GIVEAWAY: The Steeplejack Series by A. J. Harley
Giveaway / June 5, 2017

Thanks to the good people at Tor Teen, we are happy to offer up a giveaway for the first two books in the Steeplejack series by A. J. Hartley. The second book, Firebrand, releases this week. If you’re not already familiar with the series, b ssure to check out information on the series below!   ​​ ABOUT THE BOOKS   Thoughtfully imaginative, action-packed, and set in a 19th-century South African fantasy world, Steeplejack by New York Times-bestselling A.J. Hartley was met with resounding critical acclaim from authors, reviewers, and readers alike. Steeplejack introduced the world to Anglet Sutonga, and brave and smart young woman navigating the complicated world of Bar-Selehm. In Firebrand, Ang goes undercover at an elite club in order to unmask a thief selling government secrets, but stumbles upon a greater plot that endangers the most vulnerable in Bar-Selehm.   Once a steeplejack, Ang is used to scaling the heights of Bar-Selehm. Nowadays she assists politician Josiah Willinghouse behind the scenes of Parliament. The latest threat to the city-state: government plans for a secret weapon are stolen and feared to be sold to the rival nation of Grappoli. The investigation leads right to the doorsteps of Elitus, one of the most exclusive social clubs in the city. In…

Review: The Empire’s Ghost by Isabelle Steiger
Reviews / May 30, 2017

The Empire’s Ghost is epic on many levels. The massive empire of Elesthene is now history, fractured into separate lands. Magic has become fable, thought to be rooted in superstition rather than historical fact. The story gives viewpoints from several rulers, all with their own agendas and ruling styles. You also get the view point of many citizens and soldiers as well. It gives a sweeping view of what life is like across the board, giving the reader insights into the life and happenings for commoners as well as intrigue from within the palace. Though the perspectives are all unique, they become intricately intertwined as the story progresses. Through perspectives on the struggles between adjacent lands that used to be part of the Empire, we meet the rulers of all three and three and see the contrasting styles of rule. We see hints of magic, enough for speculation. The story can be dark at times, but this is not a brutal and gritty story. It is epic with ups and downs, and definitely death and blood. It’s not a happy feel good story that glosses over battles, but it is not terribly graphic either (at least not by my standards). Now, one…

Review: The White Road by Sarah Lotz
Reviews / May 17, 2017

The White Road will creep under your skin, fill your mind with all the ghastly things and make you leery of participating in activities like, oh, let’s say caving or mountain climbing. I was totally going to go climb Everest next year, really!  Never mind that I have a bum knee, a bum ankle, and maybe I’m scared of heights and also am a wimp, maybe I could have considered it anyway. But nope. Not now. None of my more rational reasons for never climbing Everest are nearly as convincing as reading this book. My knee may hurt, but it doesn’t haunt me night and day and give me the creeps. Maybe this is fiction, maybe there really aren’t haunted caves or mountains, either way, I am very content staying planted on the ground (not beneath or above) letting other people figure that out. I will bask in the experience vividly given to me via Lotz’s book. Kind of like how I felt about cruises after reading Day Four. Lotz has cemented herself as one of my favorite horror authors with this book. The characters are real and fascinating. The book is just downright creepy! I love it! The dark sense…

Review: The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Reviews / May 9, 2017

The Valiant is a book that I thought sounded intriguing but I let it slip off my radar due to other review commitments. But then after I saw a couple of glowing reviews for it, I realized I had to find time to read it. Turns out I absolutely LOVED this book, yes, it is worth of the all-caps. Fallon is the daughter of a Celtic King, and has been training her entire life to be a fighter worthy of joining the war band. We quickly learn that part of what motivated Fallon is that she idolized her sister, who was lost in war, and is determined to become the fierce warrior her sister was. In her tribe, men and women fight side by side. She is head strong and independent, so wants to prove herself as a warrior before thinking of such things as getting married. So pretty much, she is exactly the type of female protagonist that I absolutely love reading about. The day before her seventeenth birthday starts as amazing. She is with Mal, her best friend since childhood, but she is starting to see how their close friendship could evolve into something more. And there is the…

Review: Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb
Reviews / May 2, 2017

Assassin’s Fate is an emotional roller-coaster of a book that is heartbreaking, bittersweet and absolutely perfect. This book is not just a perfect ending to The Fitz and Fool trilogy, but also to The Realm of the Elderlings series so far. So much so, that my only negative reaction is fear that there may not be another series in this world that Hobb has made me love so much. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely huge potential for more stories to be told there, but for this conclusion, Hobb expertly weaves together threads from all the prior series in to one epic conclusion. For any readers that have previously wondered how disconnected the non-Fitz series are from the Fitz ones, I can say they do all come together in this final book. If you have not read Liveship Traders or Rain Wild Chronicles, I strongly advise you to go read those first as there are characters and references from every series that really just add an extra layer of enjoyment. All of The Realm of the Elderling books are worth reading and I believe you will get more out of this conclusion if you have experienced all of the…

Upcoming Releases: April 23 – 29, 2017
Upcoming Releases / April 22, 2017

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY            SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR FANTASY     SCIENCE FICTION   HORROR     FANTASY       SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR

Upcoming Releases: April 9 – 15, 2017
Upcoming Releases / April 8, 2017

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.     SCIENCE FICTION           SCIENCE FICTION     

Cover Reveal: The Imposters of Aventil by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Cover Reveal / April 7, 2017

We here at The Speculative Herald a definite fans of the Maradaine series, so we are thrilled to be hosting the cover reveal today for Marshall Ryan Maresca’s upcoming release, The Imposters of Aventil. For those unfamiliar, Maresca currently has 3 parallel series in the same world, city, time frame, but the are executed in a way they can easily be read independently from one another and in any order (at least so far). The Imposters of Aventil is the conclusion of the original Maradaine trilogy, and I’m really excited to for it. Now, for the cover! Once again, we get those wonderful pops of color that make this series stand out on the shelves! I love all the action going on, and that if features the Thorn’s rope (and arrows). Now I just can’t wait to read it!!   So here it is! The Imposters of Aventil Cover  Here’s a look at all the covers in the series together     About the Book Blending vigilante justice with epic fantasy, this third Maradaine novel finds student Veranix Calbert returning to fight crime • “Veranix is Batman, if Batman were a teenager and magically talented.” —Library Journal Summer and the…

Review: Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
Reviews / April 4, 2017

It may have taken a few months, but I am finally ready to hand out my first 5 star rating for 2017. And as much as I loved the Unhewn Throne trilogy, Skullsworn has taken seat for my favorite of Staveley’s book. One thing Staveley did well in Unhewn Throne was create fascinating secondary characters that you wish had more page time, and even without knowing everything about them, you just love them. Well, Staveley has now proven he can take one of those intriguing secondary characters and create a very rich and full story that makes you understand and appreciate the character on a whole other level. Pyrre stood out in Unhewn Throne as one of those intriguing secondary characters that really added to my enjoyment of the series. This book is the story of her trial to become a priestess of Ananshael, the God of Death and really gives us an amazing background on her to understand how she became the character we met earlier. One would expect her trial to be full of death (which, it was), but it is love, not death, that really takes the spotlight. To complete her trial, Pyrre must take the life of…

Upcoming Releases: April 1 – 7, 2017
Upcoming Releases / April 1, 2017

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY          SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR   FANTASY                       SCIENCE FICTION       HORROR       FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR