Modesitt continues his bestselling Saga of Recluce with the twentieth book in this long-running epic fantasy series.
Beltur began his journey in The Mongrel Mage and continues in Outcasts of Order, the next book of his story arc in the Saga of Recluce.
Beltur, an Order mage, discovers he possesses frightening powers not seen for hundreds of years. With his new abilities, he survives the war in Elparta and saves the lives of all. However, victory comes with a price. His fellow mages now see him as a threat to be destroyed, and the local merchants want to exploit his power.
There’s only one way he can remain free and survive — he’s going to have to run.
This series is for avid readers of Brandon Sanderson, and all readers who appreciate an intricate and well-developed magic system in their epic fantasy.
Darren Dash's Midsummer's Bottom was published in April/June 2018.
Information about Darren Dash:
Darren Dash was born in England in 1972, but has spent most of his life in Ireland. Under the name of Darren Shan, he has sold over 25 million books worldwide, mainly in the YA market. While Darren is as active on that front as ever, he is now also exploring other worlds and different types of stories under the Darren Dash banner, which he uses to keep his adult and YA markets separate from one another.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about Midsummer's Bottom:
The Midsummer Players stage an outdoor version of A Midsummer Night's Dream every year on Midsummer's Eve, in a glade in a forest. The actors have a wonderful time, even though they’re dreadful. Audience members appreciate the effort they put in and applaud politely, but almost never attend more than once. Except for...
...the fey folk!
All of the fairies named in the play are obliged to attend every performance, due to a deal that they struck back in the day with a mischievous Master Shakespeare. In an attempt to disband the irksome Midsummer Players on the eve of their twentieth anniversary, Oberon and Puck hire a human agent of chaos to infiltrate the actors' ranks and set them against one another by focusing on secret attractions and grudges that have been lying dormant up to now. Sparks will fly, and everyone will come to blows, but it's all executed with a wink and a grin, and there will be more smiles than tears by the end. At least, that’s the plan...
Inspired by the Bard's immortal play (which it also weaves into its plot), this light-hearted Comedy is a novel in the spirit of the movies Smiles Of A Summer Night and A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, and the musical A Little Night Music. For lovers of Shakespeare, chaos and fairies everywhere.
REVIEW: MIDSUMMER'S BOTTOM BY DARREN DASH
Darren Dash's Midsummer's Bottom is one of the most entertaining novels of the year, because it's filled with details, plot twists, colourful characters and plenty of humour. This light-hearted and amusing novel will delight and entertain readers who want to read good and immersive escapism. I was deeply impressed by the story and found it absolutely charming. I haven't read anything as good and amusing as this since G.S. Denning Warlock Holmes stories (this novel is simply brilliant in its approach to Shakespeare's famous play).
In this novel, the author uses Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream as a basis for his story and spices up everything with loads of humour, quirkiness and unrestrained whimsiness. I'm amazed at the author's ability to write this kind of fiction, because the story is highly enjoyable in its quirkiness. If you're fan of Shakepeare's plays, I'm sure that you'll love this novel, because it's simultaneously a kind of a mischievous tribute to Shakespeare and a sparkling parody of his play.
The most important thing about writing this kind of fiction is that an author must be willing to go all the way to create a successful and unique story and not leave things unfinished or unexplored. It's great that Darren Dash goes all the way in his treatment of Shakespeare's famous play and writes shamelessly about many things, because it elevates the story to a whole new level of depth and fascination.
Midsummer's Bottom tells of The Midsummer Players who stage an outdoor version of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream every year on Midsummer's Eve. The play is held in glade in a forest in Limerick. The actors are not very good (actually, they're rather bad and quite dreadful in almost every regard), but they have a wonderful time during the performances. The audience is not very taken by their performances, but the fey folk are obligated to attend each performance no matter how dreadful the performances are, because they struck a deal with William Shakespeare. The fey folk have had enough of the performances and have come to regret the deal, because they've had to suffer through every version of the play during the past four centuries. Oberon, his Queen Titania and Puck have come up with a cunning plan to disband the actors and rid themselves of the performances forever. They hire a human agent, Del Chapman, to cause havoc on the actors by letting him focus on their secret attractions, feelings and grudges...
As you can imagine by this brief synopsis of the happenings, there will be plenty of sparks between the characters. What I've mentioned here is merely the beginning. Things will get much worse for the actors and more hilarious for the readers as Del's plans begin to take shape and affect everyone who's involved in the performance.
The story flows wonderfully from start to finish and has Shakespearean properties: playfulness, surprises and depth. It's fun to read how the actors prepare themselves for the performance and how they have no idea what kind of a conductor of chaos they've allowed to come amongst them. The rehearsals are marvellously entertaining and feature many details that bring enthrallment to the story.
The diverse characters are what brings the story alive and gives it the edge it needs to succeed. I was pleased with the characterisation, because it works well. The author writes fluently about the human characters and also pays attention to the fairies. Each of the characters is portrayed in a believable way and their lives are explored in details.
Here's a bit of information about the characters:
- Del is a man who becomes the instrument of chaos, because the fairies want him to help them disband The Midsummer Players for good.
- Anna is a woman who has married her older teacher, Terence, who is unfaithful to her. She is aware of Terence's affairs with other women.
- Ingmar is a young German man, who is a DJ. He dates an older man, Don.
- Don is a drama teacher. He is a bit worried about his relationship with Ingmar.
- Kate is a young woman who has an affair with Anna's husband, Terence.
- Felix is married to an older woman, Nuala, who writes romantic fiction.
- Diarmid is a banker who lives for his work.
There's also Finn, but in fear of writing serious spoilers I won't say anything about him or his background. I'll only reveal that readers will delight in reading about him and his deeds. He's quite an intriguing character and has an important role to play in the story.
I enjoyed reading about Del, because he was an intelligent man who was a wizard with computers and viruses. His enthusiasm towards computer viruses intrigued me, because he seemed to love the chaos they caused. His becoming of the instrument of chaos is handled brilliantly and offers plenty of entertainment to readers.
The author does his best to bring out the differences between the characters and fleshes out how they feel about each other. Their feelings, insecurities, needs and relationships are deftly explored during the story. It's fun to read about what happens to the characters, because the author doesn't hold anything back, but lets the story go where it needs to go.
Things related to attraction, sex, sexuality and lust spice up the story in a wonderful way. The author writes boldly about heterosexual and homosexual relationships and has an eye for shameless playfulness, which serves as an icing on the cake. The scenes involving sexual elements are written in an unforgettable way and feature plenty of eroticism and unabashed sexuality.
If you're familiar with Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, you'll be instantly captivated by this novel, because the author weaves elements from the play to his story in a charming and entertaining way. There's nothing clumsy or forced about the author's way of combining different elements, because everything works perfectly.
The prose is good and the verses and rhymes are beautiful. I enjoyed reading about how Puck and the fairies speak in rhymes, because the author uses quite a lot of Shakespearean language. This kind of poetic language is a pleasure to read.
Midsummer's Bottom has an amazing amount of humour and plenty of underlying sharpness and delicious chaos. When you begin to read it, you'll laugh out loud at various points during the story, because there are many humorous scenes. The author's sense of humour impressed me, because I'm fond of humorous, satirical and parodical stories. His humour is inventive and refined yet raucous and unrestrained. This novel has the best elements of British and Irish humour, because it succeeds in making its readers laugh and grin with amusement and delight.
My final words are:
Darren Dash's Midsummer's Bottom is a novel filled with magic, mayhem and good old-fashioned storytelling that will hook readers from the very first page and takes them on a riveting ride into the enthralling world of actors, fairies and magic dust. Light-hearted and humorous escapism doesn't get any better than this, so please make sure that you'll read this novel as soon as possible. This novel is an excellent summer read and should not be missed by those who love frolicsome and humorous stories with plot twists.
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Gail Z. Martin.
This guest post is part of the author's Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour.
About the Author
The Hawthorn Moon is the annual summer blog tour for Gail Z. Martin, and features guest blog posts, giveaways, surprises, excerpts and more on a number of blogs worldwide. Find the master list of posts and goodies at www.GailZMartin.com
Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, and Falstaff Books. Series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and Deadly Curiosities. The Mark Wojcik Monster Hunter series and Iron & Blood in the Jake Desmet Steampunk series are co-authored with Larry N. Martin, along with the related Storm and Fury Adventures. She also writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance as Morgan Brice, including the Witchbane and Badlands series.
Vengeance: A Darkhurst novel, is the second in a new epic fantasy series. Her Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC has a new novel, Tangled Web, and a new collection, Trifles and Folly 2. The Mark Wojcik Monster Hunter series includes Spells, Salt, and Steel, Open Season and Deep Trouble in a new comedic horror/urban fantasy series (Falstaff) and the Iron & Blood universe has the Storm and Fury Adventures collection of short stories, and an upcoming new novel, Spark of Destiny.
Gail is also the author of Scourge: A Novel of Darkhurst, Ice Forged, Reign of Ash, War of Shadows and Shadow and Flame in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen); The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) and the urban fantasy novels Deadly Curiosities and Vendetta. Gail writes three ebook series: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures and The Blaine McFadden Adventures.
Her work has appeared in over 35 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens, Gaslight and Grimm, Hath No Fury, Journeys, #We Are Not This, The Baker Street Irregulars, In a Cat’s Eye, and Afterpunk: Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife.
Find her at www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin. She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign www.HoldOnToTheLight.com
GUEST POST: Unintended Consequences by Gail Z. Martin
Félicien Champsaur's The Emerald Princess and Other Decadent Fantasies was published by Snuggly Books in December 2017.
Information about Félicien Champsaur:
Félicien Champsaur (1858-1934) was a prolific French novelist and journalist. A core member of Émile Goudeau’s literary club, the Hydropathes, he later became, through his own periodical, Le Panurge, loosely aligned with key figures of the Decadent Movement, such as Jean Lorrain and Rachilde. Though writing novels in a number of different veins, and attempting to establish himself as a “serious novelist” he was never able to shake off his reputation as a composer of risqué romances and erotic fantasies, a reputation that was not at odds with his public image.
Information about The Emerald Princess and Other Decadent Fantasies:
The Emerald Princess, originally published in 1928 as La Princesse émeraude, is one of the more whimsical productions of a rather self-indulgent period of Félicien Champsaur’s career, deliberately harking back to the stylistic extravagances of the Decadent Movement. In this attempt by the author to go beyond anything he had done before, in producing a kind of ultimate femme fatale, Djila, the snake-woman, was created.
An engagingly bizarre fantasy, full of lurid symbolism, The Emerald Princess is combined in this volume with five other stories, all presented in English for the first time in exquisite translations by Brian Stableford.
REVIEW: THE EMERALD PRINCESS AND OTHER DECADENT FANTASIES BY FÉLICIEN CHAMPSAUR
Risingshadow has the honour of hosting an exclusive excerpt from A Demon in Silver by R.S. Ford. This excerpt is part of A Demon in Silver Blog Tour.
Information about R.S. Ford:
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.
Information about A Demon in Silver:
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.
A Demon in Silver was published by Titan Books.
AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM A DEMON IN SILVER BY R.S. FORD
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Maurice Broaddus.
About Maurice Broaddus:
Maurice Broaddus is an exotic dancer, trained in several forms of martial arts – often referred to as “the ghetto ninja” – and was voted the Indianapolis Dalai Lama. He’s an award winning haberdasher and coined the word “acerbic”. He graduated college at age 14 and high school at age 16. Not only is he credited with inventing the question mark, he unsuccessfully tried to launch a new number between seven and eight.
When not editing or writing, he is a champion curler and often impersonates Jack Bauer, but only in a French accent. He raises free range jackalopes with his wife and two sons ... when they are not solving murder mysteries.
He really likes to make up stories. A lot. Especially about himself.
He has a new story in the Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology.
Click here to visit his official website.
About Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology:
Outland Entertainment is proud to bring you Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology. Featuring fourteen brand new tales of scheming anti-heroes and dark protagonists from the wrong side of the palace gates, Knaves brings together some of the finest fantasy authors in the industry in a book that will make readers wonder, “What is the ‘right side,’ anyway?” Authors include Mercedes Lackey, Anna Smith Spark, Kenny Soward, Cullen Bunn, Maurice Broaddus, Anton Strout, Walidah Imarisha, Cat Rambo, Lian Hearn, and more! Edited by Melanie R. Meadors and Alana Joli Abbott
GUEST POST: The Secret Origin of “Daughter of Sorrow” by Maurice Broaddus