Fool's Assassin - Robin Hobb

July 10th, 2014

FitzChivalry -- royal bastard and former king's assassin -- has left his life of intrigue behind. As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock and married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, Fitz now leads the quiet life of a country squire.

Still, he remains haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become. But such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life -- until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz's past...and his future.

Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one...

Robin Hobb introduced us to FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool nearly 20 years ago and they've been through a lot since then. If you haven't read the Farseer trilogy, where we first meet Fitz and the Fool, or the Tawny Man trilogy where their journey continues, you MAY start with this book; there is enough recap to bring you up to speed. If you have read any or all of the earlier 6 books, you are nostalgic for books read long ago and maybe a little grateful for the review since it has been so long.

I read the Farseer trilogy years ago and enjoyed the story and its characters. I have not yet read the Tawny Man trilogy, though I own it and plan to read it. Of another Hobb series, I made it through two books of her Rainwilds Chronicles. I neither enjoyed the story nor the characters. I commented after book 2 of that series that Robin Hobb is capable of so much more than this. And now she has proved me right.

Unabashedly, I loved this book. In nearly 700 pages, not much happens here, but I savored every word Ms. Hobb wrote. The details were subtle and deliberate and the book was beautifully written.

The elephant in the room is how obvious the book's big plot twist was to the readers, yet Fitz, uncharacteristically, was blind to it. It earned an emphatic, "Well, duh!" from me, but did not disrupt my overall enjoyment of the book.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review of it. I am under no obligation to provide a favorable review and any praise is deserved. I am honest in all of my reviews and will not compromise myself for a free product.

July 9th, 2014
Patrick Rothfuss - A Wise Man's FearNo man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.

The Kill Room

April 16th, 2013

The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver

The Kill Room by Jeffery DeaverRobert Moreno, an American citizen living in South America, is shot in the Bahamas by a sniper. The killing was commissioned by the U.S. government, who received a tip-off that Moreno was planning a terrorist attack on a U.S. oil company headquarters. But this intelligence was fatally incorrect: anti-American Moreno ordered a protest at the oil company, not an attack.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are drafted in to investigate. While Sachs traces Moreno’s steps in New York, Rhyme travels to the scene of the crime in Nassau, where he finds himself on a dangerous path trailed by the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discover that not all is what it seemed. Can they achieve justice and escape with their lives intact?

This book will be available on June 4, 2013.

Pre-order your copy.

April 15th, 2013
Jeff Goins - You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One)If you treat people like human beings and write from a place that is deep and true, you will find your audience.

Brisingr - Christoper Paolini

April 11th, 2013

Oaths sworn . . . loyalties tested . . . forces collide.

It's been only months since Eragon first uttered "brisingr," the ancient language term for fire. Since then, he's not only learned to create magic with words-he's been challenged to his very core. Following the colossal battle against the Empire's warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still, there is more adventure at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

First is Eragon's oath to his cousin, Roran: to help rescue Roran's beloved from King Galbatorix's clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength-as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices-choices that will take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?

Pressure is mounting. The Varden can only advance so far into enemy territory before war is declared. They can only hope that as each day passes Murtagh and Thorn will not attack. Eragon and Saphira are sufficient defense when they are around, but they cannot me everywhere at once and they are needed elsewhere.

Let's get this out of the way. This series should have been over in three books. There is plenty of superfluous story line that could be edited out of this book. I will concede that Paolini did a decent job keeping most of the boring parts from becoming the last part I read before giving up. I will even suggest what to cut out...Roran. To this point, Eragon's cousin hasn't brought any value to these books. He is a wild card and a cowboy and he is contrary to all of the values Paolini has tried to instill in Eragon.

With that out of the way, I am still entertained with the path that Eragon walks. I am intrigued. I want to know what happens. I am more than willing to read another book to see how this plays out. But I'm glad there is only one more book because I am ready for closure.


April 10th, 2013
Patrick Rothfuss - A Wise Man's FearThey were the best sort of friends. The sort everyone hopes for but no one deserves, least of all me.

The King's Deception

April 4th, 2013

The King's Deception by Steve Berry

The King's Deception by Steve BerryCotton Malone and his fifteen-year-old son, Gary, are headed to Europe. As a favor to his old boss at the Justice Department, Malone agrees to escort a teenage fugitive back to England. After a gunpoint greeting in London in which both the fugitive and Gary disappear, Malone learns that he's stumbled into a high-stakes diplomatic showdown-an international incident fueled by geopolitical gamesmanship and shocking Tudor secrets.

At its heart is the Libyan terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, who is set to be released by Scottish authorities for 'humanitarian reasons.' An outraged American government wants that stopped, but nothing can persuade the British to intervene.

Except, perhaps, Operation King's Deception.

Run by the CIA, the operation aims to solve a centuries-old mystery, one that could rock Great Britain to its royal foundations.

CIA Operative Blake Antrim, in charge of King's Deception, is hunting for the spark that could rekindle a most dangerous fire: the one thing that every Irish national has sought for centuries-a legal reason why the English must leave Northern Ireland. The answer is a long-buried secret that calls into question the legitimacy of the entire 45 year reign of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch, who completed the conquest of Ireland and seized much of its land. But Antrim also has a more personal agenda, a twisted game of revenge in which Gary is a pawn. With assassins, traitors, spies, and dangerous disciples of a secret society closing in, Malone is caught in a lethal bind. To save Gary he must play one treacherous player against another-and only by uncovering the incredible truth can he hope to stop the shattering consequences of the King's Deception.

This book will be available on June 11, 2013.

Pre-order your copy.

April 3rd, 2013
Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan BradleyHe began again. "As was your mother, you have been given the fatal gift of genius. Because of it, your life will not be an easy one -- nor must you expect it to be. You must remember always that great gifts come at great cost. Are there any questions?"

The Sleeping Doll - Jeffery Deaver

April 2nd, 2013

The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery DeaverWhen Special Agent Kathryn Dance -- a brilliant interrogator and kinesics expert with the California Bureau of Investigation -- is sent to question the convicted killer Daniel "Son of Manson" Pell as a suspect in a newly unearthed crime, she feels both trepidation and electrifying intrigue. Pell is serving a life sentence for the brutal murders of the wealthy Croyton family in Carmel years earlier -- a crime mirroring those perpetrated by Charles Manson in the 1960s. But Pell and his cult members were sloppy: Not only were they apprehended, they even left behind a survivor -- the youngest of the Croyton daughters, who, because she was in bed hidden by her toys that terrible night, was dubbed the Sleeping Doll.
But the girl never spoke about that night, nor did the crime's mastermind. Indeed, Pell has long been both reticent and unrepentant about the crime. And so with the murderer transported from the Capitola superprison to an interrogation room in the Monterey County Courthouse, Dance sees an opportunity to pry a confession from him for the recent murder -- and to learn more about the depraved mind of this career criminal who considers himself a master of control, a dark Svengali, forcing people to do what they otherwise would never conceive of doing. In an electrifying psychological jousting match, Dance calls up all her skills as an interrogator and kinesics -- body language -- expert to get to the truth behind Daniel Pell.

But when Dance's plan goes terribly wrong and Pell escapes, leaving behind a trail of dead and injured, she finds herself in charge of her first-ever manhunt. But far from simply fleeing, Pell turns on his pursuers -- and other innocents -- for reasons Dance and her colleagues can't discern. As the idyllic Monterey Peninsula is paralyzed by the elusive killer, Dance turns to the past to find the truth about what Daniel Pell is really up to. She tracks down the now teenage Sleeping Doll to learn what really happened that night, and she arranges a reunion of three women who were in his cult at the time of the killings. The lies of the past and the evasions of the present boil up under the relentless probing of Kathryn Dance, but will the truth about Daniel Pell emerge in time to stop him from killing again?

Kathryn Dance is good at reading people. She worked as a jury consultant then moved into public service earning her living from the California Bureau of Investigation. She is primarily an interrogator, but has to step in and step up as lead investigator in the search for a dangerous man named Daniel Pell, who has escaped from prison. Dance is the expert in kinesics, using her skill to discern the truth when people lie. Pell is the expert in manipulation, using his skill to coerce people to bend to his will. He is dangerous and she needs to put him back behind bars.

The Sleeping Doll is CLASSIC Jeffery Deaver. Some of his more recent works have surely disappointed (avoid The Bodies Left Behind), but he is back to true form with this one. This book is wonderfully reminiscent of Peter Kincaid in Deaver's The Devil's Teardrop where Kincaid's expert knowledge in forensic document examination is needed in the search for a man they call the Digger.

Jeffery Deaver teaches, fascinates and intrigues as he writes. The way he weaves the artful science of kinesics (reading body language) into this story is impressive. I have always touted the depth of Mr. Deaver's research as his biggest strength. "The devil is in the detail," as they say, and Deaver goes the extra mile for his readers.

What a great book.


April 1st, 2013
Jeff Goins - You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One)If you practice every day, you don’t get fatigued. All muscles are built this way, even creative ones.