'Writing for me is not about speeling, grammar or punctuation – that’s why we have editors.... No, writing for me is the ability to capture a story and put it in words.' - Fantasy Muse

Saturday 28 April 2018

The Great Hearts

Front Cover


Imperator. A word synonymous with fear, pain, loathing and, for a chosen few, the sharp end of a blade. The voice of the Emperor, an Imperator is the perfect weapon, skilled in combat, politics and strategy and moulded by years of punishing training. They are the hidden assassins, the enforcers of the Emperor’s will.  
They are the hunters of the unknown.  
Calidan Darkheart is an Imperator, a self-professed killer and an adept hunter of the creatures that most citizens of the Empire do not realise exist.
Together with his hulking companion Cassius, he hunts the beast that slaughtered their home village. 
Pity those who find themselves in their path. 
Calidan and Cassius were bright young boys, living peaceful, happy lives in a remote mountain village, until the day everything changed. Once the screams have subsided, and with the horrors they have seen embedded in their minds, they embark on a journey of survival, fraught with danger, strange magic and dark deeds. Unbowing and undaunted they push forward, striving for power, making lifelong friendships along the way, and above all else, discovering the truth behind the magnificent, mythical Great Hearts.  
Young Calidan is a boy full of hope and courage, driven by the past but not ruled by it.
Old Calidan is a bitter and twisted killer of monsters and men, his past haunting his dreams.  
This is his story.

My Review

After reading the blurb, it got me excited, more than most books I've read recently, and while I can say I'm looking forward to the 2nd book, my initial level of excitement didn't quite materialise into the same level of enjoyment.

The story is about 2 boys living in a tribal village, whereby they are suddenly attacked by a band of ruthless killers. Their entire village is slaughtered, but the 2 boys manage to escape. Through luck and skill they survive, and the rest of the story follows their path to revenge as they grow and become stronger. 

The book is told in a journal type format, similar to The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I don't normally enjoy those type of books, but this books does a good job in blending the past with the present, and it wasn't totally focused on the past.

The first half the book had me hooked and I couldn't stop reading. It had been awhile since I was so engrossed in a book and so I was a little disappointed that the 2nd portion of the book didn't continue in the same rich form.
I'm not saying it was a dramatic fall in quality but I felt the storyline shifted in a wholly different tangent which I didn't expect or admittedly enjoy. I don't want to spoil it but to say that for me it just didn't work for me.
Another reason was that I couldn't quite fathom the tone of the book; the story started very dark and graphic, which I thought set the tone for the rest of the book, but then it shifted to almost child like innocence for majority of the book, with the occasional dramatic shift in maturity, I have to say it left me confused - like reading Harry Potter mixed with Game of Thrones. 

I thought the characterisation of both boys were done really well, and as it was told in Calidan's first person you got a real sense of his character and his special relationship with his 'cat', Seya, who I thought pretty much stole the show (if you're a cat person then you'll enjoy this book).


A very well written book and despite my issues with the story, it was still enjoyable and well worth a read.

Out of 10 Stars:

8 Stars

Buy it here:

Saturday 21 April 2018

ONSET: Stay of Execution

ONSET: Stay of Execution by Glynn Stewart.

Front Cover


The Vampire War is over.The United States is reeling.The Masquerade is fragmenting.The Apocalypse is here… 
The long and bloody war with the vampires in the United States has finally ended, thanks to the efforts of the vampire Arbiter and ONSET Commander David White—and a nuclear explosion on American soil.The final battle proves harder to conceal than hoped, however, and a series of high profile incidents end any chance of hiding the supernatural. Suddenly the world is faced with the fact that it is both more wonderful and more terrible than humanity ever realized. 
But as the US Government struggles to adapt to this new reality, old enemies have set into motion plans that could render humanity’s struggles irrelevant. There are those beyond the Seal who were once Gods…and they want their planet back!

My Review

This is the fourth book in the series and for those who haven't read the other proceeding books then this review will probably leave you lost.

I'm a big fan of Glynn Stewart's Onset series and after the ending of the third book, I was excited to continue the story.

The fourth instalment picks up immediately from the third and Commander White continues to be as resolute and heroic as any superhero. 

There is a rather big shift in trajectory from the other books in that the whole world have come to learn that the supernatural exist and the story deals with the fall out of such discovery and there's also a small thing about an impending apocalypse. 

Whilst the book is around 300 odd pages long, there is a huge amount of things going on, and the plot never rests. Whilst that made it a quick read, I didn't quite get the same level of enjoyment as the other books. The main reason being that there I didn't feel there was enough depth to the storyline and characterisation - which I can understand given the frantic pace of the book - and in the end it felt slightly hollow to me.

But don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I really hope that Glynn Stewart continues the series as there is so much potential in terms of storyline.


If you've read the other books in the series then I don't even need to sell it to you. Whilst not Stewart's best, it still sits comfortably better than most other supernatural books. 

For those who haven't read the Onset series, and you're a fan of urban fantasy, then you're missing out on a collection of books that are fun, action packed, filled with heroic characters and provides that little escapism that we are looking for.

Out of 10 Stars

7 Stars

Buy it here: