire night are both past and with everyone returning to the offices here at Mightier Than the Sword UK, we are finally back to getting on top of everything.

We’re really proud to be able to announce that C.S. Woolley has reviewed Soul Skin by Jan Porter and the review is now up in our Book Reviews section. It’s a great book and we all really wish Jan all the success in the world with it.

We’re having a belated halloween and bonfire party this weekend to celebrate the two events and to welcome back all our wonderful globe trotters.

As NaNoWriMo marches on, C.S. Woolley is struggling with her word count but the web gremlins who have taken on the challenge are miles ahead (clearly we need to find more work for them to do)

And finally we’d like to make mention of the poppy appeal, Remembrance Sunday and the Royal British Legion. Every year the poppy appeal is run by the Royal British Legion in the UK in order to raise money for the soldiers that have fought for the UK and their families. This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War and there have been many events being held around the country to remember those who lived through the First World War and all of those that died. This Sunday (9th November) is Remembrance Sunday and there will be church services held around the country as well as parades and the televised commemoration where the Queen, Prime Minister and dignitaries from throughout the Commonwealth. We would like to encourage everyone to wear their poppies with pride and if you can afford to there are some beautiful poppy pins available from the Royal British Legion as well as the traditional paper poppies.

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We know we’ve been rather quiet on the site updates and blog front for the last few days. Having so few of us in the office means it has been all hands on deck in terms of getting things done, but this week sees everyone returning from their travels and those who have disappeared into the world of Alien: Isolation seem to have all finsihed the game just in time for a few weeks work before we lose them to Dragon Age: Inquistion.

We’re really happy to announce we’ve got a new book review going up – City of Magi by Michael McDuffee. The review was done by C.S. Woolley but based on what she has said about it, those of us who stayed behind here hi-jacked her kindle so we could see what all the fuss was about (on a side note – never come between an author and her kindle).

Now that halloween is over it seems that everywhere has gone Christmas crazy but we’re trying to keep that kind of chatter off the radar until after Bonfire Night at the very least. So in honour of the foiling of the gunpowder plot we’ve got a great night planned for 5th November. V for Vendetta is on the cards with hotpot for dinner followed by sparklers outside at the local bonfire display organised by the Lions – oh yes we know how to live it up!

A seasonal warning though to all those who are celebrating Bonfire Night – sparklers and fireworks are dangerous so never use them inside and make sure you stand well back from any fireworks. If you can always go to an organised display instead of one in someone’s backgarden. Wrap up warm when going to any organised display and make sure you are wearing gloves if you are going to be playing with sparklers.

Now we’ve got the serious stuff out of the way – we’re three days into NaNoWriMo! For those who don’t know what that it is, the Office of Letters and Light organises an international event every year that takes place in November and its full title is National Novel Writing Month. The aim is to write a novel in just a month, at least 50,000 words, which means writing at least 1,667 words a day to reach that goal. C.S. Woolley is currently taking part and meets up with the Nottingham NaNoWriMo group. It isn’t just for published authors, it’s for anyone who loves to write and is up for a challenge and wants to raise some money for a great cause. For more information take a look at their website.