@sot_tours Blog Tour: Kings & Daemons by Marcus Lee

Kings & Daemons

by

Marcus Lee

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Publication: May 25, 2020

Age Group: Young Adult

A tale of conquest, dark kings, and daemonic heroes. A spellbinding story that will enchant you with its plot of ambition, love, betrayal, sacrifice and redemption.

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.

Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.

PURCHASE LINKS

 Kings and Daemons is the first book in a new series by Marcus Lee!  This interesting and original Young Adult fantasy/romance is the story of a rag-tag group of people who band together to defeat a great evil!  One of those ‘misfits’ is Maya, a girl with extraordinary powers.  Also Taran, a telepath with a penchant for anger and Kalas, an incredible warrior.  I felt this fit exactly into the young adult genre and it is a fantasy book with all of the classical elements that readers love!

The world building through the first few chapters is well-done through character point of view vignettes.  I loved the imagery of the forest, the Free States, and the Witch-King’s lands.  Though the book is near 400 pages, I found it went rather quickly and I was engrossed in the plot from the beginning.  This is a fantastic introduction to a new fantasy world from author Marcus Lee! 

I enjoyed the rich character building for Maya, Taran, and all of the other main/side characters.  I thought the character arcs tied up nicely along with the narrative.  Of course, being a series, there is more to come and I am absolutely excited for a continuation of this story!  I would recommend this to any YA fantasy fans and any general fantasy fans.  There is something for every reader in this book, plenty of action, a bit of romance, all of the fantasy elements, and an easy to follow plot that hooks you from the beginning!

Thank you to Marcus Lee and Storyteller’s on Tour for having me along for this tour!  I appreciate all of the work that indie authors put into their novels and I am so glad to have the opportunity to read them!  Thanks to the team at Storyteller’s on Tour as well!  This is my third or fourth tour with them and they are always top notch!

Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me … but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.

As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.

Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.

So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.

However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be the first of many. I genuinely hope so.

Who knows, now these creatives juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.

Epic fantasy has been my favourite genre since I first read The Odyssey and The Illiad as a seven-year-old. Now it’s my turn to see if I can bring another world to life in the imagination of others.

@sot_tours Blog Tour: A Hero’s Downfall by Tony Johnson

The Story of Evil: A Hero’s Downfall

by

Tony Johnson

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Publication: March 4, 2020

Age Group: Adult

During an entertaining jousting tournament, a mysterious villain attacks the capital with his army. Because of this disastrous event, Stephen Brightflame, a nineteen-year-old who aspires to become a knight, embarks on a quest to save the kingdom from further destruction. He joins up with a convicted felon, an arrogant warrior, and a Halfling woman, but quickly learns their pasts are just as dark and disturbing as his own. Experience the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy that’s been called, “fascinating and captivating” featuring “well-rounded, enjoyable characters, intense action scenes, and riveting twists” (The US Review of Books and Self-Publishing Review).

PURCHASE LINKS

The Story of Evil:  A Hero’s Downfall is a wonderful work of sword and sorcery fiction!  This series has been re-edited and combined into a trilogy for release in 2020!  Another epic fantasy novel that draws you in from page 1 and doesn’t let you go until the very end!  There is a cast of characters the reader meets in the beginning, humans, elves, halflings, dwarves, and a dragon among others!  It can be challenging to keep up with all of the characters, but Tony Johnson really keeps it all together in a great way!  I never felt lost in the names and always felt like I knew where I was within the story and the world of the story.

A note about names.  I love the names in this book!  First, Stephen Brightflame goes by Steve.  Which I find a bit comical, but also very fitting!  It’s a simplistic name for a decidedly non-simplistic character!  Steve is funny, interesting, and oh so full of life!  Also, Clyx?  I love it!  A horse sort of side-kick with an amazing name?  Here for it!  Kari is another great character, along with Ty!  There are many more characters in this book, but I would encourage you to read it to find out more!  Your favorite character might be someone else!  Could it be Cassandra?  Titus?  Or Nightstrike himself?

The pacing of this book is fast!  From start to finish, I was hooked!  It’s rare for me to have a truly, “couldn’t put it down” experience.  I had one with this novel!  Tony is a talented writer who knows how to weave background information into plot.  I didn’t feel like I had information dumped on me at any point in the book!  I can see the elements of high fantasy in this book and the influences from more modern high fantasy writers!  It’s a thrill ride of swords, magic, dragons, griffins, kings, elements, orphans, action, and friendship!  All the elements of fantasy that I love out of a book in this genre!

Another great book on tour with Storyteller’s on Tour!  Thank you to the SoT team and Tony Johnson for the opportunity to read and review this book!  It’s on my recommendation list for epic fantasy novels and I’ll certainly be looking forward to the next chapter in this series! All opinions are my own and I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Zack Argyle was raised with a wonderful family mTony Johnson is the author of the epic fantasy series, The Story of Evil. He is an avid reader who enjoys fantasy, classic novels, Shakespeare, and Christian literature. He is also a fan of movies, television, videogames, and Tennessee Titans football. He graduated with a Bachelors in English Literature from SUNY Brockport with a certification to teach 7th-12th grade English and Special Education. Tony lives in Batavia, NY and is currently finishing up his Masters Degree and working on the final book in the Story of Evil trilogy.

@sot_tours Blog Tour: Voice of War by Zack Argyle

Voice of War

by

Zack Argyle

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Publication: March 19, 2020

Age Group: Adult

While preparing for the birth of his first child, Chrys Valerian is tasked with uncovering the group responsible for a series of missing threadweavers—those able to see and manipulate threadlight. With each failure, the dark voice in his head that began during the war grows louder, begging to be released.

Laurel lives in Zedalum, a secret city in the center of the Fairenwild. During her most recent messenger run, Laurel veered off course to explore the streets of Alchea. She never expected that her journey would end in chains.

When Chrys learns who is responsible for the missing threadweavers, they come for him and his family. He must do everything in his power to protect those he loves, even if it means trusting a strange girl or the dark voice in his mind.

PURCHASE LINKS

Voice of War is a fantastic and original epic fantasy by Zack Argyle!  I am so excited to be on tour with Storyteller’s on Tour!  They have so many consistently good books on tour!  This book was so good and such a great epic fantasy! 

There is so much to unpack here that I enjoyed!  The magic system is interesting and original.  I felt like there was some foreshadowing in the beginning few chapters, but it really wasn’t too obvious, which I appreciated!  The pacing is just right and I felt like I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book!  Once I started reading, I didn’t realize I was already halfway through the book!  I know there are some facets of the book that we’ve heard about before as readers of fantasy, like light weavers, but I really felt like the structure of the story and characters were original and oh so relatable!  I felt the highs and lows, the struggles within Chrys.  The point of view switching, even as brief as it was at some points, felt different and innovative!

Some indie books can get lost in the weeds of dialogue, but Voice of War has a great blend of dialogue, action, and plot twists!  Great character development, interesting plot, and just enough drama to give us a well-balanced and innovative epic fantasy!  Overall, this is a solid fantasy book and I am so glad I read this!  Perfect for fans of epic/high fantasy, like Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, and Patrick Rothfuss!

Than you so much to the author and Storyteller’s on Tour for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!  Don’t forget to check out all the stops on this tour!

Zack Argyle was raised with a wonderful family motto: don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. What better way than to write fiction? He spends his days writing code and his nights writing epic stories about family, love, loss, friendship, and pain all intermixed with a heavy dose of the fantastical.

@sot_tours Blog Tour: Guild of Tokens by Jon Auerbach

Guild of Tokens

by

Jon Auerbach

Genre: Urban Fantasy (unconventional)

Publication: June 25, 2019

Age Group: Adult

SHE WANTS TO LEVEL UP HER HUMDRUM EXISTENCE. BUT HER NEXT QUEST COULD SPELL LIFE OR DEATH.

Jen Jacobs’s nights are spent traversing a strange city finding hidden objects, slaying dragons, and tangling with a host of fellow adventurers. And her days are spent counting down the seconds until she can return to the grind and continue racking up tokens and leveling up.

Except Jen isn’t playing a video game.

It’s all real and happening right in New York City.

After a particularly harrowing quest pairs her up with Beatrice Taylor, a no-nonsense and ambitious mentor, Jen hopes she’s on the path to becoming a big-time player. But as she dives deeper into the game’s hidden agenda, she realizes Beatrice has her sights set on the Guild, the centuries-old organization that runs the Questing game. And the quests Jen loves are about to put both of them in grave danger.

Will Jen survive the game before powerful forces cut her real life short?

Guild of Tokens is a thrilling new twist on conventional urban fantasy. If you like determined heroines, gritty cityscapes, and vampire-free adventures, then you’ll love Jon Auerbach’s rollercoaster tale.

It’s so hard for me to begin this review, because I enjoyed this book so much!  This is a self-described unconventional urban fantasy, which a tantalizing mystery, an all knowing secret organization, and a secret that runs so deep through the heart of New York City.

Jen is a coder by day and Quester by night, but also day sometimes too.  In the beginning, we get glimpses of Jen’s regular life as a resident of NYC, but the reader is quickly introduced to the Quest Board and the infrastructure that holds it all together.  With every chapter, Auerbach gives us a tiny morsel of information that will, we hope, eventually be part of the bigger picture of what’s going on in the story.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to solve the puzzle with Jen as she navigates through the world of Quests, tokens, requesters, etc.  It takes an incredible amount of skill to keep your reader guessing at every turn and I commend Auberbach for this achievement.

The relationships between the characters are carefully developed, and I really enjoyed the dynamic between Jen and Beatrice, which doesn’t develop fully until about 1/4 of the way into the book.  Another point is that some urban fantasy books can be nonstop action, but this book is action threaded through a fantastic puzzle, with a splash of magic.  I was glad that every scene was not an action sequence, but there is absolutely danger in this book, though subtle at points. 

The plot and pacing kept me engaged from cover to cover.  Overall, this is a great urban fantasy with a unique premise!  Guild of Tokens is on tour with Storyteller’s On Tour to celebrate the release of the audiobook!  Be sure to order your copy today, enter the giveaway below, and see all of the other great stops on this tour!

Thank you to Jon Auerbach and Storyteller’s on Tour for having me on this tour!  I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  This was a pleasure to read!

Jon Auerbach’s love of fantasy began at the tender age of six, when his parents bought him the classic 1977 animated version of The Hobbit (the less said about the recent trilogy, the better). His passion for sci-fi developed from nights watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and from his dad’s old paperback copies of Foundation and I, Robot.

Jon writes in both genres and hopes to pass on his stories to the next generation, including his kids, who have their own copy of The Hobbit that they lovingly call “the Bilbo book.”

Click to Enter

Blog Tour: Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle

Spit and Song

by

Travis M. Riddle

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Publication: November 19, 2019

Age Group: Adult

Kali is a merchant who yearns to leave the harsh deserts of Herrilock and travel across the sea, trading goods and soaking in the sights and cultures. With a new potion on the market undercutting her profits, though, her seabound dreams are put on hold indefinitely.

Failed musician Puk hits rock bottom after yet another catastrophic performance. Wandering the city streets in search of any sip of booze or whiff of fire-spit he can get his hands on, he resigns to the fact that he’s stuck in the desert with no way back home to Atlua.

Until one day, their paths cross with an illicit job opportunity. With its hefty payday, Kali and Puk could afford to finally escape the desert heat and set sail across the gulf.

The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beast’s ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world.

How hard could it really be?

PURCHASE LINKS

Spit and Song is a wonderful follow up to Travis M. Riddle’s Balam, Spring!  Fear not, this can be read as a standalone!  I had no trouble understanding the story and the world, even though I hadn’t read the first book.  Though the book is hefty, weighing in at about 500 pages, I found the story to be easy to understand and it went by rather quickly once I’d gotten a hold on the characters and the other beings in the world. 

Kali is a merchant with a dream, and the first character you meet in the story.  Next is Puk, a dealer with big aspirations as well.  They conduct their business, always looking for a way out, a way to make something of themselves.  One day, a chance for a big payday is offered to them, a harrowing journey to find a book that has been lost long ago.  Through their adventure, they encounter a wide array of monsters, ruffians, and travel by almost every mode of transportation available in the world!

The book had a slightly slow start, but it picked right up about 1/8 of the way into the book.  The names of creatures and other descriptive details got a bit confusing, but quickly were resolved and I knew exactly what was going on.  In fact, I appreciated the descriptive details because they gave me a much more clear picture of the world I was reading about and the characters who live there!

The story structure was solid and I’m glad the narrative wasn’t overly complicated or trope heavy.  Given the books I’ve been reading lately, this was a refreshing science fiction/fantasy novel cleanse my pallet!  Not only does this book have a fantastic cover, the book itself is also very worth reading!  I would recommend this to fans of sci-fi/fantasy who enjoy classic adventure RPG tales with a new twist! 

This book was a fun and interesting journey!  I am so glad that I was able to participate in this tour!  Thank you to the author and Storytellers On Tour for a copy of the book!  I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

Travis M. Riddle lives with his pooch in Austin, TX, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. His work has been published in award-winning literary journal the Sorin Oak Review.

Blog Tour: Book I: A King’s Bargain – Legend of Tal

Book I: A King’s Bargain

Legend of Tal

by

J. D. L. Rosell

Genre: Epic/Hero, Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery

Publication: June 1, 2020

Age Group: Adult

The legend of Tal Harrenfel is sung across the Westreach — and with each telling, the tales grow taller. But though he’s declared a hero by his King, Tal has never claimed to be more than a man…

After three decades of fighting warlocks, killing mythical beasts, and hunting enchanted treasure, Tal has had enough. Running from the deeds of his past, he retreats to his home village under a different name and meets an unlikely companion: Garin, a village boy who dreams of making a name for himself and seeing the world beyond their sleepy town.

When Tal receives a mysterious visitor, both he and Garin find themselves thrown into a sojourn across the kingdom. Soon, they become embroiled in the plots of monarchs, on the frontlines of an ancient war, and at the mercy of a fabled sorcerer.

Now Tal must live up to his legend, and Garin discover his own power, to survive the forces pitted against them…

Name of the Wind meets Witcher in A King’s Bargain, an intertwining sword and sorcery adventure and coming of age tale. If you like The Wheel of Time, The Dragonbone Chair, or The Stormlight Archive, you’ll love the captivating world of Legend of Tal!

PURCHASE LINKS

From the outset, this book is an intriguing and imaginative high fantasy!  Filled with wonderful prose, excellent world-building, and loveably flawed characters.  A King’s Bargain is an epic hero’s journey entwined with a coming-of-age plotline that works on all the levels!

From Hunt’s Hollow to Halenhal and all of the places in between, this world is great!  There is an incredible amount of world-building in the first few chapters of this book, but it isn’t completely exposition.  Much of it is either gleaned through Garin’s conversations with Bran on the road or from quiet discussions between Bran and our loveable mage, Aelyn.  It is very hard to write complicated political systems, particularly those in a fantasy realm, but the author absolutely gets  it right in this book! 

Garin is a wonderfully headstrong and intelligent young man who decides to leave home, but has no idea what he is in for!  We’ve got Bran, a mysterious chicken farmer with a secret, who sets out on an initial journey to Halenhal hoping to keep his past a secret.  Aelyn the grumpy elven mage is possibly my favorite for all of his no-nonsense behaviors.  A few more characters are encountered along the way, including Falcon, a hilarious bard with a big personality, and Wren, a determined individual who follows a similar path as Garin in wanting to make a name for herself. 

A tantalizing mystery awaits the weary travelers once they reach Halenhal and the Coral Castle.  From here, the plot picks up quite quickly and doesn’t relent until the end of the novel.  This book has all of the elements of high fantasy that I love, including mages, myth, magic, adventuring, great and legendary foes, vicious beasts, sacrifice, fellowship, and so much more!  The action scenes are well-written, combining magic, swordplay, banter, and immediate danger for a fantastic concoction of fast-paced fighting!

Author J.D.L. Rosell is an imaginative and skillful writer!  A King’s Bargain is a sweeping epic fantasy with a lot of promise for the next book!  Overall, I absolutely enjoyed this book and would pick up another by Rosell in a heartbeat!  This book combines excellent elements of high fantasy with well-crafted writing to bring the reader into a world filled with magic, mystery, and danger!

This is a great book for fans of The Witcher, Elder Scrolls, Lord of the Rings, all the RPG games, and any other lovers of epic fantasy stories!

Thank you to J.D.L. Rosell and Storyteller’s on Tour for the opportunity to read and review this book!  This review is my honest opinion and I was provided a no-cost copy of this book.

J.D.L. Rosell is the author of more than seven books, including the dark epic fantasy series The Famine Cycle, the fast-paced LitRPG/Gamelit series The Everlands, and the sword-and-sorcery series Legend of Tal. He also writes some serialized books, including the Nordic epic fantasy The Frozen Throne, which has over 100k views on Wattpad.

Previously, J.D.L. Rosell earned an MA in creative writing and has written as a ghostwriter. Always drawn to the outdoors, he gets out into nature whenever he can and indulges in his hobbies of hiking and photography. But most of the time, he can be found curled up with a good book at home with his fiancée and two cats, Zelda and Abenthy.

A King’s Bargain Giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js