Out Now: Blood of the King

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A kingdom torn by war. A curse whispered by dying lips. A hero born against his will.

Khirro never wanted to be anything more than the farmer he was born to be, but a Shaman’s curse binds him to the fallen king and his life changes forever.

Driven by the Shaman’s dying words, Khirro’s journey pits him against an army of the dead, sends him through haunted lands, and thrusts him into the jaws of beasts he wouldn’t have believed existed. In one hand he carries the Shaman’s enchanted sword, a weapon he can barely use; in the other he holds a vial of the king’s blood, the hope of the kingdom. His destination: the Necromancer’s keep in the cursed land of Lakesh. Only the mysterious outlaw magician can raise the king from the dead to save them all from the undead invasion, but can Khirro live long enough to deliver the vial?

Can a coward save a kingdom?

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“This superbly written tale is filled with magic, adventure, suspense, mystery and fabulous imagery.
I don’t give spoilers, so it’s not easy to say much, but if you love imaginative fantasy, with a strong storyline and amazing characters, then this book is for you – you’ll want more!
Highly recommended.”

“What a PHENOMENAL intro to this series! From the moment I cracked the spine of this book, I was hooked. I honestly picked it up because I thought the cover was incredibly interesting and, having read other books by Bruce Blake, I knew I was in for a ride of epic proportions. As usual, Mr. Blake did NOT disappoint!
Khirro’s journey is a staggering one, and from his first breath, I knew that I’d be in for some major crazy. I’m super excited for the next book in this series. If it’s anything like book 1, it’s going to be…well….EPIC.”

Buy Now from your favourite store:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/28ZTrHl

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/blood-of-the-king-1

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1125806717

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-of-the-king-bruce-blake/1114042010

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/316141626/Blood-of-the-King-Khirro-s-Journey-1

Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/ea77aaed-1f3b-42b4-a083-b0c4a32e1a5b

24Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=1524693



SPIRIT OF THE KING (Khirro’ Journey Book 2)












Notes on a Silent Epidemic

So here’s a thing: my newest release happened yesterday. Conventional wisdom says I should be pushing that, but what kind of man would I be if my first post was about not being too writing/book centered on the blog, and then my next post was nothing but pimping a new book?

Not much of a man, I think.

Instead, I have something far more important to talk about, something that affects far more people than we realize. Please return later in the week to see me whoring out 100000 words of epic fantasy.

**Trigger warning – depression, mental illness, and suicide**

About a week ago, my son posted a very brave and raw admission to Facebook. I am going to share it here–with his permission–but I wanted to touch on its subject myself first.

A number of years ago–I can’t recall exactly how many, perhaps 10 or 12–a man I knew, who we will refer to as a friend of a friend, stepped in front of a train. My friend, who had been very close with this man since high school, was stunned. His friend was a married man, with a family, and a job that paid him a six-figure income. Nobody suspected he had anything going on that would prompt him to make such a final decision. Stepping in front of a train is a very decisive way to take your life.

But don’t we all have similar stories? Perhaps not as final as this one, but don’t we all know someone with emotional issues that caught us off guard when we found out? The co-worker we poked fun at for taking ‘mental health’ days or for insisting on taking breaks during their work day?

I have suffered from depression for…I don’t even know how long. I believe it’s been about two years of medication and regular visits to both doctor and therapist but, If I had to guess, I’d say it’s something I have struggled with for at least a decade and perhaps much longer. Why so long, you might ask? Simply put: because admitting to something like depression or mental illness is also admitting to weakness.

That’s fucked, I know, but it’s what society teaches us. The truth is: not addressing your own issues is a sign of weakness and not being honest about them so others can learn from your experience and realize they’re not alone is cowardly.

I’m sorry I have not stepped up sooner, but my son has motivated me. At not quite 22 years old, he is already in many ways a man I hope to one day be and he is my hero. Please read his story and, if like me it makes you want to cry, then do that. Not only is it okay, but it is often necessary. (You might not want to be sitting in a Starbucks when you read it, as I am doing as I write this. Apparently tears make baristas and coffee drinkers a little uncomfortable).

Here’s Erik’s Facebook post. I hope seeing that what one young man has gone through can in some way make a difference in your life.

ErikI was never diagnosed with anything, but I did have this one experience this one time with mental illness.
This is a very personal piece of writing, a short description of my experience. If you believe in TMI (too much information), or over sharing, please don’t read.

TRIGGER WARNING; traumatic experiences below.

I’ve been content for about a year. Some days have been bad, but not many. Some days have been quite enjoyable, again not many. A lot of days have been o-k. For the most part, I’d say I’ve been content. This is a big deal, because if I compare it to how I was doing 3 years ago, I’m doing incredibly well.

3 years ago I didn’t think I was going to live to 20. I genuinely believed that my inevitable death was an impending one, and that it was going to come in the form of suicide.

Up until that point I’d lived a very happy, trauma free life… but for a variety of reasons (many of which I still don’t know or understand), I began to experience a crushing sense of apathy, sorrow, and despair.

I did a lot of work on my own to try to deal with my feelings, so much so, that by the time I ended up seeing psychiatrists and therapists I had already tried everything they had to offer with the exception of pharmaceuticals (which ended up helping in the long run).

As I continued my daily life, and attempted to fix things, the feelings continued to grow and worsen. By the time I had reached out to those around me I was thinking about suicide on almost a daily basis. As weeks and months went by, I continued to run out of energy, and it became a moment by moment struggle to think of anything other than death.

I had started on a medication; Effexor, and with that having little effect I found myself out of options. I began to experiment with what would be the easiest ways to die; I hung myself in the woods behind my work, but that was really uncomfortable, so I climbed up the rope and undid the noose. I never bought the bleach and ammonia, nor did I buy the gasoline to light myself on fire. I lived with my parents and we got rid of all the knives so I couldn’t slit my throat. There were no firearms to be had. It was an awful time.

My final experiment with suicide would be my last. I still find it difficult to use the word “attempt”, because if I had “attempted”, I was sure to have been successful. At the top of the Yates Street parkade I had decided I was going to do a swan dive. The death would be almost instantaneous, I would just have to make sure I landed directly on my head. I figured It would be far more painless than asphyxiation, burning, or stabbing myself in the throat.

I ran to the top but couldn’t jump immediately, I was worried there might’ve been someone below. Once I faltered I stopped completely. As I stood at the edge of the parkade, willing myself to jump, I was faced with the truth; I didn’t want to die.

I took the day off from work that day. I had texted a friend about what had happened, and the cops were contacted. I spent the next week in the hospital. Nothing special happened, but it was an interesting experience. I had visitors daily, and my meds were maxed out.

The next few months I spent wacked out on drugs, experiencing almost no emotions at all, which was a relief.

I spent the next few years recovering, and I still am. I pushed a lot of people away, and at the same time had a considerable amount of support. Sometimes support was as simple as not allowing me to push you away. I left a lot of people hurt in the wake of my own trauma, and I have lots of wounds that I’m responsible for besides my own. I’m taking it all one step at a time.

Most days, nowadays, I feel content. It’s a wonderful thing.

I might be vague in some parts, I’m sure my grammar and punctuation is awful too. What I wanted to do here was share with you an experience of mine. Maybe you can take something from it.

Please feel free to leave comments below or, if you are uncomfortable with a public forum but would like an ear to listen to your own experiences, you can email me. Also, please feel free to share this blog post. I know Erik would be pleased to know his story might make a difference for someone.

A Return to Blogging

I know what you’re thinking…”we’ve heard this before.” Bruce is feeling guilty again about Author photonot exposing himself to public consumption (eeww…I didn’t mean for that to sound so naughty), so he’s found a burst of energy and is back to tell us that he’s going to return to blogging, at least on a semi-regular basis.

Okay, yeah…that’s kind of it.

There’s a difference this time, though. I’m simply going to write whatever the hell I want to write on my blog. Every writer and their dog writes about their craft, their struggle, why not to use adverbs, and so on, and so on, and so on. There are so many that, not only is it tough to find any particular one in the haystack of blog detritus, but don’t they all end up saying kind of the same thing anyway?

Let’s face it…if your a writer, it might be a good idea to be writing instead of writing about writing or frittering away your non-Facebook hours reading someone else’s method…go find your own.

And if you’re a reader…do you really give a fuck? I mean really? You might have some interest in what Stephen King or JK Rowling has to say, but will knowing how I edit or where my ideas come from make you sleep better at night or enjoy my books more?

Not a chance.

So I’m going to take leave of being so vain as to think my blogged writing advice has more value than either Strunk & White or King’s On Writing. You want to learn about how I write? Go read all the writing advice books you can, and then the classics in your chosen genre, and then a bunch of the horrible ones, too. That’s what I did.

Of course, I’m not going to get completely away from all things book-related. I will be inundating you with propaganda when I have a new release, I’ll share sparkling reviews or successes, tell you about when other authors worth reading have books you should know about, and post about anything else that tickles my fancy. Also, it you are a fellow writer and feel like crafting a guest post, or you’re a reader who feels they have something important to say, I’m happy to share my soapbox. Fire me off an email and we’ll work something out.

For the most part, though, you’ll be reading my thoughts and opinions, just like the little subtitle on my blog says. I seem to have divorced myself from that tagline almost as soon as I wrote it. No more.


There’s a definite chance you’ll encounter foul fucking language and opinions you don’t agree with. Disagreeing with me is your right but, if you want to engage in discussion about any topic, you will be expected to do so intelligently and respectfully. This quote of unknown origin I came across on Facebook kind of sums up my stance:


Since I am a straight, cis-gender, white male, it’s difficult to oppress me, deny my humanity, or my right to exist, so this applies to everyone. If your disagreement of anything I write is rooted in any sort of oppression, then you’re just a fucking idiot.

So, welcome to the new blog, not the same as the old blog. I hope you find something entertaining, thought-provoking, startling, or maybe even anger-inducing. If you’re lucky, I might let my dog write a post someday, too.


Oh, and before I let you go: this little book here comes out July 5. Go pre-order yourself a copy…you won’t be sorry (it’s more than just a kick-ass cover).

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Pre-order here

See you next time!


New Release from Scott Bury

Now available from Scott Bury, best-selling author of The Bones of the Earth and Army of Worn Soles:

Dead Man Lying

A Lei Crime Kindle World Mystery

She knows when you’re lying …FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm is back on Maui to catch a killer.

With lush rain forests, black sand beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle, Maui offers the perfect retirement location for once-famous country singer Steven Sangster … until he ends up dead.

As the killer, or killers, strike again and again, Detective Lei Texeira and FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm must untangle the lies spun by the singer’s associates, friends, family — and the singer himself before the music dies.

DMLCover-Small - 529x800


Dead Man Lying

Vanessa speed-dialled Waxman’s mobile, hoping he would be in his office this early. It was still only a little past nine a.m.

He answered on the second ring. The hollow quality to his voice and some background noise brought Vanessa a vision of the pale, dapper Waxman driving his car, talking through the hands-free feature in his car. She quickly brought him up to speed on Isabel West’s murder and what she had done so far.

Good move on keeping the wife isolated. But try to talk to all the others before they start sharing stories with each other.” She pressed the button to increase the volume because it was hard to hear him against the noise of the rain.

We’re on that.”

I know I promised you some more resources, but Ken Yamada won’t be able to get to your location today,” Waxman said. “With this weather, there’s not a plane nor a boat that’s going to make the trip from Oahu to Maui, especially not that tiny port in Hana. As soon as it breaks, he’ll take a chopper. In the meantime, be careful. Do everything strictly by the book. I don’t have to tell you how high-profile this is.”

I’m surprised we’re not already swarmed by media,” said Vanessa.

I guess you can thank the weather for that, at least. Check in frequently, Special Agent Storm.” Lightning flashed close and the phone line crackled, then went dead.

Lana came into the living room. “What did you want to talk to me about?”

Where’s Kefir?” Vanessa asked.

Lana swallowed before she said “I don’t know.”

What? He left? When? How?”

I said, I don’t know.” Lana flopped onto one of the overstuffed chairs. “I can’t find him anywhere in the house. Unless he went to the studio or to Kaholo’s house. But he wouldn’t do that.”

Officer Righetti came into the room then, speaking into the police radio microphone pinned to his shoulder. “Yes, sir.” At the same moment, yet another police SUV pulled up in front of the house, parking on the access road that led to the Hana Highway, blocking the vehicles already at the house. An officer in a hat and slicker came up to the house as lightning flashed again, followed by thunder a few seconds later.

Rain followed the policeman into the house. When he took off his slicker, Vanessa recognized the Lieutenant insignia on his uniform. “I’m Lieutenant Matthews, in charge of the Hana Station,” he said, his voice low and gravelly. He was short for a cop, burly, with crew-cut blond hair that made his head look flat.

Vanessa shook his hand. “Special Agent Storm, FBI,” she said. “Pleased to meet you.” She turned as the lieutenant’s eyes focused behind her shoulder. Lei Texeira came from the kitchen, Van hurrying behind her with a mop and bucket.

The three cops moved into the living room. Lieutenant Matthews held his belt in both hands in front of his ample belly as he got straight to the point. “Detective Texeira, this investigation is taking up a lot of my resources,” he said. “The Hana station is short-staffed as it is, and you’ve got three officers here that are needed in the community.”

Righetti came down the hall, pulling on his slicker and putting on a hat. “We’ve got an accident on the Hana Highway by Kawakoe Gulch and another call at Hana Bay. I’m going to have to pull some officers off this detail.”

What about the guard on Simon Sangster and his family?” Lei asked.

Matthews shook his head. “Sorry. I just don’t have the manpower. I can leave you with Officer O’Flynn to help with this investigation. But I need everyone else for our normal operations.”

Well, that definitely does not help,” said Lei after they had left.

BUY NOW ON AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Lei-Crime-Kindle-Worlds-Novella-ebook/dp/B01HBVUR8K


Writing Tools

A long while ago, I did a blog post about my search for a laptop on which to churn out incredible chunks of prose that will one day be considered classics of the fantasy genre (a guy can dream, right?). At the time, the biggest challenge for me was finding the right features that suited my needs: specifically,  double sized left shift button.

Acer_AO532h_keyboardSounds like a simple need, doesn’t it? Not so. It’s amazing how many computer companies have changed their keyboard layout to a single-sized shift on the left hand with a slash button beside it. I tried it out on an Acer laptop but ended it up taking it back because guess what happened every time I tried to capitalize? That’s right, I’d get one of these: \

I ended up getting a Dell Inspirion and that sucker turned out a number of novels I’m happy to say I wrote. Though, in comparison to new laptops on the market, it had become a bit of a dinosaur not so long ago (I knew I was falling behind the bleeding edge of technology when my wife got an Apple MacBook Air), it was like a faithful dog and I was loathe to put it down when the battery gave up the ghost and I could only use it when plugged into an outlet.

Outlets are plentiful, after all. Right?

Sometimes. There were a couple of times I went out to my local coffee shop to write and personalized_funny_mustache_power_outlet_case-rf541f2ef9e1b454fa8fcbf6b915d3be7_a4600_8byvr_512spent more time either waiting for a seat by a plug or pulling up stakes to head to a different spot than I did writing. Not too often, so I might have dealt with it for considerably longer if I hadn’t got a message from my computer saying a hard drive failure was imminent. (I swear, that’s exactly what the message said; not just a faithful dog, but considerate and well-spoken, as well).

So the time had come. This time, I decided there were a few other features I wanted as well, the most important being a laptop with a little less heft to it than the last. The old Inspirion sometimes seemed to weigh as much as a small child. The other thing that impressed m about my wife’s rig was how quickly it started up and shut down. Sure, the boot up and shut down processes with the old hard drive/windows 7 combo left me opportunities to nap both before and after my writing sessions, but I thought that down time might be an opportunity to write a few more words.

Enter the solid state drive.

I’d always thought these were inferior beasts simply because the only time I’d ever encountered one was in my daughter’s tiny netbook. It’s also a couple of years old, so I don’t know how much memory it was, but it never seemed like enough. Unfortunately, as my age grows, it seems I forget that technology advances at an unbelievable pace.

So the search began: shift key, solid state drive, lightweight. I decided anything less than a 13″ screen would be too small, not because of the screen, but because anything less than 2000541855that usually equates to a less than full-size keyboard. God knows my hunt-and-peck  keyboard skills are mediocre enough without shrinking down those keys.

Add in a desire for a touch screen (so I don’t feel like technology leaves me behind too quickly) and a great Boxing Week sale at the Microsoft Store and I found my new baby: an Asus Zenbook UX305.

Small, light, and quick. The biggest advantage of the new laptop is that I now truly feel likeasus-ux305-640x341 I can take my writing instrument anywhere and crank out some words (or a blog post) anytime.

In a word: Freedom.

I’m expecting to write more and more often. My last novel took me about a year to write, I hope to cut that in half or less this time around.

Why didn’t I think of this before?


And Night Descends…the Third Book of the Small Gods

Right after Christmas, something happened…something that’s happened before, but far too much time has passed since the last time.

I published a book.

More specifically, Ella and the wonderful team at Paper Gold Publishing published one of my books.

And Night Descends is the third book in the Small Gods series, preceded by When Shadows Fall and The Darkness Comes. The story of Teryk and Danya, Horace Seaman, Ailyssa, and all the others continues as they each chase their fate as it is inextricably linked to an ancient scroll and a prophecy of doom.


To raise the Small Gods, a Small God must die,
When stars go out, the end is nigh.
One must die to raise them all,
Should Small Gods rise, man will fall,
One can stop them, on darken’d wing,
The firstborn child of the rightful king.


The moment Teryk and Danya, the royal siblings, spoke the words inscribed on the long-forgotten scroll, they foolishly set in motion events destined to bring about the prophecy’s predictions. Teryk is the firstborn, but why do the words only make sense to his sister?

As they each launch themselves recklessly into a heroic mission to save mankind, it seems inevitable that key elements in this game of the gods would be drawn to one another and collide with frightful and yet-unfathomable consequences.

With a Small God already captured and being dragged to his death by a colossal, bloodthirsty golem, is it too late to turn back fate? Can any of them find a way to resist their destinies?

Intrigue in the court, an impenetrable veil between two worlds, escape, sacrifice, retribution and magic pull the strings of these puppets of destiny on a massive, creation-spanning chessboard hidden in shadow, veiled in darkness, lost in the night.


Buy it now:

Amazon US  –  Paperback  – Kobo  –  Smashwords  –  B&N  –  iTunes  –  Scribd

A Book for Christmas…or 23

What would be better that picking up a great ebook for your loved one for only 99 cents? How about 10 fantastic reads for 99 cents? Or 13?

That’s exactly what the folks at Paper Gold publishing have offered up just in time for the holidays: not one, but two sets of great fantasy, each for only 99 cents. Check out the great titles below.



LEGENDS is a magnificent collection of award-winning science fiction and fantasy books, some light enough to make you smile, all deep enough to make you think, What if…? Every single compelling story was hand-picked for your enjoyment. 13 worlds to make your own, 13 thrilling adventures, 13 heroes to root for. The perfect companion for late nights on the sofa, the perfect gift to those who enjoy a good read. Add it to your favorite kindle with one click now.


BRAIN WAVES — Cherime MacFarlane
SUNSTONE — Holly Barbo
GONE — Julie Elizabeth Powell
FROZEN HEART — Ella Medler
GARNETS — Suzy Stewart Dubot
SHERDAN’S PROPHECY — Jess Mountifield
OF SOUND MIND — Julie Elizabeth Powell





LEGACY is an impressive collection of fantasy stories — some darker, some intense, all suspenseful, and every one unique. 10 new worlds to explore, 10 wild adventures, 10 ways to make a new set of best friends. The perfect companion for late nights on the sofa, the perfect gift to those who enjoy a good read. Add it to your favorite kindle with one click now.


WHITE HART — Sarah Dalton
DESTINY’S WINGS — D.S. Schmeckpeper
WANDERING TO BELONG — Jess Mountifield



Due to mature content, situations and language, these collections are recommended for audiences 18+. The Avalon Trilogy is suitable for young audiences, but can be equally enjoyed by all those young at heart. All works in these box sets have been professionally proofed by Paper Gold Publishing and Pelican Proofing, unless this service was expressly refused by the author. Some stories are written in American, some in Canadian, Australian, and some in British English. The authors have chosen to stay true to their heritage.

These box sets are comprised of a mix of already released novels and novellas, including a complete trilogy. Those books which are part of a series can be enjoyed fully without the need to read the complete series (though there is a chance you might develop story-addiction issues—for that, we apologize).


A Few Nice Words

For anyone who might have missed it, my Small Gods series was on a blog tour for a bit. A few of the people who hosted did reviews of the books, so I thought I would gather them together in one place. Thanks to everyone who participated, to Jennifer Marston at Neverland Blog Tours for organizing, and to Ella Medler for being Ella Medler.


WHEN-SHADOWS-FALL-PBOOK005It rained fire the day the Small Gods fled.

A hundred hundred seasons have turned since the Goddess banished the Small Gods to the sky, leaving the land to mankind alone.

For Prince Teryk, life behind the castle walls is boring and uneventful until he stumbles upon an arcane scroll in a long-forgotten chamber. The parchment speaks of Small Gods, the fall of man, and the kingdom’s savior—the firstborn child of the rightful king. It’s his opportunity to prove himself to his father, the king, and assure his place in history. All he needs to do is find the man from across the sea—a man who can’t possibly exist—and save mankind.

But ancient magic has been put in motion by a mysterious cult determined to see the Small Gods reborn. Powerful forces clash, uncaring for the lives of mortals in their struggle to prevent the return of the banished ones, or aid in their rebirth.

Named in a prophecy or not, what chance does a cocky prince who barely understands the task laid before him stand in a battle with the gods?









DC_LARGE“You have brought to me Vesisdenperos, the sculptor. The one born to ensure the return of the Small Gods.”

When shadows fall, the darkness comes…

A disgraced Goddess Mother wanders blind and alone, praying for her agony to end. When a helpful apostle finds her, could it truly be salvation, or does worse torment lie ahead?

A sister struggles to understand a prophecy that may not be meant for her while her brother fights for his life. If the firstborn child of the rightful king dies, will it spell the end for everyone?

Darkness and shadow creep across the land in the form of a fierce clay golem animated by its sculptor’s blood. It seeks a mythical creature whose sacrifice portends the return of ancient evil banished from the world long ago. With its return will come the fall of man.

As the game unfolds, the Small Gods watch from the sky, waiting for their time to come and their chance to rise again. They wait for the fall of shadows, the coming of the darkness.

They wait for night to descend.

The quest for the revival of the Small Gods continues.






The Same Old Argument

I had a visit with a friend over the weekend who is making a big splash in the world of Big 5 publishing. Here’s a few differences I noticed between that route and self/small press publishing.

Guild Of Dreams

By Bruce Blake


I did something unusual this weekend…I had a Saturday off. If you heard angels singing, now you know why.

While it’s not typical for me to have a day off from the ole day job on a Saturday, it wasn’t a surprise. Mainly, it didn’t surprise me because I asked for the day off. Those guys sure  know how to reward good work.

038575440XI took the day off because a friend of mine who is a traditionally published author was doing a book signing at a local book store. My friend–Jordan Stratford, author of the fantastic Wollstonecraft Detective Agency books for young readers–has a very interesting story that we can all feel jealous of (check it out here), but that’s not the subject of today’s post. No, today’s post is inspired by the conversation Jordan and I had regarding the differences between…

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Interview with Peter V. Brett, Author of The Warded Man (The Demon Cycle)

I don’t normally reblog posts that I haven’t written, but when Amanda said she had a Guild of Dreams post featuring an interview with Peter V. Brett, author of the Demon Cycle books, how could I not?
Enjoy this interview with a best-selling author!

Guild Of Dreams

by A.M. Justice

51hu1K5f9LLAbout eight years ago, my husband came home from work and announced that his coworker Peter had given notice so he could become a full-time fantasy author. Curious and skeptical, I bought the coworker’s book, thinking, “Let’s see what this guy’s got.” I quickly learned he had the right stuff. From the opening lines about a community gathering together in the wake of a strange fire, New York Times Bestseller The Warded Man hooked me, and I’ve been a loyal follower of Arlen, Lessa, Roger, Renna, Ahmann, and Inevera since. My copy of The Skull Throne, Book Four of The Demon Cycle, published by Del Rey, will be delivered to my Kindle today, and I look forward to reading it on an upcoming family vacation.

I admire Peter’s tight prose, inventive storytelling, and nuanced characterizations. Arlen is one of my all-time favorite fantasy heroes, and…

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