Review: The Other Of One – Book Three (The Lythiann Chronicles) by Brian G. Burke

book three otherWhen I first heard the premise for the final part of Brian G. Burke’s stellar
fantasy series, The Other Of One, I have to admit to raising an eyebrow at the
direction it was taking. Although not quite a genre hop, with The Other Of One
Part Three the author has decided to shake things up slightly by pushing the
story forward to a quite different future than we saw at the end of book two, in
this case, while not quite being a modern place, there are now some steampunk-
ish elements now added to the world of Lythiann both time and technology have moved forward during William’s absence.
Now, normally, both as a writer and a reader, I wasn’t sure if this would
work, especially with the investment required to get to this point in the
series. This is a huge story, with a increasingly complex protagonist, and one
who has up to now, relied completely on his companions.
It does work, however, and much more successfully than I expected.
The William we see in part three is much different. He’s an older, more world-
weary version of the young boy we knew previously, and for the most part, takes a back seat for a good portion of this story, as it focuses on the others and their struggle to survive the ever increasing dangers in this formerly magical place, and once again try to defeat the evil forces holding Lythiann to ransom. William’s importance is not to be underestimated however, and the final act will be the ultimate test for him.
It’s a fitting end to the saga, and while being much darker, there are still elements of humour, interspersed with gripping action sequences to offset the more poignant and tragic moments, and Burke once again shows his skill as a writer throughout, with some expertly-crafted prose, breathtaking locations and masterful characterisation.
Book three closes the door on an epic and hugely enjoyable journey, and one that’s well worth taking for anyone interested in fantasy.
If you haven’t already started this series, I highly recommend you download part one for free here.
amazon buy button
amazon uk buy

Review: Knights Of The Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden

knightsOn first hearing the premise for Dave Rudden’s debut Knights Of The Borrowed Dark, one would be forgiven for uttering “Here we go again.”
Let’s face it, the coming-of-age fantasy has been meticulously mined in recent years. Can anyone actually come up with an original story entertaining enough to grab the imagination of readers without veering too far from the seemingly unbreakable rules of the genre?

Well, yes. Dave Rudden has managed just that. He’s taken a tired genre and injected into it new life with a gripping and hugely entertaining romp through supernatural Ireland. Knights Of The Borrowed Dark tells the tale of Denizen Hardwick, a young orphan who discovers he is part of a secret and ancient group tasked with protecting the unsuspecting public from shadowy demons.

The reason this book succeeds where many have failed recently though, is that it’s impeccably crafted. The prose is strong, yet without over-complication, the narrative bold and often boisterous. Rudden’s not afraid to go over the top for good and glory, and this refreshing attitude serves him very well. Interspersed with carefully placed snippets of humour, nostalgia and pop culture references, the story trundles along nicely, and the characters are quickly established and developed, building tension, intrigue and out-and-out mayhem, and while it sets the scene for the further adventures of the wonderfully named Denizen Hardwick, it thankfully doesn’t rely on a huge cliffhanger to twist the reader’s arm, and just relies on the fact that they’ve enjoyed both the writing and the story enough to invest in the further adventures of the Knights Of The Borrowed Dark.

Out now from Puffin.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book 2, The Forever Court now available also.