Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Monday Reading — Time for a New Book (or Four)

with 14 comments

Folks, I have been remiss about letting you know about a few books that are out that I’ve either had something to do with, or that I have reviewed. I even managed to find cover photos this time. (Yay, me!)

So, without further ado:

citadels front cover blog size THE CITADELS OF DARKOVER is out in e-book and trade paperback. I have a short story in this called “Citadel of Fear,” and I hope you’ll enjoy it. I also was interviewed by the editor, Deborah J. Ross, at her blog; I did the interview in February (I think), and it went up in April. But I missed it at the time and only saw a link to it on Twitter a few days ago.


Cursed_med_smallI was one of two editors on Chris Nuttall’s newest novel, CURSED, which is out in e-book form now. CURSED is the seventeenth book in Chris’s long-running Schooled in Magic series, and I’ve been fortunate enough to edit all but two of those books. His heroine, Emily, is a young woman originally from Kansas who’s been transported to another world entirely (Chris calls it the Nameless World). But during a recent battle against a crazed monarch, Emily nearly died…and woke up without access to her hard-won magical powers. Now she must get them back, and has to cope with a host of unexpected challenges. (Further editor sayeth not.)


Bro coverKayelle Allen has a new entry in her long-running Sempervians saga called BRO. It’s a fun story about two brothers who meet at an odd time; one (Senth) had no idea he had a brother, while the other (Khyff) has had the wrong idea about his long-missing brother for quite a few years. Neither is in an ideal situation, though both are making the best of things…will they manage to find common ground before it’s too late?

I was fortunate to edit Kayelle’s story, and know it’s excellent. It is also available via Kindle Unlimited, so if you have that, you should give it a try forthwith.


sons-of-the-lionFinally, I reviewed Jason Cordova’s newest novel, SONS OF THE LION, and as usual Amazon is playing silly buggers with the review. In case Amazon kicks it out (or just eats it), here it is:

SONS OF THE LION is a very well-written book filled with characters I adored and cheered for. The action works. The military ethos and care is profound. The distaste for child slavery and the uplifting of one exceptional child saved from the slavers into the merc company was perhaps my favorite thing overall.

So, you may be asking me, why didn’t I give it five stars if I liked it so much?

It’s the ending. I didn’t like that at all. And as I don’t want to spoil things, I will just say this: as an editor myself, I would’ve chosen a different route. I am unsure if the writer was boxed in by other issues in the Four Horseman Universe (I’ve read all the books to date, but the writer may be aware of things coming that I am not; surely the publisher, Chris Kennedy is). But I was very pleased with everything up to three chapters from the end.

Even with that — something that threw me out of the reader’s trance with great force — I thought this an exceptionally well-written book that did everything and then some that it was supposed to do. Military SF fans will love it. Four Horseman Universe fans will, too — that should go without saying — but anyone who loves military adventure (even if they don’t usually read SF) should appreciate it as well.

Four very solid stars. Recommended (despite its jarring and frustrating ending).

Barb Caffrey

I was happy to review SONS OF THE LION, though I had to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about how I felt about that ending without revealing spoilers. That proved to be difficult.

But do I think you should read it anyway if you enjoy military adventure, military SF, or have read any of the other novels or anthologies in Chris Kennedy’s wildly popular Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse universe? Yes, I do.

Why? The writing is stellar. The characterization is great. And while I hated the ending — let’s get real here — everything until three chapters from the end was exactly what I wanted. (Am I going to make up alternate endings like some of the folks signing petitions asking for a different ending to Game of Thrones on TV? No. But would I like to if I had enough energy? Hmmm…have to ponder.)

So, there you have it. Some books to whet your interest that you may not have known about, and I hope at least one of them will be to your liking. Have at!

14 Responses

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  1. Hi! I gave up reading the Darkover novels when I found out that Bradley she wasn’t actually writing them. They were still being published as being written by her. It became known when Holly Lisle who was supposedly co-writing the Glenraven series for Baen told Jim Baen that she had almost no input from Bradley on them due to Marion’s health. You could also tell that the writing style had changed.

    Thomas Monaghan

    May 27, 2019 at 11:05 am

    • That makes sense, Thomas. Though the last one Deborah J. Ross wrote I’d recommend to you (actually, any of hers work very well) because it’s vibrant and striking and evokes Darkover at its best.

      I was happy to be able to write four different stories in the Darkover universe. Three have to do with one family. And the fourth is all different, but still interesting…it was a challenge I was glad I was able to meet.

      Barb Caffrey

      May 27, 2019 at 2:54 pm

  2. These look so interesting Barb.
    Well done with your short story and with all your hard work to help others. I would dive in with some, but Amazon is also playing silly buggers* with me (my payment method actually- which has proved unsolvable-no kidding) so there is a sort of hiatus on. (I will not change my credit/debit card to suit Amazon- huff!)
    This is very ironic since my own work in through Kindle, one book just re-edited and new cover and the second in the series due out in June…..Ohhhhh the irony.

    * Cultural note…..’silly buggers’ has a far stronger inference in the UK- which suits my current mood regarding Amazon just fine!!

    Woebegone but Hopeful

    May 28, 2019 at 10:46 am

    • Roger, I’m glad you enjoyed ’em.

      There are links to Barnes and Noble for at least one of those, I think. Do you want me to find it? (Chris Nuttall’s CURSED definitely has a link to B&N.)

      Barb Caffrey

      May 28, 2019 at 9:49 pm

      • Thank you Barb, I’ll saunter over to Barnes & Noble and have a general look around…I might just start at the beginning with School of Magic…..

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        May 29, 2019 at 2:46 am

      • I think you’ll enjoy it, Roger. The series gets better the longer it goes. And I’ve edited all but two of ’em…

        If you really feel like getting some of my stuff, my three novels are there, too. (I can’t help but point this out.) 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        May 29, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      • I will have to look…I need to sharpen up my reading of books (as opposed to walking around with an audio book on).
        I have books published through Amazon’ Kindle, (I write under R J Llewellyn) and yet cannot purchase them because currently Amazon will not recognise my payment details….You just gotta love the irony. 😆

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        May 30, 2019 at 3:17 am

      • Yeah. That is ridiculous.

        The Darkover antho is also available through B&N, I think. So if you are in the mood for that…though that is more expensive than my e-books, or than Chris’s e-books, I figured I’d point that out. 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        May 30, 2019 at 11:10 am

      • Remind me of your books Barb, please.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        May 30, 2019 at 11:35 am

      • AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, and CHANGING FACES. They’re all available at Barnes and Noble.

        As for the Darkover anthos I’m in:

        Citadels of Darkover
        Gifts of Darkover
        Stars of Darkover
        Realms of Darkover

        Barb Caffrey

        May 31, 2019 at 2:20 am

      • I did try Kindle (just to be sneaky)…big problems….will seek out elsewhere!

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        May 31, 2019 at 2:58 am

      • I’m sorry to hear that, Roger. But yes, B&N has the books, too, and I hope it will be easier for you to access them there.

        Barb Caffrey

        May 31, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      • I just have to investigate NOOK 😃

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        June 1, 2019 at 2:32 am

      • Hey, whatever works. 😀

        Barb Caffrey

        June 1, 2019 at 7:25 am

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