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Malice ❮EPUB❯ ✰ Malice Author John Gwynne – Thomashillier.co.uk A black sun is rising Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule learning the art of war He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm But A black sun is rising Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule learning the art of war He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm But that day will come all too soon Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed shields in battle the earth running dark with their heartsblood Although the giant clans were broken in ages past their ruined fortresses still scar the land But now giants stir anew the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars Sorrow will darken the world as angels and demons make it their battlefield Then there will be a war to end all wars High King Auilus summons his fellow kings to council seeking an alliance in this time of need Some are skeptical fighting their own border skirmishes against pirates and giants But prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions the Black Sun and the Bright Star They would be wise to seek out both for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust.

  • Hardcover
  • 672 pages
  • Malice
  • John Gwynne
  • English
  • 08 July 2016
  • 9780230758452

About the Author: John Gwynne

Malice is my debut novel Goldsboro Books of London specialists in signed first editions have made Malice their 'Book of the Month' for December I was born in Singapore while my dad was stationed there in the RAF Up until he retired that meant a lot of traveling around generally a move every three years or soI live with my wife and four wonderful and demanding children in East Sussex.

10 thoughts on “Malice

  1. Petrik Petrik says:

    455 StarsDo you ever have this feeling just after you finished reading the first book of a series you knew immediately there's a huge potential for the series to become one of your favorite series of all time? Malice the first book in The Faithful and the Fallen uartet by John Gwynne is one of those rare cases for meWhat started out as a simple classic tale of Good vs Evil ended up being not as simple as I thought As the story progressed the story evolved darker gradually while keeping the theme ‘Good vs Evil’ at its heart Has this theme been done before in the past? Yes than a million times already Will I ever get bored with it? No never It’s my favorite kind of story; it’s the essence of the majority of epic fantasy books video games and movies What this theme reuires to reach greatness has always been a touch of creativity to make the story uniue make it the author's own story to share and this John Gwynne did phenomenallyTaking place in The Banished Lands where the God War—which broke the world in the first place—happened in the far away past a prophecy foretold that the ancient war is coming back; anyone with the knowledge of the prophecy must unite to prevent the destruction that the war will cause; the opposite side will unite to achieve the chaos Don’t worry this is not a spoiler it’s told in the prologue Malice as the first book of the series managed to create a huge amount of groundwork for the seuels In fact this installment is like an introduction to its rich world legends and characters It's not until the end of the book that we finally get to know who the real faces mentioned in the prophecy were; assuming I'm not proven wrong in the seuels This is all I will tell you about the story Look I’m doing you a favor here jump into this book as blindly as possible If you want to know of the basic premise of the plot this is one of the really rare circumstances where it’s safe to read the blurb of the book That’s really all you have to know Although this epic darker tone fantasy grew complex brutal and poignant with each page turned at the same time it’s filled with familial love and friendship that will warm and break your heart The novel never goes into the grimdark genre where the characters are morally ambiguous Told from third person narrative Malice introduces you to a wide variety of lovable and great characters with fantastic developments spread throughout the book Other than the obvious villains that were written to be loathed every single POV in the book is highly engrossing Containing the themes of coming of age friendship responsibility bravery pride ego deception and malice these characters were imbued with its own uniue narrative; no POV ever felt as if they were told with the same voice I must also mention there's a huge bonus of reading this book if you’re a lover of friendship between human and dogs like me; you’re in for a treat here Pacing wise Malice started really slowly because it’s a heavily character driven book This doesn’t mean that there weren’t any actions to be found though you’ll be entertained with a lot of mini action seuences spread sparsely which I must say are all written with great details Not to mention that the last uarter of the book was really high paced with tons of intense actions in its climax seuences This is honestly my favorite type of story structure in a book It allows us to care about the characters first know how they truly feel their motivations their purpose and eventually their fate Every favorite series of mine have these elements Without any compelling characters I seriously can’t be invested heavily towards a series Luckily John Gwynne is amazing at writing lovable characters world building and his writing was really easy to get into; it's immersive vivid and felt raw with emotions to provide a rich reading experience I absolutely loved almost everything about this book that in fact I only have two really minor cons1 The huge amount of names can be uite overwhelming since they were all introduced right from the beginning consecutively It took a uarter of the novel for me before I was able to memorize all the names of the characters and places; this was possible with the help of the beautifully drawn map at the beginning of the book2 The physical aspects of the characters were uite hard to envision because they lacked the necessary descriptionsThat’s it really it’s of tiny annoyances than cons but I got used to them really uickBy the end of the last page I found myself filled with the satisfaction of getting to read such a magnificent first book of a series not to mention that this is also Gwynne's debut work Other than the two minor cons in the first section of the book I absolutely enjoyed reading Malice; it’s a classic story of Light vs Darkness at its best Right from the beginning the characters and the plot gripped me and never let go until the end Among all the famous “If you loved Game of Thrones you should try this” blurbs and recommendations this is probably as close as it gets in terms of uality complexity and its harsh world I do believe that this series will be superior compared to A Song of Ice and Fire and hey the series is completed already by the end of it but I’ll reserve my final judgment until I read the last book Wrath I don’t usually recommend any completed series until I finished the last installment but this deserves an exception I’m an idiot if I don’t recommend this right from the start I highly recommend Malice to anyone who loves epic fantasy with lovable casts of charactersYou can order the book from Book Depository Free shipping You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

  2. Mark Lawrence Mark Lawrence says:

    I finished Malice by the excellent John Gwynne whilst at hospital with Celyn this week It's taken me a very long time to read due to the many calls on my time so I've read it in small chunks over many months and that's exactly the opposite of how I would want anyone to read my own work It's a particularly bad way to read complicated books and with a GRRM sized cast and many point of view characters this is a book that really needs your attention on it or you'll get lost in the whirl of names and places and politicsEven so the story was still able to come to an exciting head for me in the closing stages with all manner of battles betrayals and revelationsI particularly enjoyed the battle scenes and duels You get the feeling John knows a lot about swords and swordplay no idea if he does or notI would call this an 'old style' book that reminds me of much of my reading as a teen but brought up to date in the same sort of way that Michael Sullivan has done with his workWe see an on coming 'god war' wide spread crisis as the first tremors of it reach into the lives of a collection of characters mostly young men ranging from low born to noble scattered across the many nations of this world There are intrigues and mysteries and we're often not sure who can be trusted Various potential heroes grow over the period of possibly a year? and have their mettle tested The reviews on goodreads have been great and I can see a big readership for the book Hopefully a US release will come along soonIf it sounds like your thing then it probably is D Join my 3 emails a year newsletter #prizes

  3. Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin says:

    My thoughts Yeah I wanted to kill people seven ways til Sunday in this book The damn bullies and the evil people If you read this book you best not like anyone or anything because they are going to DIE Well not all of them but still You know how these epics go Some of my favorite characters1 Corbin2 Cywen Corbin's sister3 Gar stablemaster4 Thannon the smith CorbinCywen's father5 VeradisOkay there are several I loved but I can't list them all Corbin and his best friend Dath get bullied by this jerk named Rafe and oh I can't wait until the day he gets his I hope he gets it bad Watch he will turn into a good person and I will have to like him Cywen is bad to the bone and takes up for Corbin beating the crap out of Rafe D But of course Corbin doesn't want his sister fighting his battles And it's going to be a little bit before he can start training to be a warrior Gar the stable master actually starts training him early Cywen also works for Gar helping with the horses Gar is a wonderful person I love Corbin and Cywen's parents too They are good people And they have some secrets about Corbin which I hope will come out in the next book Their father is a smith but he is bad to the bone too well so is Gar One day Corbin goes off because of reasons and he runs into some wolven Then some stuff happens that endears Corbin to the wolves But later on some bad stuff happens by some ssholes and Corbin ends up with a wolven pup He named her Storm He also gets a little colt given to him by Gar who he names Shield and I was loving the part when Shield actually saved his life There are a lot of things going on in this book The author built up this world pretty good in this debut novel We also have giants wyrms elementals and other stuff There is to be a God War You can read the book and find out what all that entails Veradis is too cool He is sent over to another King to fight in his son Prince Nathair's warband He does a pretty freaking good job protecting the prince but some things happen there and off Veridis goes fighting stuff because of stuff And I'm not sure what is going on with Nathair at this point I'm thinking all kinds of people in this book are being possessed by stuff I love saying stuff Brina is a healer and she's cool I love her crow Craf too Like I said there are many characters in this book I liked and loathed I haven't named them all There is just too much and you should just read the book if you love epic fantasy books I am anxious to read the next books because I don't know who else is going to die God it's like reading Game of Thrones or watching The Walking Dead I'm going to start hating everything and everyone because if you like them even a little bit they will die I think I mentioned that before but still lol Anyway read it enjoy it rage with it and move on MY BLOG Melissa Martin's Reading List

  4. James Tivendale James Tivendale says:

    That is my prayer what use is prayer to a God that has abandoned all things HalvorGwynne's debut is the foundation of what will arguably be a perplexing but ultimately breathtaking fantasy saga One that is flowing with age old and perhaps cliched elements preparing for the ultimate battle Good vs Evil It features a whole range of species such as humans giants wolven draigs and also incorporates a friendly intellectual talking crow A few wise people have envisaged through their extramental powers and knowledge that the ever present threat of a God war; one that was fabled over 2000 years ago may be very close to fruition The mythical race the Ben Elim revered two Gods Asroth and Elyon One of these ascendants has turned his back on humanity and all who dwell within The Banished Lands It is foretold that both sides will have a champion One entitled the Black Sun and one known as the Bright Star The narrative follows about 7 8 points of view all in third person perspective What is interesting and I respect Gwynne for this is that barring one obviously evil character all the main focus characters are good people in this disturbing dark and deceptive world Whichever side of the Good vs Evil foundations they are freuenting we hear it from good hearted people To the extent where although both characters are involved throughout the whole book until the ultimation we have no idea who is the Black Sun and who is the Bright Star and I guess even then we can't be 100% sure From this tactic of the author with writing pleasant point of views the story starts off uite upbeat and charming with a royal wedding known in this realm as a handbounding The reality is that with the ever present war this vibe does not continue too long I would say 50% of this book follows young Corban A youth from Ardan who is dealing with bullies family issues and the ever present knowledge that he needs to work hard before his looming manhood challenge; sitting the Long Night where he can prove he is a warrior which is his main ambition He wants to make everyone proud if possible It doesn't always appear easy for young Corban with the challenges he faces on this road to ever looming manhood Well if he makes it that far Not a spoiler Just may end up being a fact in this rotten worldIn this novel so many of the presented personae are complicated some are likable and others are intensely mysterious Characters that stood out most to me and there are a few which speaks volumes in itself were Tull Storm Nathair Envis Cywen Mauin Camlin amongst about 47 others You will get attached and yes; it will hurt The world is intricately created incorporating nationalities races religions family ties etc I mentioned before that some cliches worm their way throughout this book however; fantasy is my favourite genre so if it isn't broke then why fix it A cliche of my own I do not wish to discuss too much of the actual plot characterisation or outcomes and trust me you will thank me because this is a book you don't want to have ruined If you haven't read this then stop reading reviews After this one of course Spoilers do lurk so be careful I was aware of one or two before the conclusionApart from it being a typical fantasy which isn't really a problem I do have one criticism For a published novel by TOR I noticed a handful of errors Main character names spelled wrong missing marks from sentences repeating exactly the same statement a paragraph later when that point; for the progression of the book did not need to be repeated In the introduction Gwynne thanks 9 people; excluding an editor for proof reading his manuscript It is a shame that errors sneaked through I know I make spelling mistakes probably even in this review yet I don't sell these at Waterstones Spelling errors alas but still a spellbinding story and I can't wait to start Valour well probably in about 7 minutes The ending was a great culmination of all the threads or should that be threats? and it does finish with most events being nicely tied up No major cliffhangers A few of my friends said that this books finale brought tears to their eyes I will not argue it is brutal and utterly devastating and unpredictable at some points It didn't upset me too much following on from reading the heartless deaths in Malazan and also the fact I am a cold hearted psychopath Unless it involves animals I saw a dead cat once and cried If a characters' pet animal who you will love got injured I threatened to throw this and the remaining three books into my fire And I will You best think that over Gwynne before you release Wrath in 7 days or you with honestly feel my Wrath GrrOh shit I reviewed this and didn't mention Games of Thrones Damn I just didYour friend James wwwyouandibookswordpresscom

  5. Lady Luna. ✨ Lady Luna. ✨ says:

    Another buddy read with my fantasy addicted pals at BBB 45 BRUTAL STARS ★★★★ 'even the brave will fall' Warning this book is not for the lighthearted I can't even count the amount of times I was shocked and saddened in this book I heard this is the authors first book Umm wow what a great start to no doubt a wonderful career for John Gywnne This is another great fantasy read that I throughly enjoyed I did however find the story extremely dark with little relief but it was a good read that keeps you on the edge of your seat I really enjoyed the plot the beginning was very slow all us fantasy readers know that a good book always starts slow but halfway through it picked up and I have to say I was not bored once in the last half There is nothing better then reading about a god war I love John Gywnne's idea and cannot wait to see what the other books revel I love the mythology used in this book it has made this an extremely interesting read for meI must add that the battle scenes were so good and so fucking EPICI love the characters and found them all really well developed There is a few characters who I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Cywen was amazing and such a badass I love strong female characters Corban who is a cinnamon roll and a badass too I felt so proud of him during this book and then there was VERADIS omg he is so amazing honourable heart eyesbut he is blinded atm I also loved storm shield Gar Brina 3 There were a lot of bad guys too fuck you guys suckWho would I recommend this to I think this book would only be suited to adults who have a heart of steel There are a few parts in this story that are brutal and I literally cried my eyes out This is also not for the faint hearted a lot of killing blood guts and grim shit lolI'm so keen to read the other books and find out what the prophecy means then there was that mind blowing ending Wow I still am not sure if I want to celebrate or hide and ugly cry lol

  6. Mayim de Vries Mayim de Vries says:

    Have you ever heard me saying The movie was better? I don’t think so as such statement is an epitome of blasphemy for every self respecting reader But here comes Malice with each of its 672 pages like a severe toothache and I promise if they ever turn this book into a movieseries it is going to be better than the original It took me let me check over a month to read Malice I put it down twice and read two other books in between And the only thing that kept me going was the sheer malicious intent of writing this review All my friends save Anirudh whose very somber views when it comes to Malice lift up my spirits are salivating with stars at the slightest mention of the Faithful and the Fallen and GR offers TWO sensible 2 star reviews Anirudh’s included go give him a like so excuse me if I go a little over the board in my explaining you the book’s many flaws I started reading the series because of the good excellent ratings it received from virtually everyone in my trusted Fantasy Buddy Reads group yes Petrik you are to blame with your enthusiastic reviews believing to embark upon an epic fantasy journey Let me repeat epic from Latin and Greek épos speech tale song You know the genre it has heroes it has magic it has good resisting the evil and it is long and I know the genre What is I LOVE the genre and I do not live by bread alone but by the many words that proceed from the pens keyboards of epic fantasy writers But what makes the fantasy epic? Not the settings not the props I listed earlier but the deeds of the main protagonists their struggles and journeys that the tale recounts their choices that reshape the face of the world It is not so much about pitched battles and flashing swords constant action and cliffhangers of the many layered and multi stranded plot these are merely derivatives of worlds and ages dying and being born Now having said this What is the genre that is the easiest to confuse with epic fantasy? A YA coming to age story I know some authors who thought they are writing YA when in fact they produced a grimdark tale Mr Gwynne to the contrary is convinced that what he proposes is a high fantasy when we get a bloated YAWhat is the worst emanation of YA? That is an easy uestion to answer You will have a Special Snowflake on a personal journeyuest paved with destiny and facilitated by a Magic ThingAbility of utmost importance What did Mr Gwynne do? Multiplied this to the extreme in Malice we have TWO Special Snowflakes aka the Chosen Ones and SEVEN Magic Things I would love to tell you that at least we are spared another YA nightmare ie the love triangle but there are three instalments in the series and I wouldn’t put it past the author to throw one into the bargain as a bonus I would possibly reconcile with this issue still feeling cheated if not for the narration I started reading just after finishing the Gentleman Bastards and after the magnilouent prose of Mr Lynch Malice reads like an undergrad exercise in creative writing The woodenness of this language reminded me of the Falling Kingdoms series Crude strokes like toddler's drawing give you the idea of the world and the characters and the plot development but they do not manage to convey the world’s verisimilitude make the characters lovable or plot credible That the characters are archetypical doesn’t bother me I like fantasy because it offers me the idols I crave for; but Malice gives you not living breathing people but carefully produced puppets stinking with conveniences There are so many examples of this theatrics of convenience that it becomes a rule for the book view spoiler Corban going to the woods alone for the whole day of the feast unbothered by anyone and aided by supposedly sensible adult tasked with guarding him just because he had an unpleasant encounter with a village bully just so he can “save the wolven” which is crucial for the plot Cywen “instinctively ducks behind a tree” hiding in her own house because this is what a person does in a the safest place in the whole world ie home that is when the authors needs them to overhear something crucial for the plot Princess Edana swift and unexplained “friendship” with Corban and his sister to the point of taking them into her chamber to eavesdrop on her parents as if gallivanting with two random brats one working in the blacksmith and the other working in the stables is a part of princess curriculum It is not of course but in Malice things happen because they are supposed to happen and Corban’s line is the worst hide spoiler

  7. Choko Choko says:

    455 A second buddy read with the Fantasy Buddy Reads Group because this book is awesome A buddy read with my Fantasy addicted friends at BBB We are on a uest to read all worthwhile Fantasy ever written I loved it just as much the second time around Everything anyone could want from a Fantasy Novel I loved it A bit of a slow start but needed to introduce all the main players and for us to get used to the world I loved the Classic Fantasy feel to the writing and storytelling It is a bit on the Grim side but has plenty of characters you can root for unlike many other darker reads “I shall stay and tell my tale hope that it may serve some purpose that eyes shall see it and learn that the future will not repeat the mistakes of the past That is my prayer but what use is prayer to a god that has abandoned all things ” The book is the classic battle of good and evil G ds and Demons but unlike many of the typical Fantasy books we were raised on it shows the internal battle of good people who find themselves fighting for the bad side and those with dubious character who have to stand on the side of the Light Those are the characters who are best invested in throughout the whole book and the inevitable uestions of what makes a person chose one way or another what are the motivations which form the people we becomeI loved the legends and mythology behind the plot the many references to the out of cannon tales of the time when Angeles mingled with humans and G d was involved daily in Earthly affairs It is fascinating and very engaging But most of all I fell in love with the two pups a hound and a wolffen animals who can teach us all about loyalty and love While reading about the pups I couldn't help but think about Alcatraz Smedry by Brandon Sanderson who has a theory that authors must really hate mothers and dogs since they always tend to kill them in their books Hahaha I hope JG is not one of those authorsAnd there is a Prophecy How cool is that??? War eternal between the Faithful and the Falleninfinite wrath come to the world of menLightbearer seeking flesh from the cauldronto break his chains and wage the war againTwo born of blood dust and ashes shall champion the Choicesthe Darkness and Light Black Sun will drown the earth in bloodshedBright Star with the Treasures must uniteBy their names you shall know them –Kin Slayer Kin Avenger Giant Friend Draig RiderDark Power ’gainst LightbringerOne shall be the Tide one the Rock in the swirling sea Before one storm and shield shall standbefore the other True Heart and Black HeartBeside one rides the Beloved beside the other the Avenging HandBehind one the Sons of the Mighty the fair Ben Elim gathered ’neath the Great TreeBehind the other the Unholy dread Kadoshim who seek to cross the bridgeforce the world to bended knee Look for them when the high king calls when the shadow warriors ride forthwhen white walled Telassar is emptied when the book is found in the northWhen the white wyrms spread from their nestwhen the Firstborn take back what was lost and the Treasures stir from their restBoth earth and sky shall cry warning shall herald this War of SorrowsTears of blood spilt from the earth’s bones and at Midwinter’s heightbright day shall become full night So I think this is a perfect fit for those who love Classic Epic Fantasy with some Grim Dark overtones The story is told from multiple Points of View and spans across multiple kingdoms I enjoyed it very much and hope you guys give it a chanceNow I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find joy between the pages of a good book

  8. Bookwraiths Bookwraiths says:

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews Malice by John Gwynne is the first book in The Faithful and the Fallen series and it is an epic fantasy that has flown under the radar of a lot of fantasy aficionados After reading it I can understand that to some extent because – in this time when grimdark and its close cousins are all the rage – Malice is of a classic fantasy story with many of the tropes that go along with that term However where some novels might flounder under those classic themes Malice embraces them turning them into a very engaging and entertaining story; one that any fantasy lover will find themselves enjoyingThe story begins in the familiar vein of a disgruntled young man turning to evil entities for power In this case it is one Evnis who as the second son of a noble house feels himself mocked and overshadowed by his older brother Thus he turns to an ancient demon for succor and so finds himself standing before a magical fire watching as a man is sacrificed to call forth his chosen benefactor This ancient enemy of the world promises untold power to Evnis in return for Evnis himself With some doubts the youth agrees to the tradeFrom here the tale skips forward in time several decades A plot devise that I generally hate but here it fits nicely Now we see Evnis as a man married with a child and grown in power as the chief counselor to the King of Ardan Perhaps he is not the ultimate power in his land but Evnis is still an important figure at court and he is happy with his life His love for his wife having overshadowed his hunger for power and cast back the darkness within himself for a time However Evnis’ wife is deathly ill and with her death there looms a chasm of darkness not only for Evnis but for all the lands For in The Banished Lands there is an ancient prophecy of a coming war between the gods A time when the great demon himself Asroth will seek to destroy the world But before this calamity takes place there will be by dire signs of its eminence bleeding stones war between man and giant and a day when the noon day sun turns black At this time there will arise in the land the champions of the gods The Bright Star champion of good and The Black Sun champion of evil and all people will choose sides with one or the other as the whole world is swept up in war and darkness and deathFrom this point Mr Gwynne uses multiple characters to develop the story and even if many are standard fantasy fare they are well written fully developed and uniuely entertaining On one side of the land we have the Kingdom of Ardan where the young boy Corban is growing up in a small fishing village outside the walls of Dun Carreg fortress city of King Brenin of Ardan Young Corban’s life is an idyllic mixture of friendship family and faith He deals with childlike concerns even as he learns the fighting skills to become a man And beside him much of the time is his sister Cywen a dagger throwing tough talking and ferocious young woman who is always in the center of the action Plus let us not forget that the villainous Evnis lurks nearby; the darkness twisting within his soul only waiting for a time to erupt and consume all his enemies Seemingly a world away from Ardan is the Kingdoms of Tenebral and Isiltir Here we are allowed to experience the complex pattern of human nature by Veradis and Kastell Two young nobles from different kingdoms who find themselves coming together as friends before being swept apart by their choices and fate itself Veradis is a warrior born and bred sent to the capital city of Tenebral to earn both respect and experience in service to his king Soon however our young swordsman finds himself the fast friend of Prince Nathair of Tenebral; a brilliant youth who is the epitome of all a king should be handsome strong elouent brave and enlightened And Veradis finds himself rising to heights of authority and power he had never dreamt of attaining but he soon finds that the web of friendship respect and adoration that ties him to Nathair also has a dark side for the Prince of Tenebral dreams of than following in his father’s footsteps as king but of becoming something even legendary The Bright One himself Kastell on the other hand is a man bereft of his home and family having been raised by his uncle the King of Isiltir and embroiled in a life long rivalry with his cousin Jael A rivalry that has evolved to the point that it has become a life or death contest; one that cannot be uenched even by order of the king Thus Kastell and his ever loyal friend Mauin find themselves attempting to find their own way in the world away from the shadow of the throne of Isiltir However no matter how far they run from Kastell’s cousin fate seems to draw them back; the inevitable confrontation of Kastell and Jael surely to result in the death of one or both of themWhen you add these entertaining characters with great lore some nice battles ferocious giants sinuous wyrms mighty draigs and fearsome wolven you have a really enjoyable classic fantasy tale Sure many might say the story starts off a little sluggish as Mr Gwynne gets the set up put in the place and introduces all these characters but once the tale starts moving forward it is uite the enjoyable ride Does Malice reinvent the fantasy genre?NoIs it worth a read?Absolutely It is a solid start to an intriguing epic fantasy series I enjoyed it immensely by the end and look forward to reading further about this world Hopefully you will give it a try and join me in this journey through the God WarNetgalley and the publisher provided this book to me for free in return for an honest review The review above was not paid for or influenced in any way by any person entity or organization but is my own personal opinions

  9. Samir Samir says:

    This was a buddy read with my dear friend Orient and I thank her for encouraging me to start this series sooner than I plannedBefore I started Malice I was warned that the first half of the book is a slow burn but as soon as I was about fifty pages in I understood why This book hosts a large cast of characters and we follow some of them through POV chapters so the slower pace was needed to get us acuainted with them and to lay the foundation of the story through themThe premise of this story is an ancient prophecy of a war between Light and Darkness and there are many signs throughout the Banished Lands indicating the prophecy will soon be fulfilled Every war needs its champions and such is the matter with this one; the champion of Light Bright Star and the champion of Darkness Black Sun As we follow the story we begin to get the vibe of who might those champions be and by the end of the book we are almost certain of their identitiesI already mentioned the large cast of characters and the thing I liked about them was that they were all memorable which means they’re very well written and their progression was very well done because each of them evolves in an uniue and for some an unpredictable way They are the main focus of this story and their motivation and inner thoughts are moving it forward There were a couple of main ones that stood out for me; Corban a young boy training to become a warrior who we follow the most in this novel His POV is a coming of age tale and through this tale we’re introduced to his friends and foes and I would like to mention one certain friend that appealed to me a wolf named Storm Their relationship reminded me of the one between Fitz and Nighteyes from the Farseer Trilogy and it was a joy to read The second one is Veradis I can’t say of his role without spoilers so I’ll just say that he is a master swordsman in service of Nathair who fights to earn his father’s respect and that is a hard task because his father is a king and I have high hopes for him As you probably concluded yourself Gwynne succeeded in one thing that is very important to me he made me care for them so I can’t really ask for The world of the Banished Lands is set in the medieval surroundings influenced by Celtic folklore and mythology so you have the names like Cywen Mordwyr and creatures such as giants wyrms and draigs This helps to create the atmosphere of this novel and gives a particular feel to it As we’ve already established the Banished Lands is a place with a rich lore but there is much to this novel to keep you entertained; great set of characters plenty of battles and sword fighting duels scheming betrayals which will set in motion a chain of events affecting all of the kingdoms in the Banished Lands and this is just the beginning of this compelling tale I can’t say Malice brought something new to the genre it felt like a convergence of tropes but a convergence done right Gwynne has shown a promising talent with this great debut and I can’t wait to read the rest of the seriesI was reading this on my Kindle and when I was done I realized that this the beginning of something special so I ordered the paperback versions of the entire series because I have a feeling that this series will deserve to be proudly displayed on my bookshelf

  10. Celeste Celeste says:

    45 stars rounded up Half star taken off for a slow start But man did that ever changeMove over Martin because Gwynne is here to steal yo’ girlThe A Game of Thrones comparisons here are completely understandable As in Martin’s series there is a varied cast of characters from whose perspectives we witness this story unfold There is no time travel here no resurrection for those who die Death is final and it is an eual opportunity reaper not caring how good or bad a person is how likable or how important As with Martin’s work no one is truly safe here However Gwynne has already surpassed Martin in my mind even though I’ve thus far only read this Gwynne’s first novel Side note I do really like A Song of Ice and Fire This is in no way me dissing Martin So don’t yell at me Martin is a king of backstory and plot twists but Gywnne was far successful in crafting characters that I care about They aren’t just well polished pieces on a chess board; they breathe The love and are loved and fight and mourn and laugh and rage These people are as real as ink and page can produce Their physical appearances aren’t touched on much but I was actually okay with that The characters took on the features of people in my life who shared their personality traits causing me to care even about their well beingI also really appreciated Gywnne’s choice of setting The Banished Lands weren’t overwhelmingly large and I enjoyed the smaller scope of the story because of decision The effects of disagreements between kingdoms was immediately felt than in a larger fictional land like Westeros And the Scottish feel of the setting of the society of the names was wonderful It gave a weight to the story that some fantasy series that focus on uniue setting and societal norms tends to lack in my opinion The many kings of small neighboring kingdoms the importance of and methods of warring the names of both places and people all whispered of Scotland as I read but with enough differences to plant this solidly in the fantasy genre As far as I know there aren’t actually giants or wyrms or saber toothed wolves in ScotlandSomething else than made an impression on me was the mythos of the Banished Lands The creation myth beginning with the God War Asroth Elyon’s beloved first created and captain of the Ben Elim sowed seeds of discord and split the heavenly host When Asroth was defeated he turned his hatred on Elyon’s new creation man He wreaked havoc and Elyon in his rage almost destroyed the world The He realized what He had done and almost done He grieved In the aftermath Elyon vanished turning His back on all creation to mourn The Ben Elim still seek to protect it out of love for their Creator while their fallen brethren still work toward destruction The Judeo Christian influence here is overwhelming and I loved contemplating the theology here The parallels are fantastic; Elyon is even a Hebrew name for God meaning “Most High” I don’t believe that He has abandoned us as I’ve felt His presence in my life but I understand how His disappearance works better for the story Gwynne is telling here The Bright StarBlack Sun prophecy was also a big draw for me the Bright Star as savior and the Black Sun as antichrist The idea of a Chosen One is a trope as old as storytelling itself but it was deftly handled here and gave me all kinds of theological and philosophical goodies to chew on as I readOne other thing Gywnne did incredibly well was present a wide variety of relationships We were given fantastic friendships mortal enemies beautifully close families and their dysfunctional counterparts We see kings interact with subjects warriors interact with their leaders and each other and mentors training younger generations And best of all we see some incredible kinship between man and beast The animals in this book had so much personality and their relationships with their humans was beautiful to behold Family was so important in this story whether that family was formed by blood or bond and some of these animals were truly part of an amazing familyI’ve read some truly stunning debut novels in the past but the best of them are standalones and sometimes it’s many years before the author puts out another book If ever And often that next book is a letdown after the masterpiece that was their first book But rarely have I read a debut as fantastic as this one that was the first in a series A series that I have it on good authority only improves with each successive book I am undeniably impressed Congratulations Mr Gwynne; you’ve earned yourself another fanFor of my reviews as well as my own fiction and thoughts on life check out my blog Celestial MusingsA buddy read with my cyber darlings Petrik Haïfa and Mary with Sarah lurking in the wings

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