Sidhe Vicious Reviews

Spoiler Free Reviews & More Book-ish Goings On :)

Robert Louis Smith – Guest Post


Today we have YA Fantasy author, Robert Louis Smith here at SVR to celebrate the release and official debut at NYC ComicCon this weekend of his novel, Antiquitas Lost: The Last Of The Shamalans! He’s written up a wonderful guest post about how he came to write this book. The book also contains over 70 full page illustrations by Marvel Comics legend Geof Isherwood!

Here’s a bit about the book itself & the author:

“Description
From American cardiologist Robert Louis Smith comes the unique fantasy novel Antiquitas Lost, peppered with more than 70 eye-popping illustrations by Marvel Comics legend Geof Isherwood. This epic fantasy tells the story of a 15-year-old boy named Elliott, a bullied kid with deformities on his hands and feet who is uprooted from his home after his mother falls gravely ill. When they move to New Orleans so his grandfather can help care for her, Elliott learns that the old man’s eighteenth century mansion hides an ancient secret. From a dungeon-like basement far beneath the estate, Elliott strays through an ancient doorway into Pangrelor, a tumultuous parallel world full of bizarre creatures and warring races. Unable to return home, he discovers wondrous abilities he never dreamed he possessed, and an abiding connection to the primitive, alien world that will forever change him.

But he must proceed carefully. For he soon learns that his actions in the ancient world will impact the upcoming battle for Harwelden, Pangrelor’s mightiest civilization, and will also resonate all the way back to New Orleans, perhaps deciding whether his mother lives or dies.

Author Bio
Robert Louis Smith, author of Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the Shamalans, has numerous degrees, including psychology (B.A.), applied microbiology (B.S.), anaerobic microbiology (M.Sc.), and a Medical Doctorate (M.D.). He serves as an interventional cardiologist at the Oklahoma Heart Institute. He is married and the father of two young children. He began writing Antiquitas Lost in 2003 while studying at Tulane University in New Orleans.”

And here’s Robert’s guest blog!

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Smackdown: Pangrelor vs. Middle Earth
By Robert Louis Smith,

In 1954, J.R.R. Tolkien published the first of a breathtaking series of books that would go on to become some of the most influential novels of the 20th century. As anyone who has ever read The Lord of the Rings knows, Tolkien’s books are so imaginative and unexpectedly powerful that his fantastic tale still captures our imaginations more than a half century after its original publication. These stories gave birth to the modern fantasy genre, and it is perhaps inevitable that so many contemporary fantasy books replicate aspects of Tolkien’s writings. So pervasive is Tolkien’s influence that the Oxford English Dictionary offers a word for it: Tolkienesque. Perhaps this is why we see so many fantasy tales that feature elves, dwarves, wizards, magic rings, and magic swords. The presence of these features is, in many ways, what we have come to expect from a modern fantasy novel.

But over the course of 57 years, these constructs of classical Northern European (or Tolkienesque) fantasy fiction have been imitated to the point of monotony. In tome after tome, we see elves and dwarves wielding magical swords or speaking in Northern European conlangs (fictional languages) as they follow some particular heroic quest. And let’s be honest. Although there are many wonderful and imaginative novels that feature these elements, no one has done it as well as Mr. Tolkien.

When I sat down to write Antiquitas Lost, I promised myself there would be no magic rings, magic swords, elves or dwarves. A major goal was to create a fantasy novel where the creatures and setting were fresh. Pangrelor, the fantasy world described in Antiquitas Lost, is envisioned as a pre-industrial, medieval society with beautiful artistic accomplishments set in a savage and magical natural environment — the Renaissance meets the Pleistocene, with magical beings and crypto-zoological creatures. Devoid of elves and dwarves, Pangrelor is inhabited largely by creatures that we are familiar with, but different from the usual fantasy fare — gargoyles, Bigfoot creatures, Neanderthal types, Atlanteans and dinosaurs, to name a few. These differences give Pangrelor a much different feel from Middle Earth and the countless, adherent worlds that have followed. Hopefully the reader will find this refreshing. Over time, I have come to think of Antiquitas Lost as more of a “North American” tale, with many references to new world mythologies, as well as a hint of Native American influence.

Although Antiquitas Lost is not immune to Mr. Tolkien’s sweeping influence, it is unique in many ways. When you take your first journey to Pangrelor, it is my sincere hope that you will experience a hint of the joy that accompanied your maiden voyage to Middle Earth, and that you will connect in a meaningful way with this unprecedented new cast of characters as you explore an altogether unique fantasy destination.

© 2011 Robert Louis Smith, author of Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the Shamalans

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Thanks so much Robert! I just recently received my review copy, so look for a review soon. 🙂

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September 30, 2011 Posted by | Guest Blogger, New Author, New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, Spotlight On... | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sorrow – Spotlight & Review


Sorrow by John Lawson

Book Description:

“Return to Lawson’s world of Witch Ember with a new tale of darkness, intrigue, and violence. A tale of Sorrow.

 A new killer stalks the palaces of the EroBernd Empire, striking down prominent members of the gentry and clergy, seemingly at will. No amount of security is an impediment, no number of bodyguards a deterrent. This killer enters unseen and departs untouched, leaving behind scenes of butchery and blood. Duke Valven of EroBernd decides to send his chief assassin, Count Hashii, to the boutique province of Vestiga to resolve the matter before it can cause any further embarrassment. Locals have already contrived a name for this assassin, based on descriptions from victims who lived long enough to tell the tale: a wraith of shadow–a countenance of immeasurable remorse–and eyes that wept black tears.

It is a contest of assassins. One discreet and renowned, an artist tempered by years of service–the other a savage neophyte, ephemeral and unstoppable–both ruthless and deadly. Can the infamous Lord Ash stop the bloodshed and discover the identity of the assassin known as Sorrow?”

My Thoughts:

I was sent this book to review by the author, John Lawson. It’s the third book in the Witch Ember series, and though I hadn’t read the first two books, I had no trouble following along. For me, it took a bit to get into the story, but once I did, I really wanted to keep reading and find out what would happen. I would classify it as Fantasy mixed in with Mystery, with rich characters and world building.

The story has murder, courtly machinations and intrigue, assasins and several plot twists to keep you reading. John Lawson has crafted a fine tale to take you away from the real world.

      

John Lawson’s Website

Drollerie Press

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Reviews, Spotlight On... | , , , , | 1 Comment

Magic Lost, Trouble Found – Spotlight & Review


Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin     Published: June 2007 by ACE Fantasy

Format:Mass Market Paperbound

Published:May 17, 2007

Dimensions:352 Pages

Published By:Berkley Mass Market

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN – 10:
0441015050
ISBN – 13:9780441015054

(from back cover) “My name is Raine Benares. I’m a seeker. The people who hire me are usually happy when I find things. But some things are better left unfound…

Raine is a sorceress of moderate powers, from an extended family of smugglers and thieves. With a mix of street smarts and magic spells, she can usually take care of herself. But when her friend Quentin, a not-quite reformed thief, steals an amulet from the home of a powerful necromancer, Raine finds herself wrapped up in more trouble than she cares for. She likes attention as much as the next girl, but having an army of militant goblins hunting her down is not her idea of a good time. The amulet they’re after holds limitless power, derived from an ancient, soul-stealing stone. And when Raine takes possesion of the item, it takes possesion of her.

Now her moderate powers are increasing beyond anything she could imagine – but is the resume enhancement worth her soul?”

 I found this book to be a really pleasant surprise. I couldn’t put it down! It was in the fantasy section, and the author did a great job of pulling me into Raine’s world. Very believable, alot of action, intriguing plot, great smorgasbord of characters, and the author has a sense of humor which is always appreciated by me. Elves, Goblins, Magic & Mayhem. I highly recommend it and am looking forward to the next book in Raine Benares’s Mermeia. Magic Lost, Trouble Found gets

(moved over from my original blog)

February 9, 2008 Posted by | Reviews | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment