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Book Review: The Blade Itself

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The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie is the first book in the First Law trilogy – and it is definitely the first book in a series. The Blade Itself takes the hard work of the trilogy by being the ‘setup book’, slowly introducing all the characters and their motivations, and bringing them all together for one reason or another. This is actually my greatest frustration with The...

Apparently I should be writing

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I have a big problem with procrastinating. I will do anything other than what I am supposed to do. This ironically leads me to sometimes do productive things (like cleaning the house), or nice things (like going out to get Becky a present), instead of what I actually should be doing – which is more often than not, writing. For me, I think the big problem was a word I used in that last...

Book Review: The Red Knight

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The Red Knight by Miles Cameron is a thoroughly enjoyable medieval fantasy hack-n-slash that is heavily focused on two things: grizzly authentic medieval combat, and making the main character as cool as possible in the eyes of the reader and everyone else in the story. The book focuses on the war between mankind vs the wild (monsters), with the Red Knight being the leader of a mercenary company...

Book Review: The Name of the Wind

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The Name of the Wind by the great bearded Patrick Rothfuss is a funny old beast. It follows the story of Kvothe, a gifted boy with a natural talent for learning which applies itself quite readily to magic. Why is it a funny old beast? Because it reads like epic fantasy, but nothing epic really happens, at least in this first book. The whole story is told through a series of flashbacks by Kvothe...

Learning from the masters

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Knowing how to analyse a story is one of the first lessons we all need to learn as writers. By analysing our favourite stories we can learn how they work, what makes them great, and hopefully how we can make our own stories great too. For me, I tend to go through a book a week. This isn’t some kind of my dick is bigger/smaller/greener than yours boast, it’s just a fact. There are...

Game Review: Tyranny

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Sometimes, evil wins. Tyranny is a game where there was no last minute hero, no deus ex machina, no chosen one. Only an evil villain that took over the world with very little real resistance. It’s an excellent example of a game exploring one simple concept: what if the good guys lost? And reminds me very much of Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Mistborn’ novels. Tyranny is set in a...