Anne Reviews: Kings of Lore and Legend by Andrew Q. Gordon

Title: Champion of Gods, Book 3: Kings of Lore and Legend

Author: Andrew Q. Gordon

Publisher: DSP Publications

Pages: 380

Characters: Farrell, Miceral

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Series, Fantasy

Kisses: 5

Blurb: 

Dumbarten should have been the end of Farrell’s efforts to find his distant ancestor Kel, but the Six have other plans. Farrell is told to continue his search for answers in Agloth, the temple city to Seritia. Forced by the Goddess to ride across the vast continent of Lourdria, Farrell and his companion learn that Meglar’s reach extends well beyond the borders of Ardus. And Agloth, despite being dedicated to the Goddess of Love, is also home to a millennia-old curse that Farrell must end if he wants to complete his task.

Answers don’t come easily, and Farrell determines he must travel to the Dwarf Kingdom of Colograd to continue his quest. When an ally of Meglar’s threatens Agloth, Farrell cuts short his time in Colograd and rushes back to defend Seritia’s home. The attack seems doomed to fail, but the death of one of his companions distracts Farrell at a critical moment. Battling against his crushing grief, Farrell struggles to save Agloth, his friends, and himself. And even if he survives, he still hasn’t found Kel or his answers.

Review:

I’m a huge fan of this series already, and Kings of Lore and Legend doesn’t disappoint.  One of the things I love about this series—apart from the characters—is the world building.  While reading each book I always feel as though I’m stepping into a fully formed world with a rich history.  I really like the way in which the gods in this world turn up and directly influence what happens, rather than just being entities that might or might not be real.  They are characters in their own right.

Each part of the world has its own peoples with their beliefs and cultures, and this installment takes the characters to the dwarf kingdom with a few surprises in store for them.  The descriptions of the dwarves and their kingdom were detailed, and I felt as though I was in a different world than I had been before, which very much impressed me.  I also liked that Farrell and Miceral need to earn the dwarves’ respect rather than them being welcomed in their new roles with open arms.

Politics form quite a bit of this story, and I liked that not everyone agreed with Farrell’s plan and that his cousin Marcus isn’t the easiest to get along with, without making him into a villain because of it.  Farrell still takes risks he shouldn’t, and I like that there are consequences for his actions. Although he’s a powerful wizard, he still needs to recharge, which makes him vulnerable at times.  One of my favorite parts of this series is Farrell and Miceral’s relationship. Although Farrell is a powerful wizard, their relationship is always equal, and I like the way Miceral points out Farrell’s mistakes when they practice helping him learn, and that he also tells Farrell when he’s angry about the risks he takes.  A new character is introduced in this story, and I loved his different approach and attitude to everything, and I’m looking forward to reading more about him.

The action scenes are exciting and I was on the edge of my seat turning pages to find out what happens next. Going into battle the characters are well aware that not everyone will survive, and I appreciated the fact that the author followed through on that.  Having consequences is realistic, as is the effect it has on those who survive, although I must admit I’m now worried as to who survives this series, and who does not.

I enjoyed this story as much as the others in the series, loved the surprise ending, and am wondering how that will impact what is to come next. I’m enjoying the way in which the story is advancing—and the characters growing—with each new installment. It’s a series I will be sad to say goodbye to when it ends.

I’d recommend Kings of Lore and Legend to readers who enjoy high fantasy with rich world building, an interesting storyline, likable three-dimensional characters, and plenty of action/drama.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed By: Anne

Click HERE to enter the DSP Publications homepage

Anne Reviews: The Eye and the Arm by Andrew Q. Gordon


TITLE: The Eye and the Arm (Champion of the Gods, Book 2)
Author: Andrew Q. Gordon
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages: 296
Characters: Farrell/Miceral
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Champion of the Gods, Book 2

After defeating Meglar at Belsport, Farrell returns to Haven to recover from his injuries, but Khron, the god of war, has other ideas. He gives Farrell a new mission: free the survivors of the ancient dwarf realm of Trellham from their three-thousand-year banishment. To fulfill Khron’s near impossible task, Farrell will need the help of his distance ancestor, the legendary wizard Kel. But Kel has been dead for a thousand years.

Farrell finds information hinting that Kel is alive, so he moves his search to Dumbarten, Kel’s birthplace. To reach Dumbarten unannounced, Farrell and Miceral disguise themselves as mercenaries on board a merchant vessel. Their journey is disrupted when pirates attack their ship. While attempting to subdue the attack, Farrell is struck down by one of Meglar’s minions.

Unconscious and trapped in his own mind, Farrell’s only chance for survival rests with Miceral and the peregrine king Rothdin entering his thoughts and helping him sort fact from illusion. To reach Farrell, they will need to rely on an untested spell from one of Kel’s spellbooks. If they succeed, Miceral can guide Farrell home safely. If not, Farrell will destroy not only himself, but Miceral, Rothdin, and everyone around him.

Review:

I really enjoyed the first book in this series The Last Grand Master, and my initial reaction to finishing The Eye and The Arm was ‘wow.’ I think Andrew Q. Gordon has surpassed himself with this instalment of Farrell’s journey. I was on the edge of my seat—and stayed up far too late reading—when I got to the part where Miceral has to enter Farrell’s thoughts to save him, and everyone around him.

This series reminds of why I enjoy well written fantasy. The world building is great—there is a real sense of a world with a rich history, and the descriptions make it very easy to visualise the settings. I loved the glimpse into another interesting culture with The Eye and Arm, as Farrell experiences a new place and culture very different to his own. I love the cultures represented by the various characters in this series, and how their different approaches to life because of their different beliefs. As with most cultures, there is also a good sized amount of politics going on, some in the background, some less than subtle. There is also a fair amount of history which is very important to the story but, it is seeded through the narrative so it remains pertinent and interesting.

The emotional scenes are realistic and gripping—I could feel Miceral’s concern, and fear, for Farrell. I love these guys together, the banter is great, their relationship feels very real, and equal, and while Farrell takes magic for granted and uses it for even little things, Miceral’s reaction to it is very different. He’s learning to accept it more readily because of Farrell but I doubt he’ll ever be truly comfortable with it.

It’s not just Miceral and Farrell who are fully formed characters. The supporting cast are very three dimensional and have also grown since The Last Grand Master. Although Farrell and Miceral are the main characters their romance and story is weaved seamlessly through the plot rather than being the plot. Everyone in the story has their own motivations, gods are real, and there are a few curveballs.

I’d highly recommend The Eye And The Arm to readers who enjoy high fantasy with rich characters and world building, and lots of action and drama

Reviewed By: Anne

Click HERE to enter the DSP Homepage

Anne Reviews: The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q. Gordon


TITLE: The Last Grand Master
Author: Andrew Q. Gordon
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages: 370
Characters: Farrell/Miceral
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

Champion of the Gods, Book 1

In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost he and Miceral their lives.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, February 2013.
2nd Edition published by DSP Publications, February 2015.

Review:

The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q. Gordon reminds me of why I love reading fantasy series. This book, which is book 1 in the Champion of the Gods series takes the time to set up a realistic world populated by intriguing characters, but doesn’t slow the story down in doing so. It’s not just the two leads—Farrell and Miceral—who are three dimensional but the supporting characters who are interesting in their own right. I loved the unicorns, and their society and relationships with other characters. Very imaginative.

I really liked the fact that there were strong female characters and that not all relationships ended well. People also die, which makes sense, given their enemy and the stakes for which they’re fighting. Having all the characters survive wouldn’t be realistic.

I also liked the contrast between Farrell and Miceral. Farrell is a wizard and for him magic is something he does without thinking about it. Miceral isn’t as comfortable with the idea of using magic for everything, and their differing reactions and perspectives complement each other. They both have something to teach the other. Farrell is much younger than Miceral who comes from a long-lived race, and while he is very confident with using magic, it was fun watching him fumble with the relationship stuff. However, there are consequences for using magic in this world, which limits Farrell, which I very much appreciated. He doesn’t walk away unscathed, and takes time to heal and recover his energy.

There is also a strong theme of family within the story. Farrell has lost his at an early age, but there’s a nice twist to that part of his past, and as his and Miceral’s relationship grows, so does his relationship with others. There’s a lovely subtle scene with a member of Miceral’s family later in the story which I really enjoyed.

I got sucked into the story very quickly, and became invested in the characters within a few pages. I’m glad their story isn’t over yet, because it means I have more to look to.

I’d highly recommend this story to readers who enjoy three dimensional characters, a good fantasy plot, and great world building.

Reviewed By: Anne

Click HERE to purchase The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q. Gordon

The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q. Gordon


Title: Champion of the Gods, Book One: The Last Grand Master
Author: Andrew Q. Gordon
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages: 350
Characters: Grand Master Farrell and Prince Miceral
Sub-Genre: High Fantasy
Kisses: 5




Blurb:

In a war that shook the earth, the Six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For the three thousand years since, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity.

But then a new wizard unleashes the power of Neldin. Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, uses dark magic to create an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will.
One by one, the sovereign realms fall. Soon the only wizard who can stop Meglar is Grand Master Farrell, the Prince of Haven, the hidden home of refugees. An untried wizard, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.
While helping Nerti, queen of the unicorns, Farrell saves Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen to be Farrell’s mate. But Farrell approaches love with caution, and before he can decide how to proceed, Meglar invades a neighboring kingdom. Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Farrell pushes himself to the limit as he and Miceral fight not only to stop Meglar but for their very survival.

Review:

The Last Grand Master is an epic High Fantasy story with wizards, gods, strange races and great evil. Just reading the blurb, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it but I would’ve hated to hated to miss this one.

The story has an extremely strong plot and story line and although sex does come up once or twice, it is definitely not the main focus of the story, which I loved. There is a little of the “fated mates” thing happening but I think it is done well and the concerns Farrell and Miceral have are made known to the reader and then addressed without going overboard on the angst.

Farrell, trained from a young age in the arts of being a Grand Master Wizard, may know a great deal about magic and be able do things people don’t think should be possible but he is still just a man in his mid-twenties with very limited life experience. I love that he is not invincible and doesn’t know everything.
A prince of his kingdom, with his experience in the field Miceral is the perfect partner for Farrell.

I think my favourite secondary character was Queen Nerti and my favourite part of the book is when someone does something Farrell protests against strongly that ends up having the end result Farrell wanted without bringing pressures to bear that Farrell’s plan would. It shows that although he might know a lot about magic, he still has a lot to learn.

If you like fantasy, High Fantasy, myths, or action/adventure stories then you have to read this book. I couldn’t put it down. Although you might need the tissues once or twice.

Mr Gordon participated in the Goodreads MM Group’s Love’s Landscapes event this year and his free story was so good I bought this novel. I am eagerly awaiting the next book and this author is now on my “worth checking new releases out” list.

Reviewed by Alison

Check out DSP Publication’s Site out HERE

(Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday and Andrew Q. Gordon


Title: (Un)Masked
Author: Anyta Sunday and Andrew Q. Gordon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 210
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Gay
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

Jay Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.

When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life.

Review:

Unmasked was an excellent book filled with many emotional parts both happy and sad. I cried in some parts of the book, but it was really good. Jay and his best friend Gristle have a dream to perform at Wellington’s Tory Street Theater, but when Jay asked the manager for a chance to perform there, he was rejected. As a result he hid the truth from his best friend but never did he imagine that things were going to take a turn for the worst. During Jay’s outings he meets a musician by the name of Lethe playing a soul tearing song. Moved, Jay looks for the man again and as a result starts meeting each other. They both hit off really well and Jay starts hanging out less and less with Gristle. As the story unravels, many events occur and now Jay must make a choice to continue the way he is living or take his own path, the path with the one he loves. Read to find out!!

Reviewed By: Jen

BUY LINK