Halloween Scary Movies – Cult Classic Style!

The wonderfully awesome Abby recently posted a blog called Top 10 Tuesday: Halloween Movies for the Faint of Heart. So I decided I just had to post my own version, but cult classic style. These movies are at times gross, cheesy, maybe a little scary still, and 100% classics! They are not literally Halloween movies, but a fun list to watch during this month and any other if you can stomach watching horror movies that might not have aged so well (and some that have). Some are more obscure than others. But all, in my view, are worthy to land a spot on any Best Of list like mine.

10. Parents

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This is a quirky horror film that slices up a chunk of meat long pig style. I haven’t watched it in ages, but remember it being creepy and gross, yet wildly entertaining. It’s out there and very over the top.

9. Motel Hell

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Here is another movie I haven’t watched in forever, but this movie seriously creeped me out. That garden scene, though. Another gross, over the top cult classic. You should watch it if you haven’t already. These two are real pieces of shit work.

8. Children of the Corn

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One look at that face still gives me nightmares. I remember being so freaked out by this movie. Truly scary. “Outlander!”

7. Nightmare on Elm St.

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I remember being so scared of this movie when I was younger that I was afraid to go to the bathroom by myself. Now, it seems campy, but at the time, this was Grade-A, top shelf horror, folks! lol. Remember Johnny Depp’s role when he gets sucked through the bed?

6. Hellraiser

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Another seriously scary movie for me. Pinhead was so creepy. Even though it was scary, there was something really unique and mesmerizing about it, in my view.

5. Nightbreed

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Another Clive Barker movie that I loved. Again, it was creative and weird and strangely compelling. For a horror movie. I highly recommend this one.

4. Scream

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This movie sort of changed everything. It was a mashup of all the horror tropes and starred like every single “hot” actor/actress of the moment. The story was good, it was funny, tongue in cheek, and just checked all the boxes.

3. Evil Dead 2

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One of the best. I kind of pretend the first movie never happened because this one was so good. (Although the first one terrified me as a teen.) Bruce Campbell just owns this like a boss. I love him. Making chainsaw hands look like they could be a cool accessory for any time of the year.

2. Fright Night

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This movie was a huge influence in my life and I even mentioned it in a previous blog, For the Love of Vampires! Chris Sarandon was so swoon-worthy as bad guy vampire, Jerry Dandridge. He was one of my first hardcore teen crushes. I mean, you can’t see it here from the gif, but I thought he was attractive, anyway. LOL

1. Lost Boys

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This was the first rated-R movie I saw in the theater. It changed my life. I crushed hardcore on every single actor in the movie! Kiefer Sutherland as villainous David, Jason Patric as Michael and even Corey Haim, the younger brother who has to  enlist Corey Feldman to help save his big brother. It’s just one of my all-time favorites and even had a good soundtrack!

Honorable mentions: Near Dark (another vampire movie, are you surprised), Maximum Overdrive, Event Horizon, and They Live.

Okay, that is my list. I noticed most of these are from the 80s, and that was when music and film really started to influence me (yes, I’m old). So I guess it makes sense that my choices would be from that time period. Have you seen any of these? Which are your favorites? Which would you like to see?

Until next time!

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Oh Look at the Pretties!

New beautiful book covers… I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for them! I got most of these from Epic Reads Harper’s Winter 2018 YA Cover Reveals.

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I liked Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack, but didn’t love it. However, I am still looking forward to seeing where the author takes the story!

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This one I am just kinda curious about. Two big-name authors teaming up to write a space opera together? Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman are having wild success with their Illuminae Files trilogy.

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This is one of my favorite tropes: girl and robot boy. Well, I think this is more of her trying to save his glitchy self and meeting ANOTHER boy, then rebelling and fighting for good vs. evil ensues. Space operas! I love ’em.

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Oh, so pretty. The premise sounds intriguing. Time can literally be sucked from you by removing your blood and is a form of payment? Sign me up!

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Finally, The Queen’s Rising. This sounds like a fantasy with romantic elements. But the main character is born out of wedlock! Interesting. I wish we saw more of this type of thing. Looks good to me!

 

7ya8izz

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Feature Characters Who Are Criminal Heroes

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s top ten is about books that feature characters who are criminal heroes. I have a penchant for bad boys in books. They tend to be more unpredictable and entertaining. Many of them live a life of crime. I’m okay with that. I love the dichotomy of the good and bad internal struggle. To be honest some of them don’t have much of a struggle; they’re just bad, but dark and dangerous is fun too. So here is my list of my top ten books with criminal heroes. To be clear the term hero is used extremely loosely.

The Long Way Down by Craig Schaefer

Genre: Urban Fantasy

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Daniel Faust is one of my favorite criminal heroes ever! He definitely does things that are bad but still retains a moral code which keeps him from going to the dark side. Just so you know these books get better as they go along.

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

Genre: Historical Romance

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I enjoyed the hell outta this one! Dorian Blackwell is a rich and cunning thief. He is not a nice man, but if you dig deep enough he has layers. This is historical romance with a darker twist.

The Sordid Promise by Courtney Lane

Genre: Dark Romance

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This is my favorite book on this list. It’s really dark and demented, so it’s not for everyone. Eric is an asshole with a capital A, but there’s something alluring about him. If you’re looking for something on the dark side that’s original, read this.

The Heartstone Thief by Pippa DaCosta

Genre: Fantasy

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Curtis Vance made his living as a thief. In typical Pippa DaCosta fashion, he had highly questionable morals. A unique plot and good world building made this an entertaining read.

Sex, Lies, and Nikolai by R.J. Lewis

Genre: Romance

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Nikolai’s life revolved around shady criminal dealings. Compared to many of the others on this list he’s a good guy. This book sucked me in from the start. I’ve never read any other books by R.J. Lewis, but I need to rectify that soon.

Fear Me by B.B. Reid

Genre: Dark Romance

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Once again this a not a book everyone will like. It is dark. The characters are in high school, but this is not young adult. Keiran Masters is an asshole with loose morals and a dark and shady past. His redeemability is questionable at best. I promise you Keiran is memorable!

Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent

Genre: Urban Fantasy

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This was an urban fantasy with a mafiaesque theme. All of the characters lead disreputable lives. Cam was a character that I learned to love over the course of the book. Cam leaned more towards the good than bad side.

Menace by J.M. Darhower

Genre: Dark Romance

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Lorenzo Gambini is not a good guy, but I couldn’t help but love him. This is one you won’t want to put down!

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

Genre: Historical Romance

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The Duke of Montgomery’s unscrupulous escapades began in other books in the series. By the time his book came around I was surprised to discovered how much I liked him despite the despicable things he’s done.

King by T.M. Frazier

Genre: Dark Romance

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People seem to either love or hate this book. I liked it although I’ve liked the subsequent books in this series less and less with each one. King was intriguing. He walked a fine line between good guy who does bad things and all around bad guy.

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Game of Thrones: Season 7

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SPOILERS AHEAD

I am slightly addicted to Game of Thrones (the show not the books). When the show is on it’s a very time consuming thing for me. I watch each episode a few times over the course of a week. I spend way too many hours reading articles about theories and other random things fans have noticed. It’s so much fun though. Most shows don’t have this many things to speculate about.

Anyway, season 7 of GoT was amazing! There were reasons to dislike it. The timing with the fast pacing didn’t always add up. In the prior seasons, it seemed like it took forever to travel. This season you’d think places that were thousands of miles away were nearby. This showed the most in episode 6. Like it was really possible for Gendry to run to the wall, send a raven to Dragonstone, and have Dany and the dragons fly north of the wall in what seemed like a few hours to at best day. The thing is this season was so damn good that I don’t care all that much that things don’t add up. In episode 7 Bran’s ability proved to be imperfect. He’s sitting in that room when Sam walks in and tells him that he knows everything because he can see everything. The next thing he does is ask Sam why he’s there. I found it to be humorous. How was it possible that Bran didn’t know the truth about Jon’s parents? I don’t believe he’s already seen everything there is to see, but wouldn’t he at least have known Jon’s real name? I assumed when that scene occurred last season that he heard his name even if we didn’t. If he heard the name wouldn’t he have wondered why it was Targaryen instead of Sand?

There were some other things about this season that annoyed me. One of them was Sam’s discovery of the cure for grayscale. It was so simple. The other maesters knew about it. Their excuse for not using it on Ser Jorah was that it was too dangerous. The guy was dying anyway, so what did it matter if the cure would have done him in? Why don’t they use the cure when symptoms first start when it would presumably be safer to use? On the other hand I didn’t care that finding the cure was so easy because I was simply happy that Ser Jorah lived.

Another thing that seemed oversimplified was the wall coming down. It had been standing for thousands of years. Viserion blew it down like it took no effort at all. viserion-7592How the hell did that even happen? Clearly there was something magical about the ice he was blowing out because ice alone wouldn’t have knocked down an already frozen wall. Apparently the Night King knew that a zombified ice breathing dragon would knock down the wall. It doesn’t seem likely that he’d bring his whole army there if he hadn’t known what the dragon was capable of.

All of this makes me wonder if Bran really is the Night King. They do have that weird connection. No one else can see him when he’s warging. They dress the same too. It seemed like the Night King knew exactly what was going to happen. When Jon and the other guys went north of the wall, his army was prepared. They had three javelins. It’s too coincidental that there were three of those and three dragons. He must have known they were coming. He could have killed Jon and the other guys if he really wanted to, but it seems like he wanted them alive to lure Dany there. It’s definitely in the realm of possibility that he can see the future just like Bran can.

The thing I’m dying to know is what is it he wants? What does he hope to accomplish by destroying Westeros? I don’t see any benefits for him. It’s not like his people need more resources to live. It could be some kind of revenge although I’m not sure who exactly he’d want to exact revenge on. No one is alive from the time when he was turned into the Night King unless he is Bran which would explain why he’d hold something against people in the current time period. Why hasn’t he killed Jon? No one else has seen the Night King so many times and lived to tell the tale.

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The Starks unite! It’s about damn time. They seemed so divided all season. What they did with Littlefinger was absolutely devious, and I loved it! He was so shocked he was speechless. It was priceless that he was taken down in the same way he’s taken down others. The best part was he had no clue it was coming. Just like everyone else, he completely underestimated Sansa. Littlefinger deserved to die. I will miss him though. He was one of the few bad guys I loved to hate. Sansa’s performance blew me away. I can’t wait to see what she’d do if she encounters Cersei again.

This feeling that the Starks have the upper hand makes me uneasy. None of them died, which was surprising to me. There is only one season left. This is GoT after all; it’s not possible that they’ll all make it out alive. To be honest I wouldn’t give a shit if Bran died. He’s turned into a creeper now that he’s the three eyed raven. It seems like the most useful thing he could impart is that Jon Snow is really a Targaryen.

Did anyone else find Bran’s timing with the reveal of Jon’s parentage conspicuous? When he first arrived at Winterfell he said he needed to talk to Jon. He didn’t reveal what he knew until Jon and Dany hooked up. I find that interesting. Did he know that had to happen? He could have sent Jon a message via raven or told one of his siblings. Why reveal it to Sam at the exact time Jon and Dany consummate their relationship? Dany’s always known she’s a Targaryen. Incest isn’t a strange concept to her. Jon probably won’t deal with it as well. Bran could have prevented their coupling by letting the cat out of the bag a while ago. Since we were beat over the head with the knowledge that Dany is barren makes me believe all the more that she will have a child. Jon may be disgusted by an incestous relationship, but he damn well knows how shitty it is to be a born a bastard. He wouldn’t want that for his own child. Chances are he’d marry despite his reservations about being with her for the sake of the child. Jon’s reaction to the news is more predictable, but how will Dany take it? It may not change anything for her or she may view Jon as the enemy since he is the rightful heir.

For years I’ve heard people say they shipped Jon and Dany. Incest aside I couldn’t get behind them as a couple. They’re too different in just about every imaginable way. Jon is brutally honest, loyal, and deeply caring. Dany definitely cares about her people but is ruthless. I’ve always felt like it wouldn’t take much for Dany to go from being a benevolent ruler to a downright cruel one. Knowing her family history, it’s in the genes. A part of her has always come across as selfish. Her number one priority has always been getting what she wants which is to rule the on the iron throne. Once she and Jon met, I instantly shipped them. They balance each other out well. Jon’s compassion appeals to her and brings out the humanity in her. game-of-thrones-dany-jon-sex Incest is wrong until it’s so right. My moral compass is off on this one.

What will Tyrion do with the knowledge that Jon and Dany are officially a couple? His loyalties are divided. He genuinely respects Jon and Dany, but family is family. What happened when he conversed with Cersei? We only saw the first half of the conversation. They cooked up some kind of a deal, and it’s not likely to be one that will benefit Dany. It’s hard to say where his loyalties will lie. He loves his family but he’s also a strong believer in doing what is right.

I have mixed feelings about this season. It may be my favorite season yet. There were so many good moments. Important theories were confirmed. As thrilling as it was to know for sure about Jon’s parents, it was fairly predictable. This theory has been floating around for a long time. This season didn’t have the same sense that something bad could happen to anyone. I wasn’t deeply worried that the good guys were going to be killed off. It was very good but extremely different. Who knows? Maybe this is their way of luring us into a false sense of complacency and next season will be all out slaughter.

What are your thoughts on this season? Have any interesting theories to share?

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Karma by Donna Augustine

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Camilla is a successful lawyer engaged to a successful doctor, when she is killed in a freak accident. A mysterious pencil-pusher propositions her with new job… as Karma. Yes, that karma. Little did you know Fate, Luck, Death, The Four-Leaf Clover Guy, Santa, Tooth Fairy, Murphy’s Law – all real beings who help keep the universe running smoothly.

Only it doesn’t run smoothly at all and Karma is thrust into a new life where no one explains anything to her and there might be people (who aren’t really people) who are slipping through the cracks, causing “disturbances in the force,” so to speak.

The Dust Off Your MacHalo group at Goodreads read this recently and had mixed thoughts about it. Here is our review, interview-style.

What did you like about Karma?

Shelly: I liked that it was light and funny. This has a chick-lit vibe to it, but in a good way. I typically do not like chick-lit, but this had just enough to work for me. I liked the banter between Fate and Karma and their love/hate thing worked for me as well.

Kira: I liked the idea behind it. It involves characters who aren’t alive, but they aren’t normal things like ghosts and zombies. It was different. It was an easy, quick and entertaining read.

What didn’t you like about Karma?

Shelly: There could have been more world-building. Not much was explained and it was assumed that it was just because no one took their jobs seriously and morale was low. (They didn’t get paid much, drove crappy cars, and had a run-down office. But this was part of the “humor” and wackiness.) Also, no one took Karma seriously because she does not plan to keep the job and they consider her just a “transfer” and don’t take her seriously.

Kira: It was too cheesy. Camilla died and had to live in the same world as everyone she loved without interacting with them. It took next to no time for her to get over it. I thought the story needed a little more seriousness. Camilla was special. She was capable of doing things many of the other characters could not do. I don’t like it when characters are special when I don’t feel like they are deserving of it.

Who was your favorite supporting character(s)?

Shelly: I pretty much liked ALL the supporting characters and wished there was MORE of them. The three beings fulfilling the role of Jinx were great. They swore, wanted to drink, and have sex, and were ancient, but looked like 12-year-old boys. Cupid was funny, but only in it briefly.

Kira: Fate and I don’t say that because I liked him all that much. Other than Camilla he was the only character with any depth. The other supporting characters were okay. I didn’t know enough about them to get attached.

Would you recommend Karma to other readers?

Shelly: I definitely recommend book one. I did not have as successful an experience with the next book in the series (see below). But book one = thumbs up!!

Kira: It’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of urban fantasy and want something different.

Do you intend to continue the series?

Shelly: The MacHalo group, for the most part, had a semi-lukewarm reaction to Karma and yet we decided to plow right on and start book two, Jinxed, right away. I actually DNF’d this book at 62% because the fun and silliness from book one was missing for me. The romantic lead turned into a man-handling jerk who was barely in it and only showed up to be mean to Karma and then disappear again. The love/hate trope did NOT work in book two for me. Plus, Karma was doing what I always hate in UF heroines and running off alone, not trusting anyone, and therefore inevitably getting into trouble constantly. #faceplam

The others seemed to like it about as much as the first one, and plan to go on to book three, Fated. Of course me being the buddy read slave I am, I kind of want to go back and finish Jinxed and read this one now. Sigh. LOL

Kira: Yes, I will continue the series. I haven’t had the chance to read the next book yet. I’ve read two other series by Donna Augustine. If this first book is any indication, this will be my least favorite series of hers. Based on my experience with her other series, I’ll have mixed feelings about the rest of the series.

Shelly’s reviews for Karma and Jinxed at Goodreads.

Kira’s review for Karma at Goodreads.

Karma is only $0.99 at Amazon.

7ya8izz

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Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

Book two in The Nevernight Chronicles continues to follow Mia Corvere, darkin assassin, hell bent on revenging her family’s death by order of corrupt tyrannical politicians. While much of Nevernight took place at the Red Church, where Mia competed to become one of the Dark Mother’s blades, this one has a completely new setting and plot. Say bye-bye to the church for a while and hello to this:

Without giving too much away, let’s just say Mia finds herself amongst the gladiatii, slaves who fight in arenas as entertainment for blood thirsty audiences.

Mia’s fellow gladiatii are a wonderful rag-tag crew. We have the brother and sister duo, who fight as a team by chariot. Bladesinger, the bad-ass seven foot tall female who knows how to use her sword. Sidonius is the buddy comedy relief (if there is such a thing in a Jay Kristoff book). Maggot is the young slave who serves as doctor for the group (you don’t want to know why she’s called that). Executus is the ex-gladiatii who leads and trains them (grumpy dude, this guy). Furian is the champion and Mia might have more in common with him than either of them wants. And Dona Leona is their master, the daughter of the leader of the most famous collegium in the Republic, the Lions of Leonides.

This book is a roller coaster, but I expected no less. Kristoff does not do “beach read” books. He doesn’t do romantic or light and fluffy. No one is safe. Just like the Lotus Wars trilogy and Nevernight, the world-building is complex. Whereas Lotus Wars had a sort of reimagined Japanese steampunk vibe, this has an Italian/Roman vibe.

So many things happen that I can’t wait to see what those of you who loved Nevernight think. There are (obviously) a few scenes that stand out, and without spoiling, I’ll just say:

That scene with the retchwyrm.
That scene with Ishkah, the silkling.
That ending.

Holy cow, ‘byss and blood. This changes everything.

Godsgrave is released on September 5, 2017.

A special thanks to St. Martin’s press who mailed me this ARC. I adore it, I loved the book, and am a huge fan of Kristoff’s writing (and twisted sense of humor) and of St. Martin’s for publishing awesome books!

I loved it so much I still have a first-edition signed copy pre-ordered from Amazon.

My review of Godsgrave at Goodreads. FIVE STARS!

My review of Nevernight at Goodreads. FIVE STARS!

7ya8izz

 

Edit to add: Here is my beautiful first-edition signed copy I bought.

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The Mirror’s Truth (Manifest Delusions #2) by Michael R. Fletcher

Welcome back to the sick and twisted world full of insane people, debauchery, violence, and delusions. We have our favorite trio back from the Afterdeath: a nice place to take a vacation if you like the color gray, tasteless food, and monotony. No? Doesn’t sound like much fun? Well, you’re lucky then, because Morgen, the boy-god has Ascended, and can bring you back to the “real world.” It’s not much more fun, but at least there is real booze and the food tastes…marginally better?

Morgen finds our trio separately and makes separate deals with them. Our “hero,” Bedeckt (huge guy with battle axe who refuses to acknowledge his insanity and may be a bit of a berserker) just wants to make things right.

Stehlen, the psychotic Kleptic, just wants revenge on Bedeckt, because she loves him and he rejected her. She also might be in love with Wichtig, although she has no idea why. She also gets to keep her lover, the great swordswoman Lebendig. Nobody is allowed to take ANYTHING from her!

Wichtig, the Greatest Swordsman in the World, is just thrilled because he’ll get to have sex again, drink good ale, and resume his quest to best all swordsmen everywhere! For all time! Because he is the best. And cutest. And the best. Of all time. And really attractive and charming and the wenches be all up in his shizz. (I love Wichtig, lol.)

So, there is tons of brutal violence:

We see a LOT of the insides of people. There is also lots of betrayal:

Because that’s the way this world rolls.

Our trio spends most of the book trying to find each other, to pay each other back for all the wrongs and imagined wrongs. The boy-god Morgen is trying to expand his kingdom, but finds out it’s a messy, dirty business (and he can’t stand messes). He might be a bit OCD about cleanliness.

There is also a crazy dragon, a chick who is so deluded she has convinced herself she speaks to the earth and can move dirt and rocks, and some other crazy guy who is convinced everyone has a demon inside of them he has to exorcise.

I LOVE this series so much! I can’t put my finger on what it is. In a way, it’s meandering and we spend a LOT of time in the various characters’ minds (and that can be a crazy place to be), but the writing is so darn good, and the humor is so dark and twisted, it just warms my shriveled up heart.

I think my favorite character is Wichtig. Somehow he is just likeable, even though he’s such a POS! One of my favorite scenes is where he tries to train his new apprentice.

“The facts don’t matter. Facts are a hindrance. Unless they support whatever it is you’re saying, in which case they are the most important thing in the world and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.”

“Your opponent doesn’t matter. The crowd matters. Convince the crowd. Never fight without a crowd if you can avoid it. If there’s no crowd, then you have to convince your opponent. If that fails, you might have to actually rely on skill with a sword. That should always be a last resort. Now, talk to the crowd. Look at the pretty girls or boys or whatever your preference is. Ignore your opponent. Nothing pisses Swordsmen off more than being ignored.”

“You don’t care what they think about you, you care what they think about the fight. What they think about your opponent.” Wichtig closed his eyes. “I’m tired. Keep practicing in your mind. Imagine the crowd. Imagine what you’ll say and what your opponent will say. Wake me if the dragon comes to eat us.”

Man, he gets put through the wringer in this one! It’s horrible, but yet I couldn’t stop reading! Poor Wichtig! LOL

Don’t expect these characters to have nice and tidy HEAs. lol

This is an anti-happy-ever-after world and “dark” fantasy at its best! Hands down. I will read anything by this author! I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

My review at Goodreads. My review for the first book, Beyond Redemption, is also at Goodreads.

7ya8izz