Before diving into the list itself, I’d like to establish a few things. These are my favorite series, and do not necessarily reflect the best writing in series I’ve read. This ranking takes into consideration things like prose, dialogue, characters, worldbuilding, and plot. In some cases, weight will be given more to phenomenal prose; in others, the focus will be on setting or characters or whatever.
It also ignores incomplete series, so you won’t see any love for The Kingkiller Chronicle or The Stormlight Archive, among others. Similarly, it ignores standalone books, so no The Windup Girl or The Left Hand of Darkness or Roadside Picnic or the like.
That said, let’s dive on in. Continue reading
And it’s time for another book review! As my book group continues through Matthew Stover’s Acts of Caine series, I’m continuing my own reviews here. Today, we’re looking at the third book in the dark fantasy series, titled Caine Black Knife. My previous review for Blade of Tyshalle can be found here. (Maybe someday I’ll get around to doing a proper review for Heroes Die, since I loved it so much…)
You might remember this book I wrote called All Flames Cast. It was a while ago, I know. There really hasn’t been any news to report, beyond the typical querying process—a couple of full requests that turned into rejections, one partial request, and a whole bunch more outright “no”s—and so much of what has happened in the last 18 months has been in the revision realm.
Now, revisions have gone well. Of the 15 chapters I have posted here, only one hasn’t had any changes to it. The good news is that the book is a heck of a lot better, now. Continue reading
Chapter One – Winter Falling
“Winter Peak” by Max Bedulenko
The wind was soft but cold, so high along the rampart of the citadel. It whispered the night’s embrace, pulling gently at the lapels of Gemmen’s coat. The skin on his close-shaven scalp prickled with goosebumps. It was cold, yes, but the winter twilight was far preferable to the stifling heat and conversation in the feast hall.
Torches burned, spaced every hundred feet along the walk. Gemmen could see guards posted, silhouetted against the lights as they leaned against the white stone or squatted for a brief escape from the breeze. He ignored them as he moved by, just as they ignored him.
The first flakes of snow began to flutter down as he walked. The night was not still, but it was silent; the wind stirred and the snow traced lines down to melt on the wall, but even the guards quieted themselves. There was a feeling of abeyance in the air, a muted pressure.
Gemmen loved nights like this. Continue reading
And so we approach the end of another year.
In many ways, 2016 was a great year for me, personally. I hit some major life milestones in the past twelve months, not the least of which were getting engaged and buying a condo. All in all, it was a successful year on that count.
But on the writing side, 2016 was much more of a failure. I hoped to achieve a few things, none of which got done. Continue reading
You guys, I’m doing it. This is the year I *officially* take the plunge. I made an account, I’ve started writing, and I’m gonna win this thing.
It’s National Novel Writing Month, and I’m taking a break from drafting On the Strings of Oblivion (the sequel to All Flames Cast) to write a new story.
And the Gates Open is the result of some brainstorming I’ve done over the past two months, and the natural extension of a novella idea I came up with. Featuring two main characters, And the Gates Open is about a city under siege by an overwhelming enemy, and the two leaders who consider it their duty to keep the people safe during this time—at odds with each other. Mezra is the high priestess, concerned with the despair that plagues the city-state of Vael and fighting to keep her faith alive in the face of a conquering foreign religion. Vatan is the naturalized former mercenary who finds himself in charge of the garrison at the most important point of Vael’s defenses. Neither likes the other; each has different goals.
And meanwhile, one hundred thousand enemies camp outside the walls, under gathering stormclouds…
I sat down and worked on On the Strings of Oblivion last night. I’m still trying to let that settle in. It’s been over a month since I last did anything at all with it. My writing muscles feel weak and out of place. Creative gears are rusty and don’t like turning. Being bitten by the writing bug tends to leave me sore.
And it feels great. Continue reading