A Demon in Silver by R. S. Ford Book Review

Author: R. S. Ford

Genre: Grimdark Fantasy / High Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 star

I received this book from the Publisher, Titan Books, in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

A Demon in Silver is Book one of a brand new grimdark fantasy trilogy, War of the Archons by R. S. Ford. The story follows the lives of four completely different characters as their stories become entwined together due to the nature of war and the infamous Duke Gothelm. It’s set in a world that hasn’t seen magic for over 100 years and the shock, chaos and destruction that occurs when it finally returns. Everything about this book is my cup of tea. I love my fantasy dark, dangerous, full of magic and the chaos of war. Is it even fantasy if someone isn’t fighting something?

I absolutely adore Ford’s characters. Silver is fierce and a warrior woman incarnate. I loved her from her very first footstep. Josten is brave and maybe a little bit reckless. Livia is powerful and kind, her devotion to her uncle is touching and makes her an even more formidable woman. And Mullen, dear, dear, daft Mullen. Need I say more? You’ll know what I mean when you meet him. Each of these characters has touched my heart and inspired emotion in me, in ways I never knew could be possible outside of a Tolkien or Pratchett narrative. They’ve made the book more than the sum of its parts and I know thanks to these wonderfully developed characters that War of the Archons will be a favourite series for me.

Before picking up this book I had no idea grimdark was a thing. Despite it apparently being my favourite type of fantasy fiction and a lot of my favourite books being under the subgenre. Why had I never heard of this? I must have been under a metaphorical rock! I was compelled by the sheer wonder of this book to search more about this genre and I shall be consuming all of R. S. Ford’s other books and trilogies, all described also as grimdark fantasy epics. Basically, I think I may have found a new favourite author and you need, I mean genuinely NEED to read this book if you’re a fantasy fan.

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A Demon in Silver Blog Tour

Good morning everyone! Welcome to my blog and the final stop in the A Demon in Silver blog tour with Titan Books. A Demon in Silver is Book one of an epic grimdark fantasy trilogy by R. S. Ford and it’s a book I’ve adored reading and uncovering the story of. For today I shall be sharing with you all a question and answer session with the author to glean a little more light on the War of the Archons trilogy. Find it after a short synopsis of the book!

In a world where magic has disappeared, rival nations vie for power in a continent devastated by war.

When a young farm girl, Livia, demonstrates magical powers for the first time in a century there are many across the land that will kill to obtain her power. The Duke of Gothelm’s tallymen, the blood-soaked Qeltine Brotherhood, and cynical mercenary Josten Cade: all are searching for Livia and the power she wields.

But Livia finds that guardians can come from the most unlikely places… and that the old gods are returning to a world they abandoned.

R.S. Ford originally hails from Leeds in the heartland of Yorkshire but now resides in the wild fens of Cambridgeshire. His previous works include the raucous steampunk adventure, Kultus, and the grimdark fantasy trilogy, Steelhaven. You can find out more about what he’s up to, and download free stuff, here: http://richard4ord.wordpress.com.

Question and Answer session with R. S. Ford:

What can we expect from A Demon in Silver?

Hopefully thrill and spills and more than a few twists and turns. It’s an adventure story at its heart, set across three countries. Someone described it as HighDark (high fantasy with a mix of grimdark) which I think captures it perfectly.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

How can you even ask me that? It would be like trying to choose between the children I don’t have. I love all the characters and for different reasons. Josten for his stubbornness, Silver for her heroism, Livia for her heart and Kaleb for his vulnerability. Don’t tell the rest of them, but my favourite is actually Mullen… for reasons that I think become obvious when you read the book.

How did you go about setting the rules for your magic system?

There is no magic when the book begins, so the only real rule there is it was mythical. When it does appear it’s powerful, unpredictable and has dire consequences for all involved.

Which other fantasy authors writing at the moment do you think are unmissable?

I don’t read as much fantasy as I should, but I’ll consume anything Joe Abercrombie publishes, and I’m a big fan of Andy Remic, Gav Thorpe and if you like your fantasy thick and meaty, John Gwynne.

What does your average writing day look like and can you offer any tips for aspiring authors? 

There’s no such thing as a typical day. I have to fit writing around a full time job, so it comes in dribs and drabs until the deadline looms. Then it comes in a wave of panic. The only genuine bit of advice I could give is to write the kind of book you’d want to read. Beyond that, you’ll have to work the rest out for yourself.

Who would you say your biggest influences are?

I was heavily influenced by 2000AD and the gamebooks of the 80s in my early days. The first fantasy series I really loved was the Dragonlance novels of Weis and Hickman. Nowadays I’m influenced by all sorts of things in all sorts of media from Mass Effect to Narcos to the evening news.

Can you drop any hints about what we can expect from book two?

The Hangman’s Gate is a little bit of a switch in tone. Think The Magnificent Seven with magic, gods and evil overlords.

Thanks for joining us!

My pleasure!

Upcoming Reviews and Releases

So, during June/July there are so many amazing titles being released and I’m so excited to be able to read these and share thoughts on them with you all. Titan Books have lots of darkness, thrills and fighting to share with us all over the next few weeks! Here are just a few I’ll be reviewing soon…

A Demon in Silver by R. S. Ford. – OUT NOW! £7.99 RRP

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay – 26th June 2018! £7.99 RRP

The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri – 3rd July 2018! £8.99 RRP

The Trilogy Of Two by Juman Malouf Book Review

Author: Juman Malouf

Genre: Fantasy/YA fantasy

Rating: 5/5 stars 🤩

Release date: June 14th under Pushkin Press

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thanks go out to the publisher for this chance. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

The Trilogy Of Two is a debut fantasy from Juman Malouf, whom also illustrates the novel. It follows the story of identical twins, Sonja and Charlotte. Musical prodigies with somewhat magical talents, living with their adoptive mother in a travelling circus. Chaotic accidents occur whilst they are performing one day that catapult the twins into a dangerous journey – enchanted lands, bizarre characters and charming love interests await!

Now, I must admit that when I was contacted about reviewing this book I was struck by the interesting synopsis, but didn’t have hope that it would be anything spectacular. Blimey! Was I proven to be wrong! This book is sublime! I found it instantly addictive and unputdownable from page one. Everything about the story is deeper in magic and mystery, even before the twins reach the enchanted lands. The circus setting at the start of the book was a wonderful treat as I am a big fan of anything circus related. It lent and air of enchantment to the twin from the get go, and set them up as special from the start. The other various fantastical settings are also wonderful. Malouf really has an eye for setting the scene and her world building is beautiful.

The characters of course, are just as intricate and interesting. Sonja and Charlotte are quirky and charming characters go follow. Sonja being the twin I liked the most. They’re each quite uniquely developed and I loved learning about them as the book progressed. I also really liked the characters of Tatty, Wolf Boy, Uncle Tell and Hester. Each again very unique and very well developed. I’m pretty impressed with the depths of all the characters considering this is a debut novel.

The Trilogy Of Two throughly blew me away! I felt like I’d been swooped up into an adventure with new friends in magical lands and I didn’t ever want to leave. I was sad when the book was done. I haven’t had the joy of feeling like this about a new book in such a long time now. It was a lovely treat! I truly couldn’t recommend it enough!

Ascension by Victor Dixen Book Review

Author: Victor Dixen

Genre: Sci fi / YA

Rating: 3.5/5 star

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher via Readers First. This in no way affects my opinions on the book.

Ascension is book one in a new sci-fi trilogy by Victor Dixen. This trilogy is translated from the original French. The story follows the life of Leonor, a young French girl who has been chosen with 11 other young people to be the first to colonise Mars. Six girls and six boys, sent off into space to colonise a planet…. whilst being live on earth TVs for the rest of their lives, however short they are. These twelve young people are now part of space exploration mission – come reality blind date show and at the end of it, they must choose who they will spend the rest of their lives with. It’s a bizarre but interesting plot with certain Hunger Games vibes to it.

The characters are mostly interesting, each one being of a different cultural background so to make a huge leap in the direction of diversity. They each have a secret they want to hide about themselves and whilst this is endearing, it’s also cliche. Leonor is very much the typical Lone Ranger. She doesn’t want to buy into the speed dating and finding a husband despite that being one of the major purposes of the mission she’s signed up for. While this would be interesting if she was forced into this, as she went willingly and signed herself up for it – I found it annoying. Why did she sign up then!?

The setting of course is mostly in space and that for me is a major plus when it comes to sci-fi. Unfortunately the rest of the book kind of ruined it. There was a lot of potential for an amazing trilogy here and I feel that the cliches in the story and characters have made it fall short of the mark. Whilst it’s a trilogy I will be interested to finish, it’s not one I will be raving about, nor one I will expect to be very memorable.

Metamorphica by Zachary Mason Book Review

Author: Zachary Mason

Genre: Retelling / Myths and Legends

Rating: 5/5 star

I received this book from the publisher, Johnathan Cape, in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

Metamorphica by Zachary Mason is an epic and imaginative retelling of Ovid’s Metamorphoses – a great Roman masterpiece telling the stories of Greek Mythology in relation to transformation. Masons retelling adds his own flair to the myths and tales and retells them how he wished they’d been told, he also adds Ovid himself into the narrative as a tale and a character. It’s a truly beautiful book and wonderfully written.

The book is arranged in compliance to a constellation map using each star as a difference story and breaking them into parts. Each part is unique and each story is as much its own tale as it is a collective story throughout the book. There is clearly so much thought and effort gone into the presentation and planning of this. It’s beautiful. I found the entire book to be a delight to read right from the beginning, and by the end I was fairly certain this was a book that would make Ovid himself proud.

Metamorphica is accessible, even for those not familiar with Ovid’s Metamorphoses or with Greek Mythology. It can be easily understood and enjoyed due to Masons free flowing, poetic and contemporary style. But also, because each tale has its own short but informative epigraph detailing the original myth. I thought this a lovely touch. And whilst it is accessible for the uninitiated to Greek Mythology or Ovid, it’s also a wonderful read for someone who has read and loved these original tales, casting a new light on some of the stories. Frankly, it’s a wonderful book.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton Book Review

Author: Michael Crichton

Genre: Thriller

Rating: All the stars 🌟

Now, this is not the first time I have read Jurassic Park, it is not even the second or third time. It is certainly not going to be the last time. Regardless, I’ve decided to review it, because I’ve learned that a lot of people don’t even know this book exists, they don’t even know the famous film is based on a book… and like all good films based on a book – the book is better!

Jurassic Park is a Thriller by the popular Michael Crichton. It is the first in a duology, the second being The Lost World. As you’ve most likely seen the films at some point, I’ll assume you know generally what it is about – in brief, scientists underestimate the power of nature and dinosaurs, chaos ensues.

It’s an amazing read that leaves you on the edge of your seat and unable to put it down – even if it’s your fifth reread and you just KNOW what is going to happen, it’s unputdownable! There is also so many little details in the book that never made it into the film, or are changed in the film entirely which I feel, makes the book better and more detailed. The death scenes are particularly more detailed as you get a monologue of the dying thoughts of the characters and see what they’re THINKING as dinosaurs tear them apart. It makes for an intense and gruesome scene but this I feel is what makes Jurassic Park a Thriller and not a sci-fi or fantasy story.

Basically, this book is amazing. It’s one of my favourites and those of you who know me, know I’m Jurassic Park trash so you know!? Obviously this is a great book. 💁🏼‍♀️

I couldn’t recommend it enough. Borrow it,

Buy it,

Read it.