Saturday, January 28, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

6 comments
Dear Readers,
when you read this post I'm still in Rome. It is not the expected weekend post. But it is something special.


In 2011 I wrote a review in German of Der Prinz der Dunkelheit which is the German edition of Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence.
I posted the review over at GOODREADS.
I titled my review as followed: Die Schönheit von Bosheit und Gewalt in Wort und Tat
which means in English
The beauty of malice and violence in thought and deed.

The German cover is the mirror image of the English cover. Normally the covers differ a lot and mostly they are completely different

I read the English edition in order to compare both editions. The German translator did a great job.
First, I wanted to write an own review of the English edition. But I can't get the German one out of my head. Therefore I decided to translate my German review into proper English and revise it afterward.
That was more difficult than I expected. I'm happy with the result which is - honestly spoken - not a one to one word by word translation. You will find the review in German after the English one. So you have the choice which one you would like to read.



The beauty of malice, violence and consistency in thought and deed

There was once a young prince, who lived happily with his family until that fateful day when his mother and his brother have been killed by Count Renar's men. He seeked revenge. With the active help of robbers and soldiers he traversed the country to take his revenge. At the end of his vendetta, he ascended the throne at the age of 15.

That is what the summary of 'Prince of Thorns' would look like - if it were a fairy tale and not a fantasy novel. But as the title reads, this is the story of the 'Prince of Thorns'.

This is the story of the prince named Jorg Ankrath. The boy, though heir to the throne, spent a happy time with his little brother William, under the loving care of an all-giving mother. But wars do not take into consideration. At the age of nine Jorg - caught in a thorn bush - is forced to witness the gruesome death of his beloved brother and mother, performed by the men of Count Renar. After that horrible night, he spent nine weeks between life and death. A single thought brought him back to life: REVENGE!

This is the first part of the story of the Prince of Jorg Anrath. At 15, he sits on the throne. He tells us himself how it came about. This means that the reader automatically slips into Jorg's head. This can be daunting for some readers, because compared to Jorg's thoughts the intellectual world of Hannibal Lecter, let Hannibal Lecter appear as the nice man from next door. Jorg is governed by a sense of ice-cold strength of purpose and consistency paired with brutality. As can be seen on the cover, corpses pave his way. But he does not kill for pleasure. He is excellent at what he does. I've rarely seen such an intelligent, clever, educated man. Jorg is equipped with a knack for strategic thinking and leadership. He knows sentimentality just as little as the waste of resources. He is aware that his goals in this world can only be only achieved by the most consistent and ruthless man. In order to maintain unimpaired reading pleasure, pass on examples. Jorg is an anti-hero in every sense, who knows how to captivate the reader. This leads, depending on the moral concept of the reader, from the traceability of Jorg's actions up to sympathy. While you learn quite a lot about Jorg. Both his comrades and his enemies have to be satisfied with less but still adequate characterizations, which does not derogate the story. But there are still other forces on who play their very own game which is even after the end of the book not entirely comprehensible.

The Jorg centered plot is divided into two story lines. We accompany Jorg on the way back to the home castle. What happened before is told in flashbacks. Each of these flashbacks gradually provide a coherent picture of Jorg. And that runs through the whole book. Thus the reader is waiting with bated breath for each flashback. I hope I don't giv away too much, when at the end it turns out that even the most hard-nosed and intelligent Jorg did not overlook the whole situation. A great starting point for the following volumes yet.

Let's have a look at world. There is a map available. This map shows a continent in the world, which slightly looks like Europe. There are cities like Limoges and Lion; areas such as the Normardy, rivers like Rhyme. Overall, the whole thing reminds me a little of the small German states before 1871. On the obvious level, we are dealing with a stuffed version of a medieval world of castles and knights. This world is enriched with secret arts and magic. There are books of Plutarch and Nietzsche in this world! If you narrow down the search to the hidden clues and then combine these clues, the result will be the statement that this is a post-apocalyptic world. This is an awesome hook for the following books.

I think it's not easy to write about the language and the style of translated books. How much remains of the original author? What the translator has conjured up? I read the English version too and I can honestly tell you that the translator Andreas Brandhorst did a splendid job. Kudos o Andreas Brandhorst. This is an excellent translation. He has managed to translate the sober but elegant-looking style of writing and the language that uses the power of Tolkien like descriptions into perfect German. The translation allows the reader to celebrate the beauty of malice and violence in thought and deed, without to participate in the glorification of power.

Many years ago I watched the television series Twin Peaks. There is one quote I still remember: "The owls are not what they seem."
And so it is with the 'Prince of Thorns'. It Looks like the unremarkable fantasy debut with a young protagonist as an avenger. But there is so much more!

You search for a fantasy novel off the beaten paths track - dark and brutal as the books by Joe Abercrombie, as intelligent as the Locke Lamora books by Scott Lynch, consistent and violent as Rorschach from Watchmen, with a
sober and elegant writing style, with a language that use the power of images and Tolkien like descriptions, with an end that is neither a cliffhanger nor still has a definitely end, but celebrates the super fine break between two books, the beauty of malice and violence in thought and deed, without the violence to glorify, with an unexpectedly extraordinary protagonist, who has more depth than many others, who is actor and puppet at the same time - THEN you should not refuse yourself from buying a copy of 'Prince of Thorns. Mark Lawrence delivered with 'Prince of Thorns' one of the best fantasy debuts in 2011.



Die Schönheit von Bosheit, Gewalt und Konsequenz in Gedanken und Tat

Es war einmal ein junger Prinz, der lebte glücklich und zufrieden im Kreise seiner Familie bis zu jenem verhängnisvollen Tag, an dem die Männer des Grafen Renar Mutter und Bruder umbrachten. Er sann auf Rache. Unter tatkräftiger Hilfe von Räubern und Soldaten durchzog er das Land um Rache zu üben. Am Ende seines Rachefeldzugs bestieg er den Königsthron im Alter von 15 Jahren.

So könnte die Zusammenfassung von 'Prinz der Dunkelheit' aussehen - wenn es den ein Märchen und kein Fantasy Roman wäre. Aber dies ist die Geschichte des 'Prince of Thorns', wie der Originaltitel lautet.

Dies ist die Geschichte des Prinzen mit Namen Jorg von Ankrath. Der Knabe, obwohl Thronfolger, verbrachte eine glückliche Zeit mit seinem kleinen Bruder William unter der liebevollen Obhut einer alles gebenden Mutter. Doch Kriege nehmen keine Rücksicht. Im Alter von neun Jahren muss Jorg - gefangen in einem Dornenbusch - den grauenvollen Tod von Bruder und Mutter, vollzogen von den Männern des Grafen Renar, mitansehen. Nach jener grauenvollen Nacht verbrachte er neun Wochen zwischen Leben und Tod. Ein einziger Gedanke brachte in wieder zurück auf die Straße de Lebens: RACHE!

Dies ist der erste Teil der Geschichte des Prinzen Jorg von Anrath. Mit 15 sitzt er auf dem Thron. Er erzählt uns höchstpersönlich , wie es dazu kam. Das heißt, das derLeser automatisch in den Kopf von Jorg schlüpft. Das kann für manche Leser erschreckend sein, denn gegen die Gedankenwelt von Jorg erscheint Hannibal Lecter als der nette Mann von nebenan. Jorg ist von einer eiskalten Zielstrebigkeit und Konsequenz gepaart mit Brutalität. Wie auf dem Cover zu sehen, pflastern Leichen seinen Weg. Aber er tötet nicht zum Vergnügen. Er ist exzellent in dem, was er tut. Ich habe selten einen so intelligenten, cleveren, gebildeten Mann erlebt. Er ist ausgestattet mit strategischem Denken und einem Händchen für Menschenführung. Sentimentalitäten kennt er genauso wenig wie das Verschwenden von Ressourcen. Ihm ist bewußt, dass er seine Ziele in dieser Welt nur erreicht, wenn er der Skupeloseste und Konsequenteste ist. Um den Lesespaß nicht zu schmälern, verzichte ich an dieser Stelle auf Beispiele. Jorg ist ein Antiheld in jeder Beziehung, der es aber versteht den Leser in seinen Bann zu ziehen. Dies führt je nach Wertevorstellung des Lesers von der Nachvollziehbarkeit seiner Taten bis hin zu Sympathie. Während man über Jorg recht viel erfährt, müssen sich sowohl seine Kameraden als auch seine Gegner mit weniger aber dennoch ausreichenden Charakterisierungen begnügen, was der Geschichte aber keinen Abbruch tut. Aber da gibt es noch ganz andere Mächte, die ihr ganz eigenes, wenn auch nach Ende des Buches noch nicht ganz nachvollziehbares Spiel spielen.

Die sich auf Jorg konzentrierende Handlung ist in zwei Stränge geteilt. Wir begleiten Jorg auf dem Weg zurück zur heimatlichen Burg. In Rückblenden wird erzählt wie es dazu kam. Jede dieser Rückblenden liefern nach und nach ein schlüssiges Bild über Jorg. Und das zieht sich durch das ganze Buch. Somit wartet der Leser mit Spannung auf jede Rückblende. Ich hoffe,ich verrate nich zuviel, wenn sich zum Schluß herausstellt, dass selbst der abgebrühte und intelligente Jorg nicht die ganze Situation überblickt. Ein prima Ansatzpunkt für die noch folgenden Bände.

Kommen wir nun zur Welt. Es gibt eine Karte, die allerdings nur auf der Seite des Autors verfügbar ist [http://www.princeofthorns.com/map.html]. Die Karte zeigt einen Kontinent der Welt, der ganz entfernt an Europa errinnert. Da gibt es Städte wie Limoges und Lion; Gebiete wie die Normardy, Flüsse wieden Rhyme. Insgesamt erinnert das Ganze ein bißchen an die deutsche Kleinstaaterei, welche 1871 endete. Auf der offensichtlichen Ebene haben wir es mit einer Version einer mittelalterlichen Welt gefüllt mit Burgen und Rittern zu tun. Diese Welt wird angereichert mit geheimen Künsten und Magie. Es gibt Bücher von Plutarch und Nietzsche auf dieser Welt! Wenn man dazu noch gezielt die versteckten Hinweise sammelt, ergibt sich für daraus, dass es sich hier um eine postapokalyptische Welt handelt. Das ist ein weiterer Aufhänger für die folgenden Büchern.

Ich finde es nicht einfach, über die Sprache und den Stil von übersetzten Büchern zu schreiben. Wieviel bleibt vom ursprünglichen Autor? Was hat der Übersetzer gezaubert? Sobald ich die englische Version gelesen habe, kann ich vergleichen. Aber in diesem Fall vertraue ich Andreas Brandhorst. Und nach einem Vegleich des ersten Kapitels (Ich habe kürzlich ein Vorabexemplar der englischen Ausgabe von Autor Mark Lawrence erhalten) kann ich nur meinen Hut vor Andreas Brandhorst ziehen. Das ist eine exzellente Übersetzung. Er hat es geschafft, den nüchtern aber elegant wirkenden Schreibstil und die Sprache, die auf die Macht von Bildern an Stelle tolkienscher Beschreibungen setzt, perfekt ins Deutsche zu übertragen. Die Übersetzung erlaubt dem Leser an der Zelebrierung der Schönheit von Bosheit und Gewalt in Gedanken und Tat ohne die Gewalt zu verherrlichen teilzunehmen.

Vor vielen Jahren gabe e die Fernsehserie Twin Peaks. Einen Satz habe ich mir davon bis heute behalten: "Die Eulen sind nicht das, was sie scheinen."
Und so ist es auch mit dem 'Prinz der Dunkelheit'. Es kommt unscheinbar als Fantasy Erstlingswerk daher mit einem jugendlichen Rächer als Protagonisten. Aber es ist so vieles mehr!!

Wer einen Fantasy Roman abseits der üblichen Wege sucht - düster und brutal wie die Bücher von Joe Abercrombie, intelligent wie die Locke Lamora Bücher von Scott Lynch, konsequent und gewalttätig wie Rorschach von den Watchmen, mit einem Schreibstil der nüchtern und elegant wirkt und mit einer Sprache, die auf die Macht von Bildern an Stelle tolkienscher Beschreibungen setzt, mit einem Ende das weder ein Cliffhanger noch ein definitves Ende hat, sondern die gekonnt gesetzte Pause zwischen zwei Büchern, die Schönheit von Bosheit und Gewalt in Gedanken und Tat zelebriert ohne die Gewalt zu verherrlichen, mit einem unerwartet ungewöhnlichen Protagonisten, der mehr Tiefe als viele andere hat, der Spieler und Gespielter ist - der möge sich dem 'Prinz der Dunkelheit' nicht verweigern. Mark Lawrence legt mit dem 'Prinz der Dunkelheit' eines der Fantasy Debuts 2011 vor.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Short Story Giveaway Winner 2012

15 comments
Dear Readers,

today is the day to draw and announce the winners of the Stephen Zimmer and Seventh Star Press giveaway.

THE PRICE
THREE SETS of EIGHT E-BOOKS

I reviewed five of the eight stories last week. So you got an impression what to expect.

Before we continue I want to thank you everyone who took part. Don't be sad in case you do not belong to the winners. Let me remind you that you can buy each story for unbelievable 99 cents (USD) [ or 89 cents (EUR)]. If you are interested in the follow this link: (where to buy)

Every valid mail got a number. Then I used the True Random Number Generator over at Random.Org for the drawing.

AND THE WINNERS ARE

Ria Bridges

RaveAir

Rosalie Skinner

Congratulations !! As soon as the post is online, I will forward your names to Stephen Zimmer who will take care the you receive your price.


Before I close this post let me say thank you to Stephen Zimmer and Seventh Star Press for the giveaway and a special thank you to for the interview. It was a pleasure to post a whole week about fascinating stories.

The year is still young. But I promise there will be more interviews and giveaways within 2012.

ENJOY READING


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Edi's Weekend Wave #1203

4 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #1203 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
What a week! Five ediments (reviews) in a row. Today I feel a bit tired. The gray and rainy weather is not really helpful. Anyway I try to deliver something interesting for you.
Let's have a look .....

ENJOY READING


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress
  2. DON'T FORGET THE GIVEAWAY!
  3. From Monday to Sunday next week
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. E-book fever
  2. Do you like Dwarfs?
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. The incredible 500! The "Choose Your Novel" Giveaway
  2. The voice of an author
  3. Weather

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Homage

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Something about language

The Lighthouse

Last week O wrote and posted five ediments (short reviews), visited a lot of blogs and left comments, worked on a secret project. The impact of my reading progress is immense. I read in sum 176 pages! Anyway it was enough to finish one book.

I finished

- The Burning Sky (ecopy, 2011) [Kindle ASIN: B004MDLL9K] by Joseph Robert Lewis
I liked the steampunk novel a lot and work on my review


I'm

- 450 pages in The Wise Man's Fear (994 pages, trade paperback, UK 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0575081420] by Patrick Rothfuss
NO PROGRESS

- 124 pages in Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (November 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1616145354] by Mark Hodder
NO PROGRESS

- 101 pages in Hearts of Smoke and Steam (327 p., November 2011)[ISBN-13: 978-1616143756] by Andrew P. Mayer
A lot of action ...

- 259 pages in Songs of the Dying Earth (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0765320865] edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.
NO PROGRESS

- 111 pages in Hawk Quest (2012, print and digital) by Robert Lyndon
NO PROGRESS

This result is sad for me. But that will change soon. Conclusion: When I post the whole week there is nearly no time left for reading. So I will post less except times when I will do something special.


REMINDER! REMINDER! REMINDER!

The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM CET January 22, 2012.

For details visit
Stephen Zimmer visit the Lighthouse: Interview and Giveaway


As I mentioned recently I will be on a business trip to Rome from Wednesday to Sunday next week.
On Monday I will announce the winner of the giveaway. Beside that I would like to inform you, that there will be NO Weekend Wave on next Saturday. I will post something different instead. In case I find time till Tuesday I will prepare one more post.

Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

E-book fever is contagious! It seems I'm infected. I try my best to be cured but copies of three books found their way to our Reader. They are related to two series.

Recently I finished Gabriel's Redemption by Steve Umstead (available in paperback [ISBN-13: 978-0765329561] and also for all major e-reader platforms). The first book of the Evan Gabriel Trilogy trilogy has been published in July 2011. I want to know how the story continues. So I needed copies of book two and three. But instead of buying two books I bought one. The whole trilogy is now available in one book

Gabriel's Journey by Steve Umstead

Available for all major e-reader platforms.
Please visit Steve Umstead's site for details.


As I wrote above I finished The Burning Sky (ecopy, 2011) [Kindle ASIN: B004MDLL9K] by Joseph Robert Lewis today. For me it was quite clear, that I wanted to read the remaining book of the trilogy. The second one is The Broken Sword (ecopy, 2011) [Kindle ASIN: B004Z81SCC]
"For fans of swashbuckling adventures such as The Princess Bride and The Three Musketeers:
When they tried to conquer the New World, the Espani lost everything: soldiers, ships, wealth, and even their faith. But Don Lorenzo Quesada believes an ancient holy relic will restore his country to prosperity and honor, unless the military finds it first. Accompanied by his best fencing students, his Incan wife, and her sabre-toothed cat, Lorenzo races across his wintry homeland through a gauntlet of blood-thirsty assassins, undead demons, and giant beasts to recover the sacred skyfire stone.
But when the stone is stolen and a massive Espani warship sets sail for Marrakesh, Lorenzo must stop a war that could destroy all the nations of the Middle Sea, even if it costs him both the holy stone and his life." [Source]
The third book is The Bound Soul (ecopy, 2011) [Kindle ASIN: B005IGHZGS]
"A murder in a hotel lobby. A high-speed chase across the entire length of the continent. And a manhunt through the ancient and deadly streets of Alexandria.

Qhora Yupanqui has always feared being alone, and now she is. Exiled from her Incan homeland, deprived of her dashing husband, and separated from her beloved beasts, she must gather her own allies to find a killer and free the souls of hundreds of murdered men and women.

With the help of Taziri Ohana's amazing inventions, Mirari Velasquez's unshakable loyalty, and Salvator Fabris's deadly blade, Qhora unravels the mystery of the soul-stealing metal aetherium and the ancient cult of priests and assassins who not only want to rule the world, but overthrow Death itself.
" [Source]
Steampunk, swashbuckling adventure and action adventure in one trilogy sound great and looks fascinating.


Author D.W. Hawkins sent me an electronic copy of The Sentient Fire (e-book, 2011) [where to buy] which is Book One Of The Seven Signs.
"In one short night, Dormael Harlun’s life was changed forever.
Tired and half drunk, Dormael stumbled upon Shawna Llewan, a beautiful young woman, wounded and near death. What he didn’t realize was that his decision to come to her aid would be only the beginning of his unwitting role in a labyrinthine and perilous game.
Suddenly, Dormael and Shawna find themselves surrounded by enemies bent on their destruction. All avenues to safety are closing rapidly, and their only hope is to find the key to a dangerous secret lost to antiquity. With every ally a potential foe, they can rely only on Dormael’s brother Allen and his cousin D’Jenn to escape the will of a tyrant, the designs of a traitor, and the attention of powers beyond their imagining. Dormael has never been much for games, but destiny has rolled the dice for him and irrevocably placed him in the middle of a deadly game he must desperately play for keeps. Should he lose, he will forfeit not only his own life, but the lives of the ones he loves." [Source]

D
o you like dwarves? Then following press release should be of interest for you.

Cover Art Revealed and Special Print-eBook Bundle Announced for Reissue of First Two Titles in The Brotherhood of Dwarves Series


Seventh Star Press proudly announces the reissues of the first two books in The Brotherhood of Dwarves series, The Brotherhood of Dwarves, and Red Sky at Dawn.

To commemmorate the Seventh Star Press editions of these two titles, the publisher is offering special bundles that combine both the print and eBook versions of the books. Readers can get the first two books in this fashion, or a bundle of all three books in the series including the recently-released third title, The Fall of Dorkhun.

The Brotherhood of Dwarves and Red Sky at Dawn feature covers and illustrations from fantasy artist Bonnie Wasson. The latest artist to work with Seventh Star Press, Bonnie created and designed a new look for the first two titles that is consistent with the brand new third release.

The first two books were originally self-published by D.A. Adams and edited by Sherrie Shuler. They became strong sellers on the convention circuit and received a wave of positive reviews. The reissues were planned when D.A. came aboard Seventh Star Press for the release of his latest installment, The Fall of Dorkhun.

( interior illustrations by Bonnie Wasson for The Brotherhood of Dwarves and Red Sky at Dawn)

Living and working in East Tennessee, D. A. Adams is an established novelist, a farmer, and professor of English. He has contributed writing to literary and fine art publications, and maintains an active blog, entitled "The Ramblings of D. A. Adams".

Softcover and eBook formats will be available by mid-February, with a collectors' hardcover limited editions planned for mid-summer of 2012.

(all three covers side by side)

Those wanting to pre-order one of the special softcover-eBook bundles should visit: http://www.seventhstarpress.com/documents/books.html

Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at www.seventhstarpress.com , or at the author's site at www.brotherhoodofdwarves.com


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

I found an extraordinary giveaway. I don't want to repeat the details. Please go and read

I hope you took part and if not I really would like to know the reason why.


In December 2011 I reviewed King's Envoy (pb, July 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1936850136] by Cas Peace. Now the author did something new. She recorded her reading of the first chapter of King's Envoy. I think itis for everyone a surprise to listen to the own voice for the first time.
Regarding that this was no professional recording, I must say it sounds promising. Built up your mind:




WEATHER
"The state of the atmosphere with respect to wind, temperature, cloudiness, moisture, pressure, etc. Weather refers to these conditions at a given point in time (e.g., today's high temperature), whereas Climate refers to the "average" weather conditions for an area over a long period of time (e.g., the average high temperature for today's date)." [Source]
We talk about it every day. We watch the weather report. We are longing for weather forecasts.
Weather has definitely an influence on our life. And when we look back in time we will easily detect its importance especially during wars and battles. Let me give you just two examples: Normandy Landings 1944 and Battle of Waterloo 1815. But if you would like to know the weather on a certain day in the past it is getting difficult to get proper data.
That leads to the question why do we need that information. In fantasy and science fiction it is up to the author to think about it. He or she decide if weather is important or not.
It is getting difficult when we look at historical fiction. Imagine you want to write a book set in London, first week of September 1666 . If you would write that there have been heavy showers the whole week, you would change history because you would drown the Great Fire! In reality the weather report looked as followed: Sunday 2nd September 1666 Weather Report - hot, dry and windy [Source]. I think that shows the importance of weather in historical fiction. I'm no author. But I'm sure and author can give you far better explanation about the importance of weather in historical fiction. If your are interested in I highly recommend to read
over at The History Girls


Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

Honestly I did not find a trailer I would like to share with you. Instead I found something special. With the following two videos I pay homage to two guys which let me still laugh out loud.
I like them a lot.







That's all for today. See you next time....


Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

I still try to improve my English. But what will happen when I reach a certain level?


"Even if you do learn to speak correct English, whom are you going to speak it to?
Clarence Darrow, US defense lawyer (1857 - 1938)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ediment: Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer

2 comments
Dear Readers,

this is the fifth and final post related to the
Stephen Zimmer visit the Lighthouse: Interview and Giveaway
post from last Sunday. For details read the post.
The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM CET January 22, 2012.

THE PRICE
THREE SETS of EIGHT E-BOOKS
Each virtual set contains following stories

Goodnight by Michael West
More information

For the River Is Wide And The Gods Are Hungry by Michael West
More information

Temples Rising by Stephen Zimmer (Rising Dawn Saga)
More information

Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
More today

Insurmountable by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
Ediment (Review)

Land of Shadow by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
Ediment (Review)

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
Ediment (Review)

Into Glory Ride by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
Ediment (Review)



EDIMENT

Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Series)
[ebook, where to buy]

I bought the copy I read for this post.

Everything comes to an end. Today I review the third and latest short story in Chronicles of Ave Collection. You can read these stories in any order which I did. But it was up to me to decide in which order I wanted to post my reviews. And yes, there is a sorting order:
Save the best for the last
And that is what I did with my ediment (review) of Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer.
With the you can visit the lands of the Amazu for the very first time. Meet the young warrior Sigananda. He is a man who hates senseless killing and who respects nature. Be the eye witness of the birth of a legend. Travel with him through a part of Ave which reminds of Africa with tribes, magic and wild and dangerous animals. A fascinating journey and adventure is waiting for you.
Lion Heart is Stephen Zimmer at his best. This story demonstrate his brilliance to create a whole world (in this case a region of a world) within a few pages. Everything is there: Human beings, animals, plants, landscape, a society with rules and rites, powerful wizards and, and, and, ...
But there is more. There is a story including, rumors, war, prevision, revelation, action, mystique, magic and nature.
After I finished the story I had the impression I read a full novel. It seems magic Stephen has the ability to manipulate words in a way that every word express a full sentence. Unbelievable!

I'm sorry. No thumps up for Lion Heart. Why? I need my hands for my E-Reader. I must read Lion Heart again instantly!!


Normally I do not talk about book prices. But this time I make an exception:

You can buy this story for unbelievable 99 cents (USD) [ or 89 cents (EUR)]

Now it is up to you to decide if you buy the story (where to buy) or you take part in the giveaway.

ENJOY READING

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ediment: Insurmountable by Steven L Shrewsbury

2 comments
Dear Readers,

this is the fourth post related to the
Stephen Zimmer visit the Lighthouse: Interview and Giveaway
post from last Sunday. For details read the post.
The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM CET January 22, 2012.

THE PRICE
THREE SETS of EIGHT E-BOOKS
Each virtual set contains following stories

Goodnight by Michael West
More information

For the River Is Wide And The Gods Are Hungry by Michael West
More information

Temples Rising by Stephen Zimmer (Rising Dawn Saga)
More information

Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
More information on January 20th

Insurmountable by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information today

Land of Shadow by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
Ediment (Review)

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
Ediment (Review)

Into Glory Ride by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
Ediment (Review)



EDIMENT

Insurmountable by Steven L. Shrewsbury
(Blood & Steel: Legends of La Gaul Collection)
[ebook, where to buy]

Who is Gorias La Gaul? I answered this question on Tuesday, January 17.

Today I will talk about the second short story by Steven L. Shrewsbury. Insurmountable is different in some ways and similar in some ways to Author and Finisher of Our Flesh. It is definitely as violent as the first one. This time Gorias La Gaul is not "called" for. Not in the way we are used to be. He gets a more inner call. You may understand that his father plays a role. The relationship to his father give the reader a view into the soul of Gorias La Gaul. This shows that Gorias is more than just a soldier.

One of the highlights of the story is definitely the excellent described Gorias' fight against Kangmi. Five pages full of incredible action which is nearly have of the story. A fight at the edge of death.
Even it is a real short story it is no reading fast food. Of course you can gulp down Insurmountable within a few minutes with the result that you will ask yourself why you could not taste anything. This is slow food. You will taste the delicacy of the action while reading in slow motion. That sounds like a contradiction. But there is none. Just try ...


Normally I do not talk about book prices. But this time I make an exception:

You can buy this story for unbelievable 99 cents (USD) [ or 89 cents (EUR)]

Now it is up to you to decide if you buy the story (where to buy) or you take part in the giveaway.

ENJOY READING

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ediment: Land of Shadow by Stephen Zimmer

2 comments
Dear Readers,

this is the third post related to the
Stephen Zimmer visit the Lighthouse: Interview and Giveaway
post from last Sunday. For details read the post.
The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM CET January 22, 2012.

THE PRICE
THREE SETS of EIGHT E-BOOKS
Each virtual set contains following stories

Goodnight by Michael West
More information

For the River Is Wide And The Gods Are Hungry by Michael West
More information

Temples Rising by Stephen Zimmer (Rising Dawn Saga)
More information

Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
More information on January 20th

Insurmountable by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information on January 19th

Land of Shadow by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
More information today

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
Ediment (Review)

Into Glory Ride by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
Ediment (Review)



EDIMENT

Land of Shadow by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Series)
[ebook, where to buy]

I bought the copy I read for this post.

Today I'm back with the second short story in the Chronicles of Ave Series by Stephen Zimmer.
On Monday I delivered information about the world of AVE. I can assure you that even I as a big fan of the series do not know everything about AVE. Like you I depend on the revelations by author Stephen Zimmer.
Anyway today's story Land of Shadow will satisfy new readers as much as the readers of the Fires in Eden Series. There is always a danger to give away to much of a story especially when it is a short story.
Recombine the letters of the story title and you now which part of AVE we visit today. Welcome to the Shadowlands, a dangerous place. Goose flesh promised in form of animals with more than seven legs and as big as .... no, no, you have to read the story on your own. It is the place where Gunther (one of my favorite characters in the Fires in Eden Series.) found the Jaghuns but that is a nother story. With Land of Shadow Stephen Zimmer reveals two new races. New means new to everyone except Stephen Zimmer. Fortunately you do not have to discover the Shadowlands on your own. A band of Avanoran mercenaries is doing that for you. Anyway you should keep some distance to your Reader in order to avoid blood and gore and sweat. Now I have your interest. But isn't it that what you expect from mercenaries?
Shall I tell you more? Yes? NO!
Maybe I can tell you that much: Into Glory Ride was a great start of the Chronicles of Ave Series.
with Land of Shadow Stephen Zimmer continues the series on a high level. I like Land of Shadow a little bit more than Into Glory Ride.
On Friday I will tell which of the three stories in the Chronicles of Ave Series I like most.

And now hurry up: Goose flesh and revelations and blood and gore and sweat are waiting for you!


Normally I do not talk about book prices. But this time I make an exception:

You can buy this story for unbelievable 99 cents (USD) [ or 89 cents (EUR)]

Now it is up to you to decide if you buy the story (where to buy) or you take part in the giveaway.

ENJOY READING

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ediment: Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Steven L Shrewsbury

4 comments
Dear Readers,

this is the second post related to the
Stephen Zimmer visit the Lighthouse: Interview and Giveaway
post from last Sunday. For details read the post. The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM CET January 22th, 2012.

THE PRICE
THREE SETS of EIGHT E-BOOKS
Each virtual set contains following stories

Goodnight by Michael West
More information

For the River Is Wide And The Gods Are Hungry by Michael West
More information

Temples Rising by Stephen Zimmer (Rising Dawn Saga)
More information

Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
More information on January 20th

Insurmountable by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information on January 19th

Land of Shadow by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
More information on January 18th

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information today

Into Glory Ride by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
Ediment (Review)




EDIMENT

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Steven L. Shrewsbury
(Blood & Steel: Legends of La Gaul Collection)
[ebook, where to buy]
I bought the copy I read for this post.

Who is Gorias La Gaul? The answer depends on whether you read Thrall (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-09780983108634] by Steven Shrewsbury (my review) or not.

This is the answer from artist Matthew Perry:

That is not helpful either for new readers. I think it would be best to ask the author himself.


Mr. Shrewsbury, who is Gorias La Gaul?

Mr. Shrewsbury: "Hi Edi, of ourse I will do that. Gorias La Gaul is an aging warrior who has lived for centuries battling the monstrosities of legend and lore."

Thank you Mr. Shrewsbury.

Now you - new or experienced - know enough to enjoy the first Gorias La Gaul short story.

Let me try a different and unusual approach. Do you know these hard-boiled detective novels like The Maltese Falcon? The star of the book is private detective Sam Spade. Like him Gorias La Gaul is a genuine character. Stone old, headstrong, full of emotions which often erupt in acts of violence - that is Gorias La Gaul.
In detective stories the lone wolf is called to solve problems. In Author and Finisher of Our Flesh
it is Gorias La Gaul whom you "call" in case of problems. And that is the only option left for general Thynnes when the contact to a colony fail and vessel do not return. Author and Finisher of Our Flesh is a story divided into two parts. It begins with the "call" of Gorias La Gaul. How do you interest a several hundred years old warrior to solve your problems? A wrong step a false word will cost your life. Within a few pages you get the impression of partly broken but still restless warrior showing an unexpected band with of emotions. The second part culminates in an awesome fight including blood and gore.
If you have problems with explicit violence then I recommend to stay away from stories and books starring Gorias La Gaul.
Everyone else get a tough story from Gorias La Gaul's life which delivers enough insight for new readers and Thrall readers get a new tough Gorias La Gaul story.

Normally I do not talk about book prices. But this time I make an exception:

You can buy this story for unbelievable 99 cents (USD) [ or 89 cents (EUR)]

Now it is up to you to decide if you buy the story (where to buy) or you take part in the giveaway.

ENJOY READING

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ediment: Into Glory Ride by Stephen Zimmer

0 comments
Dear Readers,

this is the first post related to the
Stephen Zimmer visit the Lighthouse: Interview and Giveaway
post from last Sunday. For details read the post. The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM CET January 22th, 2012.

THE PRICE
THREE SETS of EIGHT E-BOOKS
Each virtual set contains following stories

Goodnight by Michael West
More information

For the River Is Wide And The Gods Are Hungry by Michael West
More information

Temples Rising by Stephen Zimmer (Rising Dawn Saga)
More information

Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
More information on January 20th

Insurmountable by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information on January 19th

Land of Shadow by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
More information on January 18th

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information on January 17th

Into Glory Ride by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Collection)
More information today


With the begin of 2012 I decided to introduce a new format - I named it ediment - for books where I do not find the time to write a full review and for short stories.
And today I present you my first ediment.


EDIMENT

Into Glory Ride by Stephen Zimmer (Chronicles of Ave Series)
[ebook, where to buy]
I bought the copy I read for this post.

Let's have a short look at the background of the story. There is a world called AVE. This world is at the same time the setting for the Chronicles of Ave Collection and for the Fires in Eden Series
which consist so far of Crown of Vengeance (2009) [ISBN-13: 978-0983108627] - my review - and Dream of Legends (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0983108627] - my review.
"I wanted a way for readers of my series to explore more of my worlds in a way that was also accessible to new readers." Stephen Zimmer
I'm a big fan of the Fires in Eden Series and I was totally curious for these new series. And as fan you have of course expectations ...

Into Glory Ride is a story about the Trogen race, well known to all readers of Fires in Eden Series. It is the story of the young warrior Marragesh, who has been a hero of his race and it is a story from the past of the Trogen history. Within the story Stephen Zimmer delivers a complete new point of view of the Trogen race for all Fires in Eden readers! It was unexpected for me and a valuable information too. Every reader of the Fires in Eden Series will understand what I mean as soon as you read the story. But there is more: The Sea Wolf Clan, the Elves and their relationship to the Trogen, ...
That sounds like a very "dry" historical read! Maybe if the story has been written by someone else. But this is a Stephen Zimmer story. That means you get interesting characters AND a lot of action (would it be a spoiler when I mention following two words AERIAL BATTLE) AND information AND landscape description AND emotions! Into Glory Ride reads like a Fires in Eden chapter but is a full stand-alone story. As I expected the story is executed on the high Fires in Eden level.

That sounds like I butter Stephen Zimmer up. On the contrary! Stephen Zimmer will confirm that beyond all friendship I deliver(ed) honest reviews of his books.

From my point of view Stephen Zimmer delivered everything he promised. Into Glory Ride is a great read but I can tell you, even the story is a hit, there is one (two more reviews to come), which I like a little bit more.

From me Into Glory Ride gets a double thumps up! A must read for every Fires in Eden reader and a great opportunity for every newcomer.

Normally I do not talk about book prices. But this time I make an exception:

You can buy this story for unbelievable 99 cents (USD) [ or 89 cents (EUR)]

Now it is up to you to decide if you buy the story (where to buy) or you take part in the giveaway.

ENJOY READING

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stephen Zimmer visit the Lighthouse: Interview and Giveaway

18 comments
Dear Readers,

the following post is something special for me due to following reasons:

- It contains my first interview ever, even it is a mini interview. There is always a first time. And I interviewed the author whom I promised that whenever I will start with interviews on the blog, he would be the first one to be interviewed.

- It is the first time that I host a giveaway.

- This post will be followed by five related posts on the next five consecutive days!


I'm so glad the indefatigable Seventh Star Press author Stephen Zimmer agreed to be my first "victim".


Hello Stephen would you be so kind as to introduce yourself?

Hi Michael! So great to be on Edi's Lighthouse for an interview! Thanks for having me aboard. I am an author, and also a filmmaker, with two active novel series, a number of short stories, a feature film and some short films. Writing-wise, I have the epic fantasy Fires in Eden series, and the epic-scale urban fantasy series The Rising Dawn Saga. I also write the Harvey and Solomon steampunk stories. I have new short stories coming out with the Seventh Star Singles line, in epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and soon, horror. 2012 should see a couple of other tales published within some quality anthologies. Film-wise, I wrote and directed the supernatural thriller Shadows Light, an indie feature, as well as the horror short film The Sirens. My latest project as a director was last year's Swordbearer, a medieval fantasy short film based upon the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant.


Can you tell my readers a bit about the series you are writing?

The Fires in Eden series is epic fantasy. It contains few modern day characters that get introduced in book one, Crown of Vengeance, who get taken back into the world of Ave. I feel this series has a nice balance between iconic fantasy elements, as it has some things like a race of Wizards and dragons, and inventive elements, such as the underground-dwelling Unguhur, the Skiantha sky steeds that many cultures of Ave ride, and the hardy Trogens, a robust, warrior race of beings whose facial appearances are fairly reminiscent of pit bulls! It is a very immersive series, for those who like layers and depth to their fantasy worlds and stories. The Rising Dawn Saga is urban fantasy, but on a true epic scale. It leans more heavily on the supernatural and paranormal than my other series does, and also blends in elements of military thrillers, science fiction, and even horror. It follows several individuals drawn into conflict by a group of power elites bringing the world under one system, through an ages-old effort called The Convergence. The Rising Dawn Saga has a decidedly dystopian flavor, as well as an apocalyptic tone. Both series are structured in character threads, with ensemble casts.


Steven and you wrote short stories. Tell us about the concept and the reasons?

I have a ton of material that I created as background for my two series. I have always wanted an outlet in which I could have some fun with parts of this background material, elements that won't make it into the novels, or are briefly mentioned in one of the books.

I wanted to give my readers some more content as well, for those that want to explore the worlds of Ave, or the world in the Rising Dawn Saga more extensively. The notion of doing some short stories as eBooks was attractive as it was something that I knew could be done, as doing short stories in print would be too costly.

Once I saw the potential of doing eBook short stories, I conceived of a pair of collections tied to each of my novel series. They would be the kinds of short stories can stand on their own, but at the same time offer much more content to fans of the series, and hopefully help tide readers over in between the novel releases.

As the other SSP authors have series of their own, I thought this concept be of interest to at least a few of them. After I presented the idea to the others, I found there was a lot of interest, and the SSP camp decided to move forward with the Seventh Star singles line.

I think readers will of either myself, Steven Shrewsbury, Michael West, or any of the other SSP authors who participate will really enjoy and appreciate these short story collections.



How do these short stories fit into the series?

They are stand alone stories, so the reader does not have to be familiar with the novels. But they are set within our respective worlds. With Steven, his stories are tales involving Gorias, the Sword and Sorcery character introduced in the novel Thrall. With Michael West, the stories are set in Harmony, an Indiana town that serves as the setting for other tales and books of his such as The Wide Game and Cinema of Shadows. With mine, the Chronicles of Ave are set, you guessed it, in Ave, the world that my Fires in Eden series takes place in. The Annals of the Rising Dawn, similarly, are set in the world where the Rising Dawn Saga takes place. As such, the stories are connected to our various worlds, places, or characters.

With respect to mine, they will sometimes portray an event, person/character, or place mentioned in the novels, and might even give some hints about things to come in the novels! Sometimes they will introduce some places that may not even make it into the novel series at all. No matter what, though, they will offer some fresh exploration of the worlds of the series.

How do you find time to write these stories and does that not hinder you to write the books?

As an epic fantasy writer, I do tend to get some good word counts during my main writing sessions, and with short stories, if I have a good grasp of the story I want to tell, I can get a rough first draft done in a couple days.

Some days I have more than one extended writing session, and sometimes I will use my second writing session of the day to do some work on the short stories. Writing the short stories does not hinder me at all. If anything, writing them helps me with the novels, as they keep my mind within the worlds of the series. The short stories make me think even more extensively about the worlds of the novels, and I can already see that this helps with the process of creating the larger works.

The short stories are also a nice outlet when I am in a phase where I am just polishing and doing tweaks on a novel manuscript, giving me a chance to be fully creative while honing a manuscript for an editor. So, ultimately, I strongly feel that doing the short stories actually helps, not hinders, the books.


Again, thank you for having me on Edi's Lighthouse! May your lighthouse guide readers through the current storms of the publishing world!

Thank you Stephen for taking time to answer my questions

Now you know a lot more about Seventh Star Press, Stephen Zimmer and the growing new single short story collection. By the way you can buy these stories right now on THE PUBLISHER'S SINGLES SITE.

GIVEAWAY TIME
Stephen did not visit me with bare hands. On the contrary!
I proudly present my first hosted giveaway on this blog.
Stephen and Seventh Star Press have been so kind to give away copies of the so far eight stories from three different authors in digital format.

THE PRICE
THREE SETS of EIGHT E-BOOKS
Each virtual set contains following stories

Goodnight by Michael West
In this Tales from Harmony short story, a frightened child, in a rural Indiana farmhouse, attempts to fool the Angel of Death.

For the River Is Wide And The Gods Are Hungry by Michael West
In this Tales from Harmony short story, it should be the best time of Becky’s life. Her studies at Stanley University are going well, and her boyfriend, Mark, has just asked her to marry him. But when she returns to her childhood home, Becky finds she must deal once more with the events of one horribly hot summer day, a deadly past that now threatens to steal all her future happiness.

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information on January 17th

Insurmountable by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information on January 19th


Temples Rising by Stephen Zimmer (Rising Dawn Saga)
In this short story from the Annals of the Rising Dawn collection, the reader ventures back into an ancient world when demonic entities and humans have bred a race of monstrous creatures. In league with Fallen Avatars that have taken on flesh and blood, the Raven Queen is preeminent among the human rulers involved with the building of a great temple site in Albion.


Into Glory Ride by Stephen Zimmer (Fires in Eden Series)
More information on January 16th

Land of Shadow by Stephen Zimmer (Fires in Eden Series)
More information on January 18th

Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer (Fires in Eden Series)
More information on January 20th


THE RULES
1. This Giveaway is open worldwide.

2. In order to take part just send a mail including your name and your format of choice (Kindle, Nook or ePub (for Sony e-readers, iPad, iPhone etc.)) to Edi's Book Lighthouse.

UPDATE!
You do not need to own a Kindle or an other E-Book Reader.
If you use the Firefox browser then you can read books in EPUB format with the EPUBReader add-on.
It is also possible to read Amazon e-Books on PC, MAC, IPHONE and IPAD.
Link for MAC user Link for PC user Link for IPHONE user Link for IPAD user

3. Giveaway starts with release of this post and will end at 11:59 PM CET January 22th, 2012.

4. Every valid mail gets a number. The True Random Number Generator over at Random.Org will be used for the drawing on January 23rd 2012.

5. On January 23rd 2012, I will post the winner and inform Stephen Zimmer.

6. Good luck to all who enter the contest!
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