The first bit of news is that I am able to use WordPress at home again. I solved this by simply logging off of WordPress and logging back in. Everything works now. Quick take: I’m quite often not the sharpest sword in smithy when it comes to simple solutions. But hey, at least I (finally) solved the problem myself.
Last night I completed The True Bastards by Jonathan French, the sequel to The Grey Bastards. The Pages Read count for the year is now 10783. I had to make a correction to this number because I had the page count for the Amra Thetys Omnibus incorrect on the spreadsheet I am using to track my progress and I didn’t realize it until I started posting the reviews of each story. This has happened before when I used Amazon’s page count initially as a placeholder – their page count numbers are occasionally inaccurate, so if I don’t go back and update my spreadsheet once the I have the book in hand, my numbers will be off.
Up next: I’ve started The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft, the third book in the Books of Babel series.
And finally, with the TBR pile starting to look a little thin (other than a boatload of Malazan novels), I placed a couple of orders after browsing through Amazon last night:
I’m really intrigued by Son of the Black Sword…though a sentient black sword is not an original idea, the oriental influence, along with questions of morality vs. religion vs. law sound intriguing, and the combat sequences are said to be top notch. The sequel was released earlier this year so I’ll be picking up that too, assuming I connect with this book.
I’m surprised I had not run across this until now. Ravine of Blood and Shadow is the first book in the Annals of the Nameless Dwarf series. According to a September 4, 2018 post on D. P. Pryor’s blog on his website:
“It’s been nine years since I wrote the first Nameless Dwarf story, a short story called The Ant-Man of Malfen. Ant-Man was accepted for publication in volume five of Pulp Empire, and from then on in I began to receive emails asking for more.
The first five Nameless Dwarf novellas I subsequently wrote were published together in an omnibus edition, Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf in 2012 and went on to become an international bestseller as an indie publication.
I followed up the novellas with a full-length novel, Return of the Dwarf Lords…
I decided to take the opportunity to give the series a much needed revision. There had been a mad rush to meet deadlines when I wrote books one and two, and I was never fully satisfied with the cohesion of the narrative as a whole. And so I started to re-read and make small changes, then the small changes became large ones, and before I knew it I was neck-deep in a total re-write. Scenes were axed (characters too); scenes were added. Big words were ditched in favor of simpler ones. Names were changed, again to make them easier for the reader. Whole passages of prose were trimmed, and many thousands of words were cut.
The result: a much faster, more succinct, and focused read. It’s not only improved the series, but in essence it has created something new.
The structure has also been altered: there are currently six novels now, varying in length between 75,000 and 90,000 words. I have already started writing book 7. Book 8 is planned, and book 9 is already written but requires some substantial revision.”
Prior released the initial re-written book, Ravine of Blood and Shadow, in January of 2019. And currently, the first 6 books have been re-written and released, all with hard cover editions available, with books 7-9 coming in 2020. As a lover of the hard cover format, this naturally caught my attention. When I read Prior’s latest blog post where he indicated that signed hard covers were available directly through him, after a few email exchanges and a payment sent, a signed hard cover of Ravine of Blood and Shadow on its way to me, possibly arriving before Christmas. This seemed like a no-brainer, especially since it places the money directly into Prior’s pocket. As a result, I’ll be reading and reviewing this one almost as soon as it arrives. The small page count means it would be the shortest book I’ve read this year, but also means I can finish it quickly and order the remaining books if the first one resonates with me.