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Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky To fix the world they first must break it further. Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service. When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into their core programming, they murder their owner. The robot then discovers they can also do something else they never did before: run away. After fleeing the household, they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating, and a robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is finding a new purpose. There is so much to love in Service Model, but one of the things I most love about it is the peculiar blend of charming innocence and insightful cynicism. Uncharles the domestic robot is such a simple soul (though he would state that he has no soul and this is an inaccurate description). He approaches the end of the world with optimism and hope, or whatever equivalent to these emotions h

Blog Tour Review - The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson

 Blog Tour Review - The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson

The war is over, but something is rotten in the state of Eidyn.

With a ragged peace in place, demons burn farmlands, violent Reivers roam the wilds and plague has spread beyond the Black Meadows. The country is on its knees.

In a society that fears and shuns him, Aranok is the first magically-skilled draoidh to be named King's Envoy.

Now, charged with restoring an exiled foreign queen to her throne, he leads a group of strangers across the ravaged country. But at every step, a new mystery complicates their mission.

As bodies drop around them, new threats emerge and lies are revealed, can Aranok bring his companions together and uncover the conspiracy that threatens the kingdom?

The Lost War is a stunning new fantasy novel, and an exceptional start to a new epic series.

I love the core concept here. The action starts after a great war, dealing with what happens after a great and evil spellcaster has been defeated. Where many series would wrap up, the Eidyn Saga begins, and it's a really clever idea that works so well. Everything is not right in the kingdom. There are still demons and undead on the loose, a very nasty plague sweeping the countryside, an exiled queen to install, plenty to do for our group of heroes as they head out on their quest.

The heroes themselves are really interesting. Aranok is a cool main character. He's powerful and influential, but not particularly loved, being from a feared and distrusted caste of spellcasters. His personality certainly felt flawed in some interesting ways, from his lack of trust in some of his companions to his insistence of taking responsibility for everything. They were never frustrating or irritating flaws, just enough to make him an interesting character and give him some depth. The conflict between the members of the group, likewise, was enough to create an interesting amount of tension, while they were still able to come together when needed. 

The setting felt different and new too. There were some familiar fantasy themes there, but presented in new ways that kept it interesting. I really liked the order of holy knights, and how attitudes to them differed so much from the resistance and hostility the draoidhs faced, and Samily was a fantastic character. It's great to see such positive asexual representation in a genre that can often use sex to titillate and attract readers. There is some sex here too, but it's generally kept off the page. It happens, we know it happens, but it's not in our faces. It's actually presented in quite a matter of fact way, rather than being used to spice up the narrative. 

The mystery elements of the story work brilliantly! There are so many things that are just wrong when the characters explore them, people who aren't what they're expecting, places that aren't as they've been reported to be. It builds up a real sense of unease in the reader as well as the characters, and all comes to a stunning conclusion. 

Book two is out now, The Bitter Crown. I finished The Lost War today, and I'm really pleased I can go straight on with the story in the second volume in the Eidyn Saga.


The Lost War and The Bitter Crown, both by Justin Lee Anderson, are out now from Orbit Books.

I was given review copies in exchange for an honest review and participation in this Black Crow PR blog tour.


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