The holiday season is in full swing which means the countdown to the holiday reading-fest is on!
Whether you’re looking for a last-minute present for a book-lover on your list or you just need an escape from the insane year this has been, here are three book suggestions to help you out!
In no particular order they are:
– The Crystal Eye (Book 1 of The Crystalline Chronicles), by Blake R. Wolfe
– Quicksilver & Brimstone (Book 1 of The Crucible of the Crimson Lion), by Elizabeth Eckstein
– White Trash Warlock (Book 1 of The Adam Binder Novels), by David R. Slayton
All three of them are fantasy novels released in 2020.
All three are the first instalment in a continuing series.
And all three are remarkable!
Note: in no way am I affiliated nor was I involved with the creation or editing process of any of these books—but I definitely wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with any of these writers! I was lucky enough to happen upon them via passing tweets—and in the same week no less! I’m sharing these titles with you because I enjoyed them and I hope you do too.
The Crystal Eye (Book 1 of The Crystalline Chronicles), by Blake R. Wolfe
I preordered this one as soon as I discovered it because it looked so promising—and it delivers!
Welcome to Udalara. A land unlike our own, where magic has disappeared, slavery persists, and dangers lurk at every turn.
One day Dusk, a slave working the mines, makes an incredible discovery, but little does he know that it’s also a life-altering one.
We see Dusk try to escape the bonds of slavery and follow him and his companions on a treacherous path to freedom.
The colourful characters in the story are complex, and while I was truly moved by Dusk’s compassion right from the very beginning of the story, what really impresses me is the world building.
Wolfe has created a whole new world like we’ve never seen before.
It has strange and wonderful places and landscapes, is filled with rich characters, and plays with mystical, magical, and ominous elements.
I think those that grew up on stories by Tolkien but who now want a little more of an edge will find this world enchanting.
What will happen next to Dusk and his companions?
Quicksilver & Brimstone (Book 1 of The Crucible of the Crimson Lion), by Elizabeth Eckstein
This is an exciting start to what I’m sure will be a very interesting series. Instead of the usual story about wizardry, this one enters the world of alchemy. We explore this strange mysterious world through the eyes of Matthew, a young boy who on a school trip wanders off and starts a sequence of events that changes his whole life.
I appreciate that we as the reader discover the wonders of alchemy alongside Matthew, as if we’re with him on the adventure. We feel the excitement and the terror as he does, the guilt about certain betrayals, and the hope and happiness of budding friendship (Simon!).
Matthew starts off feeling alone, but as the story progresses he not only becomes part of a community but feels like he belongs.
I think that’s lovely.
I must also mention the illustrations. There’s at least one per chapter, and they are so detailed and exquisite.
Eckstein does them herself!
If you follow her on Twitter, you’ll see that she’s working on drawings for Book 2.
I can’t wait to see how the story continues!
For more about The Crucible of the Crimson Lion series, read an interview with Elizabeth Eckstein.
White Trash Warlock (Book 1 of The Adam Binder Novels), by David R. Slayton
As all good stories start, one night I was on Twitter… I happened upon a tweet describing this new book as the love child of Supernatural and the Dresden book series.
You know from my blog that I love the Winchester boys (see post here) and I’ve been known to go on a few Dresden adventures from time time. Needless to say, I bought and devoured the book.
As odd as that description may be, I think it’s a perfect encapsulation of this story, but in the best way imaginable. It goes beyond those two inspirations and creates its own magical landscape with its own set of rules and amazing additions.
Through Adam, the main character who has some magical ability, we visit other planes, meet gruesome creatures, and bump into beings from lore that we all know and recognize but with Slayton’s own creative spin.
Whether you’re a novice to the supernatural or not, this book is a great mystery/adventure that has so much heart and complexity of character.
I’m excited to see where Book 2 will take us and what magical lore awaits.
For more about The Adam Binder Novels, read an interview with David R. Slayton.
If you need a fantastical escape this holiday, be sure to check out one, two, or all three of these titles—you won’t regret it!
Working on your own manuscript? Need a second set of eyes to help catch those pesky mistakes?
Contact me for proofreading and copyediting help!
Thank you for sharing this time together. See you again soon.