The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration. Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This week, I purchased one book I’ve been wanting to read for awhile and four review copies showed up. Two of these are books I already mentioned in one of these posts when the ARC showed up, so I’ll just link to those posts in you want to know more about them:

Shattered Pillars was one of my most anticipated releases of 2013 since I LOVED Range of Ghosts, and I’m reading that one now.

On to the other books!

Quintessence by David Walton

Quintessence by David Walton

Quintessence is David Walton’s second novel; his first, Terminal Mind, won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2008. Walton is working on a sequel to Quintessence.

Quintessence will be released in hardcover and ebook on March 19. The first three chapters can be read on the author’s website.


Imagine an Age of Exploration full of alchemy, human dissection, sea monsters, betrayal, torture, religious controversy, and magic. In Europe, the magic is thin, but at the edge of the world, where the stars reach down close to the Earth, wonders abound. This drives the bravest explorers to the alluring Western Ocean. Christopher Sinclair is an alchemist who cares only about one thing: quintessence, a substance he believes will grant magical powers and immortality. And he has a ship.

Warchild by Karin Lowachee

Warchild by Karin Lowachee

Confession: This is the second copy of this book I have purchased. When I first got my iPad, I read a sample online and purchased the ebook since new print copies are hard to find and/or expensive. I really enjoyed what I read from it but never finished it despite that because I discovered I hate reading on the iPad. With the second annual Women in SF&F Month coming up, I was thinking about this book again (Shara from Calico Reaction said it was her favorite science fiction novel last year and Janice from Janicu’s Book Blog also mentioned it as one of her favorite science fiction books last year). I decided I need to actually read all the way through because it seemed REALLY good so I found a used print copy and ordered it.

There are two other books set in the Warchild universe, Burndive and Cagebird. They are mosaic novels instead of a trilogy following the same character. Here’s what Lowachee says about how the three novels fit together on the Warchild Universe page on her website:


I began to envision a mosaic of novels, each told from single points of view, interpreting the effects of war and an arduous peace process. The protagonists would be full of flaws, their personalities would perhaps challenge the reader; they would be as real as I could make them (writing in depth from a single point of view is what I call ‘method writing’), each with a unique way of looking at their world, each with the ability to become better people (sometimes despite themselves.) Many different themes manifested through the telling, providing a mostly unconscious cohesion to it all. I don’t regard these books as a chronological trilogy, but as a mosaic series: each piece is as individual as the characters who narrate their stories, and put together they form a bigger picture. It begins with Jos, continues with privileged Ryan, and has temporarily concluded with the voice of the ‘enemy,’ Yuri. I never intended Yuri’s to be the final piece in this mosaic, but we’ll see what the future brings.

There’s more on the series on the page linked to above, and it sounds incredibly interesting.


When Jos’ parents are killed in an attack on their trading ship, the boy is kidnapped by the attackers and then escapes – only to fall into the alien hands of humanity’s greatest enemies. He is soon coerced into becoming a spy against the human race.

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) by George R. R. Martin

This one probably needs no introduction… A Storm of Swords is the third book in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (and the best one, in my opinion).

This particular mass market paperback is the official tie-in to the HBO series Game of Thrones. Season 3, which will include events from this book, begins on March 31st in the US. This edition of the book will be available on March 26th.


Here is the third volume in George R.R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Together, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces maneuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords…

Midnight Blue-Light Special
by Seanan McGuire
328pp (Paperback)
My Rating: 7.5/10
Amazon Rating: 4.7/5
LibraryThing Rating: 4.13/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.38/5

Midnight Blue-Light Special is the second book in the InCryptid series by Seanan McGuire, following Discount Armageddon. The first two books in this urban fantasy series are set in New York City and follow the adventures of Verity Price, a young woman torn between her family calling of cryptozoology and her lifelong love of dancing. The next two InCryptid books will be about her brother Alex.

While Midnight Blue-Light Special could be read as a stand alone, it is a direct sequel to the first book and there may be spoilers for Discount Armageddon in this review. If you are new to this series, I’d recommend reading my review of Discount Armageddon instead of this one. It’s a better introduction to the series in general, and I also explain why I want to be Verity Price when I grow up (setting aside the fact that she’s technically younger than I am).


Cryptid, noun:

1. Any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proven scientifically. Term officially coined by cryptozoologist John E. Wall in 1983.

2. That thing that’s getting ready to eat your head.

3. See also: “monster.”

Long ago, Verity Price’s ancestors defected from the Covenant of St. George, an organization dedicated to eliminating cryptids from the world. They began to question whether or not there were cryptids worthy of preservation, and now they remove the destructive ones and protect those that aren’t particularly harmful (such as the enthusiastic, talkative, devoutly religious creatures known as the Aeslin mice). Since then, the Price family has lived in the United States in secret—that is, until the day Verity was captured by Dominic de Luca, a member of the Covenant of St. George. After an understandably rocky beginning, the two end up working together, and they’re kinda-sorta-dating by the beginning of Midnight Blue-Light Special, even if Verity is a bit unsure about just how far she can trust a member of the Covenant.

When Verity is working her shift one day, Dominic interrupts her at work, insisting he needs to speak with her immediately. He informs her that some members of the Covenant will be visiting New York City to check on him and begin purging the city of cryptids, and he warns Verity to leave the city before their imminent arrival. However, it’s impossible for Verity to remove all the cryptids in the city, and she refuses to flee when she may be able to help some of them. Even though she feels betrayed, she agrees to allow Dominic to assist her, but both Verity and Dominic have a choice to make. Neither can serve two masters forever—Dominic must choose to either continue to hold to his lifelong beliefs or embrace a new perspective (and Verity), and Verity’s year in New York City is nearing its end, meaning she must choose between her dedication to cryptozoology and her lifelong dream of professional dancing.

Like the first book in the series, Midnight Blue-Light Special is full of humor and Price family quips, but it is darker than its predecessor (though it hasn’t reached the same dark depths as McGuire’s other urban fantasy series, October Daye, so far). Some difficult decisions need to be made, there’s danger in spades, and some heartbreak. While I generally prefer darker books in which the characters are faced with tough choices, I think I had more fun with the first book since it introduced me to the world of the cryptids and the amazing Price family. I felt a bit like this second book didn’t provide any deeper exploration of the world and premise introduced in the first book. Despite feeling like the second installment didn’t expand on the first book as much as I’d like, I did enjoy it very much.

The one aspect that did seem further developed in this book was the characters. This was a book of choices for Verity, Sarah, and Dominic. For the most part, the choices they made weren’t particularly surprising to me, but I did enjoy getting to read more about Verity’s cousin Sarah, who has a point of view in this book (though I did find the parts containing her from Verity’s perspective more compelling and illuminating than her own viewpoint). I particularly love just how different Verity and Sarah are, and the type of “kickass” character Verity is. She is one of those characters who never leaves home without weapons hidden all over her person and has no qualms about jumping into a fight. Yet she is not all brawn without brains but a combination of both with a side of compassion. She’s a cryptozoologist who enjoys learning about the world and helping those around her. Also, while Verity will get involved in the action, she considers her situation first. When she’s in a tough spot, she doesn’t just fight her way out–she thinks of her best chances for success and she can exercise caution when necessary.

Sarah is a very different character from Verity and it not at all the type to want to be in the middle of the action. She has different strengths with her telepathic abilities and intelligence, and is capable of doing what she feels needs to be done. While she’s really not the main protagonist, in many ways this is Sarah’s book in the end. It’s about her, the strength she finds within, and the difficult choice she makes.

While I loved how Verity and Sarah were depicted as two very different personalities with different strengths, the romance didn’t entirely work for me since I don’t quite understand Verity’s attraction to Dominic. Apparently, he’s handsome and the two obviously have a bit in common since he could compete closely with Verity in a “Who Can Hide the Most Weapons on Their Person” contest. I can admire the fact that he can question his ingrained beliefs about cryptids enough to want to warn Verity to get out of New York City when others from his organization are coming, but it didn’t seem like his character was developed all that much more in the second book than the first. These thoughts may be based on unfair comparisons since Tybalt from McGuire’s October Daye series oozes with charisma and only gets better as a character as the series progresses. I think I found it easier not to compare the two with the first book because I was interested to see where Dominic’s character ended up, but I didn’t learn much more about him in this book than the first, nor was I given any hints to wonder about him. This is perfectly reasonable given the structure of the InCryptid books. After all, the series isn’t all about Dominic and Verity; it would be a bit frustrating to have burning questions only to have the next books focus on a different character!

Despite some misgivings about the romance, I did really enjoy how Verity and Dominic’s relationship was not weighed down by unnecessary drama. Since Dominic is part of an organization that is an enemy of Verity’s family, there’s plenty of opportunity for this, especially when he comes to her at the beginning of the book to warn her about the upcoming visit by other Covenant members. Verity’s first reaction is to tell him to get out since she feels betrayed. She’s upset by this for a little while, but once it’s pointed out to her that Dominic seemed to be concerned about her and might be willing to work with her to minimize the damage to the cryptid population, she actually listens to this advice. Verity decides this is the reasonable thing to do. This could have quite easily turned into a Big Angsty Book where she refused to talk to Dominic to increase the tension, but it did not. I rather liked that there wasn’t a lot of drama between them because of this, and the focus was on Dominic’s choice between the Covenant and Verity rather than a spat between Dominic and Verity over their arrival, which he had no control over.

Like its predecessor, Midnight Blue-Light Special is humorous and highly entertaining without a dull moment. While I wanted to see the premise of the first book built on a little more in the second book, I thought it did a great job with a kickass main protagonist who had strengths beyond her fighting ability as well as a quieter character with inner strength. I also enjoyed that it got a bit darker and the stakes were higher for the characters, and I’m certainly looking forward to reading more in this series.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Where I got my reading copy: ARC from the author.

Read an Excerpt

Other Reviews of Midnight Blue-Light Special:

The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration. Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This week a finished copy and an e-ARC showed up, both of which I’m VERY excited about reading!

First, a quick review update since there haven’t been many reviews here lately. Due to running another Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Month this year, I haven’t had much time leftover for reading and reviewing in the spare time I have (i.e., time when I’m not working at my full time job). I’m hoping there will be a bit more time to get caught up on some reviews soon, but once April starts, there probably won’t be any new reviews until May. In the meantime, I have started a review of Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire, which just came out last week and is an awesome second installment in the InCryptid series. I’m hoping that review will be up soon, and I also have plans to review The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord as soon as time allows.

On to the books that came in this week!

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Sister Mine will be released in hardcover and ebook on March 12. An excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.

I recently read a post praising Nalo Hopkinson’s work at Dark Cargo, and the discussion of her characterization made me really want to pick up one of her books. So having this one show up in the mail out of the blue really made my day! I’m excited to read it, and I’m hoping to read it later this month.


As the only one in the family without magic, Makeda has decided to move out on her own and make a life for herself among the claypicken humans. But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to find her own power–and reconcile with her twin sister, Abby-if she’s to have a hope of saving him . . .

We’d had to be cut free of our mother’s womb. She’d never have been able to push the two-headed sport that was me and Abby out the usual way. Abby and I were fused, you see. Conjoined twins. Abby’s head, torso and left arm protruded from my chest. But here’s the real kicker; Abby had the magic, I didn’t. Far as the Family was concerned, Abby was one of them, though cursed, as I was, with the tragic flaw of mortality.


Now adults, Makeda and Abby still share their childhood home. The surgery to separate the two girls gave Abby a permanent limp, but left Makeda with what feels like an even worse deformity: no mojo. The daughters of a celestial demigod and a human woman, Makeda and Abby were raised by their magical father, the god of growing things–an unusual childhood that made them extremely close. Ever since Abby’s magical talent began to develop, though, in the form of an unearthly singing voice, the sisters have become increasingly distant.

Today, Makeda has decided it’s high time to move out and make her own life among the other nonmagical, claypicken humans–after all, she’s one of them. In Cheerful Rest, a run-down warehouse, Makeda finds exactly what she’s been looking for: a place to get some space from Abby and begin building her own independent life. There’s even a resident band, led by the charismatic (and attractive) building superintendent.

But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to find her own talent–and reconcile with Abby–if she’s to have a hope of saving him . . .

Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian

Cobweb Bride (Cobweb Bride Trilogy #1) by Vera Nazarian

The final version of Cobweb Bride is slated for release on July 15 of this year. I backed the Kickstarter for this book, so I’m pretty excited to see an ARC! It sounds pretty interesting, plus I really enjoyed Vera Nazarian’s novel Lords of Rainbow.

There will be a Goodreads giveaway for Cobweb Bride starting on May 3.


COBWEB BRIDE (Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book One) is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….

Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness… Her skin is cold as snow… Her eyes frozen… Her gaze, fiercely alive…

While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father… Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…

Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars…

And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.

As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…

And everyone is trying to stop her.

Women in SF&F Month Banner

Last year I dedicated the month of April to highlighting women’s contributions to science fiction and fantasy, both as writers producing work in the genre of speculative fiction and bloggers sharing their love for the SFF books they read. By the end of the month I was floored by the many amazing posts I had gotten from authors and bloggers and the reactions here and on other blogs! At the time I said I wasn’t sure I was going to do it again because a lot of work went in to putting it all together, but a year later I’m happy to say that I’m again turning April into Women in SF&F Month on Fantasy Cafe!

Discussing women’s work in speculative fiction has been important to me ever since I saw the question raised about whether or not women were writing science fiction and fantasy a few years ago. They were, of course, and doing a lot of wonderful work, but they were not in the spotlight and did not spring to mind the same way male authors did. Since then, it’s been important to me to do what I can to talk about their work and try to change that.

Even in just the few short years since I noticed this, I do think women’s names are mentioned far more often than they used to be. Yet I am often reminded of just how far there is to go. This was the case last year when I saw some studies examining the review coverage of women’s books when compared to men’s the previous year. The results were not pretty. Around the same time, there was some discussion of nominating book bloggers for the fan categories in the Hugo Award and none of the bloggers I saw mentioned as potential candidates were women despite the many women who do write about science fiction and fantasy books. (That seems to have changed this year as I’ve seen a few women mentioned for fan writer and fanzine awards.)

It seems as though this issue is getting more attention now than then, but I also still see many things that make me think that the more it’s discussed, the better. The 2012 Count was just released by VIDA again, and it’s still pretty dismal. Then I saw this thread on LibraryThing about “Women and Fantasy” just a couple of days ago. None of the books on this “Can’t Wait Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2013” list with over 200 votes are written by women (a few of these books are unlikely to come in 2013, but that’s beside the point). There are still assumptions made about women as a group, and women’s books still do not seem to be as visible.

Last year I chose not to wade into the debates about the hows and whys (too much), instead just letting the authors and bloggers talk about what they love and highlight their tremendous work. It turned into some great posts to read so I’ll be doing the same again this year. I won’t give them away just yet, but just like last year, there are a whole bunch of guests I am VERY excited about and I can’t wait to share what they have to say!

I’ll have more soon, though possibly not quite as many reviews as I might like because I’m gathering guest posts. Next month will be more than worth it though!

The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration. Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

This week brought three finished copies, one of which I already covered when an ARC arrived. As usual, I’m not going to feature the book with details again, but I will link to the original post in case you missed it and want to know more about it:

On to the new books!

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint; illustrated by Charles Vess

This middle grade book, an original folktale, will be released in hardcover and ebook on March 5, 2013. The hardcover edition is quite a nice-looking book, and this sounds quite charming.


The magic is all around you, if only you open your eyes….

Lillian Kindred spends her days exploring the Tanglewood Forest, a magical, rolling wilderness that she imagines to be full of fairies. The trouble is, Lillian has never seen a wisp of magic in her hills–until the day the cats of the forest save her life by transforming her into a kitten. Now Lillian must set out on a perilous adventure that will lead her through untamed lands of fabled creatures–from Old Mother Possum to the fearsome Bear People–to find a way to make things right.

In this whimsical, original folktale written and illustrated throughout in vibrant full color by two celebrated masters of modern fantasy, a young girl’s journey becomes an enchanting coming-of-age story about magic, friendship, and the courage to shape one’s own destiny.

Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron

Seven Kinds of Hell (Fangborn #1) by Dana Cameron

The first book in the Fangborn trilogy will be released in trade paperback and ebook on March 12, 2013. Dana Cameron is mainly known for writing mysteries, and she has been an Edgar Award finalist and a recipient of the Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity Awards. Seven Kinds of Hell is an urban fantasy mystery and archaeological thriller.


Archaeologist Zoe Miller has been running from a haunting secret her whole life. But when her cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, Zoe is left with only one option: to reveal herself. Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She’s a werewolf and a daughter of the Fangborn, a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles embroiled in an ancient war against evil. To rescue her cousin, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against the dark and nefarious foe. The hunt brings Zoe to the edge of her limits, and with the fate of humanity and the Fangborn in the balance, life will be decided by an artifact of world-ending power.

Exile is the first book in a new fantasy series by Betsy Dornbusch, The Seven Eyes. It was released in hardcover and ebook earlier this month, and Emissary, the second book, is scheduled for release in 2014.

Born into slavery as a bastard relative of the royal family, Draken gained the king’s esteem and rose to become one of the more important officers in the Black Guard—until the day he was accused of murdering his wife. Draken came home to find his wife gutted, and when he was found with her dead body, he was blamed for the crime. His punishment was exile to the island of Akrasia, where his survival would be left to fate.

Since Draken’s wife was killed in a manner commonly associated with Akrasian magic, Draken is hoping to find the killer and vengeance for his deceased spouse. Soon after arriving, he instead finds Osias, a necromancer who saves him from suicide by spirit possession. Osias is searching for the missing Mance king and also warning people about the banes, the same type of spirit that took control of Draken. Osias forces Draken to accompany himself and his companion Setia on a visit to warn Queen Elena so he can personally testify about the dangers of possession by banes.

They are escorted to the queen and are able to warn her about the threat Osias fears. However, the queen is nearly struck by an arrow in front of them and is only saved by Osias. Osias and Draken remain in the castle, along with Setia, and plot to hide Draken’s true identity from the queen. Next time they see the queen, Draken offers to find the one who tried to assassinate her, and she accepts his offer. Draken sets out to find a potential killer but finds far more than he believed he would.

To be blunt, I was not a fan of Exile. It had an intriguing opening with Draken being exiled for a crime he didn’t commit, and I was interested in finding out what happened to him in the beginning. The book was decently paced with a lot of major occurrences and revelations, but I didn’t care about any of the characters enough to be concerned about what happened to them. The characters’ motivations often did not make sense to me, and there were some parts where the dialogue seemed awkward or cheesy. In addition, the main character suffered from a severe case of Special Snowflake Syndrome, and the whole book had far too many cases of Surprise! Identity for my taste (especially considering the way one of these was slipped into the conversation).

My biggest problem with Exile was that this was a book in which the main character was portrayed as someone extraordinarily special, and I never understood why the other characters seemed to be in awe of him. Draken certainly had admirable traits, such as respect for human life and reverence for the dead. Before the beginning of this book, he’d risen quite far to go from being a slave to a respected officer in the Black Guard, and once he gets to Akrasia, he also rises quickly to a powerful position. However, he didn’t strike me as being nearly as amazing as all the other characters seemed to think he was, and I felt like I was constantly hearing about how wonderful he was more than I was being shown how wonderful he was.

For instance, when Draken looks upon Osias, he sees great beauty. This is important since those who look upon Osias simply see a reflection of their own character (for reasons I never quite understood other than that it seemed like a convenient way of telling the reader how amazing Draken was without his actually exhibiting any sort of charisma through his dialogue and characterization). There were many conversations in which a character told Draken something along the lines of, “I see why you are held in such esteem by others,” and in my opinion, there was nothing to make him stand out more than any other character involved in these discussions. In fact, I thought Osias was far more impressive than Draken. He’s a necromancer who caught an arrow out of the air with his bare hands.

For much of this book, I kept thinking of Draken as a passive character, even though that wasn’t necessarily true when I stopped to consider his actions. He did act. Even as early as the first couple of chapters, he took the initiative and freed a slave from the men holding her captive. His quick rise on Akrasia was due to his actions (even if I did feel there was more luck than skill involved and that the reward was not entirely suitable, but I’ll talk about that in a bit with some spoiler tags). I believe the reason I kept thinking of him as passive was that he did seem to be swept along by events rather than instigating them and also because the regard others had for him seemed to be out of proportion with his actions. Also, Draken was a character who didn’t have a lot of obstacles. Early in the book, I had some sympathy for Draken since he’d just lost everything—his wife, his status, his home, and his respect. Yet he was barely even on this island before his life was looking up. He was found and rescued by a necromancer who put him in contact with the queen, and from there, his situation improved drastically. It seemed as though he didn’t even have to do a whole lot and people were ready to bow down at his feet!

This brings me to the spoiler discussion of Draken’s rise to prominence on Akrasia:

This isn’t the only instance in which a character’s actions made me wonder why they would ever do such a thing. Unfortunately, the other example I think best illustrates this was also late enough in the book that it should be hidden behind spoiler tags.

Osias had some potential as a character since he’s a necromancer who can do amazing feats, but all the characters were flat and bland, especially since they seemed so intent on how wonderful Draken was. The characters did not seem like people in their own right, but they seemed as though they existed solely to revolve around Draken whether it was to praise him, advance him, inform him, make not-so-subtle hints about him, help him, or be a foil to him.

The setting seemed fairly generic to me, even though it isn’t the common European-based fantasy world. It’s a world with 7 moons that are worshiped as gods with different attributes, and it’s composed of several different races of people, some of which are somewhat original. There is a history involving strife and wars among the different kingdoms, but none of it was particularly interesting or original. There’s a lot of magic, but it’s often used as a plot device, whether its Osias and his necromantic powers or the magic sword and its abilities. I prefer magic in my fantasy to be explored with all its advantages and disadvantages instead of used when there needs to be a convenient way of making the plot happen.

Exile did have an intriguing start, and there was a small part of me that was interested in reading to see what the next big revelation would be. Mostly, though, I was just bored with it and did not find it interesting.

My Rating: 3/10

Where I got my reading copy: From the author.

Read Chapter One