Review – The Eye of the World

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The Eye of the World (book one of the Wheel of Time series) by Robert Jordan

This is a series that has paved the way for many that have come after it, and it is easy to see why. Apart from such classics as The Lord of the Rings, there can scarcely be said to exist a more influential series of books within this particular genre.

Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time is inarguably one of the most beloved and well-known fantasy series of all time, and a seminal work in the genre. Book one, The Eye of the World, launches a tale of magic, heroism, and exploration and gives readers a glimpse of an incredible world filled with vivid characters and cultures – while also making promises of enormous depth and scale to come. While elements of the book could be simplified and boiled down to resemble many other works in the epic fantasy genre, some of which came before and countless that have come after, Jordan’s work is set apart from the crowd by an unmistakable attention to detail and a pleasantly luxurious writing style. Continue reading

Incoming – new content!

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So, there’s been a pretty serious lull in updates for the last three months, but that’s about to turn around. Here’s a look at some of what’s coming over the next several weeks.

In the Great Hall:

  • Review: The Eye of the World (Robert Jordan)
  • Review: Half a King (Joe Abercrombie)
  • Review: Furies of Calderon (Jim Butcher)

In the Drunken Dragon:

  • New short fiction from the Heart of Darkness setting
  • New stand-alone short fiction

In the Keep:

  • Author Voice: Transparency vs Opacity
  • Sneak peak at upcoming Heart of Darkness novella Shadow of a Giant

In the Dungeon:

  • Bigger cobwebs

 

Look forward to all of that and more in the coming months from Storming The Castle!

Now go read a book.

Three Voices of Fiction

by Zachary Fadden

Nearly all of the information a reader derives from a work of literature can be traced back to one of three sources, or Voices, within the prose; Author Voice, Character Voice, and World Voice.

Storytelling is one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Going back to the earliest writings and oral traditions, it is clear that we have always been captivated by the depth of our imaginations. Nearly every society on Earth has placed a great significance on fictional stories and ideas, often holding them in the same regard as religious and philosophical texts. Such stories have become integral to our culture, driving behaviors and beliefs since the dawn of time. Aside from our appreciation of art in general, there seems to be a particular yearning in the human mind for narrative entertainment. This has led to a fascination with storytelling that, now more than ever, seems to permeate our entire existence.
Continue reading

Review – ‘The Name of the Wind’

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

At its core, this is a character story. This is not some sweeping tale of battles between warring nations, a group of travelers exploring a dangerous world, or some ‘chosen one’ who must accept his destiny.

 

The Name of the Wind unfolds as a man of unrivaled notoriety and infamy agrees to dictate his life story to a world-renowned scholar and scribe. Weaving in and out of this broad story periodically, the book is largely rendered through Kvothe’s first-person narrative. Rarely has a debut fantasy novel garnered as much attention and praise as Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind, and certainly never has one been so undeserving. Continue reading

Lies Below Nightwander

‘As he drew in he could see that there were several lacerations along the side of its body, which had been stitched meticulously back together. A shiver went through him, and he stopped the blade a handspan above its ribs. The corpse was twitching.’

Lies Below Nightwander

by Zachary Fadden

Filaes worked his way along a narrow storm drain in the tunnels beneath the Nightwander, struggling on hands and knees against the filthy ground. He should have been clearing out the blocked sewage pipe below Tempest’s Hall by now, but a trail of strange markings had caught his attention. The crew leader Jaqhan would be furious if he were late in returning, and would likely threaten his job, but still he could not help his curiosity.
Continue reading

Drunken Dragon Submission Guidelines

Stories submitted for publication in the Drunken Dragon must meet the following criteria for consideration:

  • Between 1500 and 6000 words
  • Fantastical or supernatural elements present (science fiction concepts do not qualify, but sci-fi settings will be considered if criteria is otherwise met)
  • Must be a complete, self-contained story
  • No novel chapters or excerpts, to avoid complication with future publication (tie-ins are fine, so long as they can be enjoyed as stand-alone material)
  • Must be edited and proof-read thoroughly

Continue reading

Review – Mistborn: The Final Empire

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Mistborn: The Final Empire

 

Most readers will find themselves in a cohesive and believable setting, perfectly capable of serving as the backdrop for the incredible promises made early on.

 

Mistborn: The Final Empire follows a group of former slaves turned burglars who endeavor to pull off the ultimate job against God himself. Masquerading as a heist novel in a pseudo-medieval fantasy setting, The Final Empire begins with an incredibly enticing premise. By the midpoint the book slowly reveals itself as somewhat more typical fantasy fare; a group of rag-tag renegades sets out to topple the ultimate evil, aided by a young person of insignificant status who realizes their true potential with the advisement of a powerful mentor. Even as the exciting concept gives way to a more recognizable structure, the world and story were littered with enough curiosities, mysteries, and fascination to hold my attention and interest throughout. Continue reading

STC Reviews and Ratings Explained

The Great Hall is where book reviews and ratings will be posted. The ratings will be based on a comprehensive scale (explained below), and the reviews will be an in-depth analysis of the considerations that went into scoring each book on this scale.

There will be NO SPOILERS posted directly in any review. There may be times when I feel the need to cite something particular from within a work, but it will always be labeled appropriately as spoiler content, and will be accessible only through a ‘See Spoilers’ link. These I will try to keep to a minimum, however at times it is difficult to refrain from mentioning specifics when judging quality, and I will do my best to keep excerpts and asides from becoming necessary to understanding the rating. Continue reading

Let the Siege Begin!

There are not a lot of absolutes in this life, but there is one thing I am certain of; everybody loves a great fantasy story. The sense of wonder, the depth of immersion, and the incredible characters are enough to captivate any mind that is willing to participate.

For some the appreciation of fantasy as a genre comes only through chance encounters, inadvertently finding otherworldly stories and settings before moving on to more traditional fare. Others may find themselves seeking out stories with fantastic elements from time to time, in between pursuits of other interests. Then there are those whose passion for fantasy supersedes all else, whose desire to explore new worlds and engage in the unbelievable permeates their entire lives. Wherever you put yourself on that scale, if you are someone who enjoys fantasy, this is the place for you.

Welcome, friends, to Storming The Castle.