Tag Archives: #Freedom

Turner, Tej; Dinnusos Rises (2017)

I recommend reading The Janus Cycle before you continue with Dinnusos Rises. Dinnusos continues some of the stories from it. Toward the end of The Janus Cycle, we read:

“… Janus was once this great place where nobody gave a fuck and you could just have fun, but then some bloody kids who don’t have a clue tried to steal your vibe.”…

“You just need to move on, he declared. “Look around you – this, what we have here tonight – isn’t it that feeling, that craziness you were looking for? You are Janus. Let those kids keep the empty shell. You can make a new one!” (The Janus Cycle, p. 217)

That place is, Dinnusos.

“… Victorian, with high ceilings and sash windows. It’s big, too. … If the main bar ever gets too rowdy and you fancy some quiet, there’s a whole labyrinth of rooms on the upper floors you can get lost in. One of the city’s old canal ways runs along the back of the building.” (Dinnusos, p. 14)

You can find Dinnusos in Yesterville:

“A place of urban decay and broken streetlamps. Vagrants and outcasts. Faded signposts and overgrown gardens. Thrifty means and humble dreams.” (Dinnusos, p. 14)

Dinnusos is owned by Neal. Neal and Tristan became a couple in The Janus Cycle. Tristan is a painter and he has painted murals on most of Dinnusos’ walls, murals that magically change during the story behaving as prophetic tools.

We reconnect with the paranormal members of Sunset Haze: Patrick (violin+half-fey), Faye (flute+dream walker), Jack (acoustic guitar+half-fey), and Ellen/Jessica (voice+medium/ghost). Neal lets them practice in one of the club’s rooms in exchange for the occasional session downstairs. Their abilities draw people. We also reconnect with Tilly, Pandora and Frelia.

Wilder Mann mit Wappenschild copper engraving by Martin Schongauer

Tej Turner has used the same writing style he used in The Janus Cycle. Each chapter is told from a different person’s point of view. That lets us catch up with the life of the individual and keeps the story going at the same time. Taxus Baccus (TB) is an environmental organization led by Jardair, Jack’s wuduwāsa father (Turner plays with the Greek and Roman pantheons throughout the story). Until TB arrived at Jack’s house, Jack and his pet squirrel, Nuttles, lived on their own. Their lives go from quiet to chaotic in a matter of hours. TB travels from town to town addressing, in their own way, environmental issues each town struggles with. Tej Turner uses Taxus Baccus to address the fragility of our supposed right to free speech and the right to live our lives as we wish.

“It seems to me that this country is run by sociopaths with gloating expressions and oily hair. They wander around Westminster with their leather briefcases, selling off public assets to their pals from boarding school and members of their extended family who have vested interests. All the while, class war is waged through an ever-encroaching succession of draconian legislations. They will not rest until they have rounded up everyone into the rat race because they, by fortune of birth, are the big cats. The the more rats there are, the more they have to dig their paws into.” (Dinnusos, p 62)

Dinnusos Rising contends that it we, the general populace, make such methods possible through our complacency and docility. The percentage of people who turn up for various elections certainly seem to agree with that contention. Westminster uses various media to pimp their message to the public

“… the news channels and tabloids were doing their utmost to demonise us. Footage and photos were being carefully selected, and it seemed their cameras only had spare film for the more outrageous members f the movements … They never told the public why were were doing the things we were doing. They made us seem like rebels without a cause.” … (Dinnusos, p. 72)

Through The National Conciliation Act, Westminster intends to cement the corporatocracy we see strengthening its hooks into various governments around the world.

“Later on we will be interviewing MP, Mr. Ben Fitzgerald, to see if he can shed any light upon rumours Westminster is considering bringing in new legislation which will grant authorities more power to dismantle anti-social behaviour.” (Dinnusos, p. 92)

The NCA bans political demonstrations and movements like Taxus Baccata.  It would give Westminster the power to shut down any business charity or organisation which was perceived as having a “subversive agenda“. They could tighten restrictions on the internet. It would become illegal for employees to speak badly about the companies they work for, and turn civil disobedience into a criminal – rather than civil – offence.

Pandora’s workplace, Fibertine Investment Bank, is a great example of a corporation that wants the NCA voted through. FIB invests in corporations around the world and outwardly appear to be concerned about ethical corporation issues. They even have their own Ethical Practices Officer. However, when Pandora tries to bring ethical issues to the attention of her boss, Mr. Watts, he reminds her of FIB’s business motto:

“Business is blameless,” … there is no need to feel guilt, or worry about facing consequences. (Dinnusos, p. 92)

Corporatocracy is not the only topic Turner addresses. Friendship represented by Pandora and Frelia, Faye and Tilly, and Jack and Tilly is a complicated subject. Trust is betrayed, destructive and healthy decisions are made, and new beginnings are all part of the friendships in Dinnusos Rising. Turner also shows us individual experiences with self-harm, suicide ideation, drugs, abuse,  sexuality, and gender. We see how falling in love may affect other relationships. Again, Tilly is the one who meets the most challenges. She is also the youngest of our characters.

Dinnusos Rises is well-edited, well written, has fleshed out characters, and presents current issues in a package filled with action and adventure. Both Dinnusos Rises and The Janus Cycle are excellent contributions in discussions about the above topics. Dinnusos Rises has my whole-hearted recommendation.

I was given an ARC copy to review.


My review of The Janus Cycle

Thoma, Chrystalla: Rex Rising (Elei’s Chronicles) (2011)

Rex Rising
Cover design by Chrystalla Thoma

Like so many others, I really like this cover. It is probably the eye that does it for me. I am a sucker for eyes.

Kabam is how Rex Rising begins. Elei is on the run and working to stay alive. Rex Rising keeps on going at that pace. We are thrown from one action scene to another never really able to catch our breaths. Chrystalla Thoma does it so well. She links the different episodes and never goes over the top. If you want action Rex Rising would be a good choice.

While a page turner Rex Rising is also about the effect parasites have on us and could have on us given certain circumstances. At the end of the novel Chrystalla Thoma links to books and studies dealing with the subject. I love what she has made of a topic that could have easily become boring. But Ms. Thoma did not let me withdraw. Perhaps one of the parasites jumped from the novel and “made me do it” as in read the novel almost without stop.

Another thing Chrystalla Thoma has conquered is the art of the flow. Words falling together like water in rapids is a beautiful thing to be part of. I love words when they are treated in such a manner.

The novel concentrated itself mainly on Elei and his adventures and not so much on the world he lives on. We get glimpses and an understanding of the political situation, but there is not room for an in-depth study of the landscape. But we certainly get an in-depth look at sweet Elei. He is such a loveable character. Hera is another character whose qualities become more and more apparent through Rex Rising. Like the author states on her website, she likes her female characters a bit gung-ho. So do I.

Anyways, this is one YA series I highly recommend.



  • File Size: 955 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475096852
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Amazon.com (August 11, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services,  Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GZPOQE

Angell, Lorena (co-authored by Joshua Angell): The Diamond of Freedom (The Unaltered III) (2013)

Cover design by Lorena Angell

Great cover. You will find each item in the novel.

Thanks again to Lorena Angell for providing me with a reviewer’s copy. Does receiving a copy influence the review I write? I would hope not, but knowing human nature it probably does to some extent. I try to be aware of this possibility. Hopefully that does not make me harder on the author than I need to be.

A Diamond in my Heart is my favorite of the three novels. Brand is probably part of the reason. I like him a lot more than Chris.

Chris is difficult to get a handle on. I’m sure that is Angell’s intention. Is he for Mathea’s work or is he against? How does he tackle the whole situation with Calli? It is obvious he at least lusts for her and he has previously seemed to love her (according to surface thoughts). But loving a person does not necessarily mean that we look out for their best interests.

Calli is even more confounded by Chris’ behavior than I am. It must be weird having a person change their behavior toward you almost from day to day. Realising the seriousness of having a shard of diamond lodged in her heart is a process. Coming to accept that protecting her heart also means keeping a distance between herself and Chris would also be difficult.

Freedom craves having Calli’s shard in his possession. He will go to any length to get it. Killing her is only part of it.

Brand’s ability to repeat comes in quite handy in The Diamond of Freedom. Life would be a whole lot more difficult without him.

There was plenty of action in The Diamond of Freedom. At the beginning of the novel Chris and Calli are on the run after Brand saved their lives. They are trying to stay off-radar but are finding that a challenge. From there on we go from one adventure to the other. Some of it is kind of funny (like the biker gang) and Chris’ uncle was adorable (yes I mean that). Kind of cute in his own way.

We are told a bit more about the world of Mathea and meet some of the other Diamond-bearers. I’m left wondering what sort of person I would be after 5000 years. How would it be possible to keep up her motivation for keeping the world in balance for all that time? Is it even possible to retain all of the flighty emotions we short-lived people have? Thankfully I will never find out.

How do I know Lorena Angell (and her son Joshua) have created a well-written fantasy novel? I am left wondering and pondering the characters and their future. That really is the sign of a good series/serial. The author has to keep her readers interested in the story-line and characters that live in it. Good job Lorena. I certainly want to read the next addition to The Unaltered series.


My reviews of books no. 1 (A Diamond in my Pocket) and 2 (A Diamond in my Heart).

Carlon, Lee: The Godslayers’ Legacy (The Bastard Cadre II) (2013)

Cover design by Lee Carlon

First of all I want to say thank you to Lee Carlon for sending me a reviewer’s copy of The Godslayers’ Legacy.

I liked book no. 1 of the series: A God-Blasted Land and had hopes for the rest of the series. I wonder what it must be like to be an author writing a series/serial??? I imagine the pressure you put on yourself to perform well the second time around must add to the stress whenever you feel lost in your own work. The excellent writer is like any excellent performer out there. We as a public aren’t supposed to guess how much work goes into their art. They get the tears. We get the pleasure.

Lee Carlon is turning out to be such a writer. To me he writes in minor key and plays those black tangents on his keyboard like an expert.

When Avril Ethanson decided he would fight Lord Obdurin’s bond, he did not know it would be so difficult. His reins are not as tight as those of the other cadres living up on Frake’s Peak, but they are nevertheless reins. Ronara enjoys being able to live there but she does not have to fight the bond that Lord Obdurin has tied between himself and Avril.

Not only Ronara and Obdurin add to Avril’s conflicted feelings. He is first sworn of his cadre and feels the need to seek out his other cadre members. For some reason Lord Obdurin wanted a semi-independent cadre to play his games with, and Avril’s is it.

We get to meet four of the other cadre members in this novel. Telling all of their names would only be a spoiler, but one of them is safe to share. Dune d’Turintar is on a mission to kill Lord Obdurin. Doing so is bound to bring her within reach of Avril.

Newterra is a bleak place. The world has been left in ruins by the Gods and the Gods pretty much rule the world. Who and what the gods are will probably be revealed later on, but I’m guessing Gods aren’t it.

Carson, Rae: Dangerous Voices (2012)

Cover artist Jenn Reese

Freedom of Speech. How far are we willing to go to let our voices be heard? How far are others willing to go to stop our voices from being heard?

Dangerous Voices is a wonderfully terrible short story about the lengths people are willing to go to let their voices be heard and to stop those voices from reaching out. What would my choice have been? Hmmmm.

If it was not for the magic, this could be a story right out of Amnesty International‘s archives.

I  am thankful I got to meet Rae Carson.

Briggs, Patricia: The Hurog duology

“The Five Kingdoms” by Michael Enzweiler

Patricia Briggs has written the Hurog duology. As you might have surmised from this blog she is quite a prolific writer. Her books fall into the light entertainment category. The Hurog duology’s version of the Briggsian world-creation is placed in a world reeking of the middle-ages with all of its dragons, shape-changers, magicians and various other people.

I absolutely loved the Danish covers. Wow, what a cool dragon. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an interpretation like that. And it fits with the dragon of the story. This is probably one of the better stories that Briggs has written. Ward is a wonderful character, caught in his own trap, yet never quite giving up hope.

DRAGON BONES (2002)

Danish cover by Bent Holm

Dragon Bones is a stand-alone novel. Its main character is Ward, heir to Hurog. What you need to know about Ward is that his dad was, to put it mildly, a monster. Child-, spouse and animal-abuse were his main hobbies. Until he had managed to damage Ward enough to affect his thinking, he saw Ward as his rival. So when he dies at the beginning of the book, it would be fair to say that Ward did not feel like grieving.

Unfortunately for Ward, the damage done to him had enabled him to pretend to be quite dense. Undoing other people’s perception of himself turns out to be more difficult than Ward would like. Discovering a damsel in distress and the secret of Hurog both play a part in enabling Ward to figure out how to show himself as someone to be trusted. This brings the king’s attention to the Hurog family, driven by his paranoia of the world being against him.

Ward comes across as a believable character. He clearly struggles with the long-term effects of his childhood. But in learning about Hurog’s very secret secret and some truths about the people around him, Ward manages to feel less alone in his struggles. One of the first things Ward must do in getting people to take him seriously is to prove himself a warrior, taking him and a small group accross the kingdom.

The story is told in first-person, through the eyes of Ward. This is part of what makes Ward such a real person, but it also shows us the world around him through his experiences. The people around him are clearly filtered through the life of Ward, making us care more for him and for the people around him. Dragon Bones is quite an enjoyable introduction to the world of Ward of Hurog.

DRAGON BLOOD (2002)

Danish cover by Bent Holm

While Dragon Bones is a stand-alone story,  Dragon Blood depends on the reader having some knowledge of the world. It continues the story of Ward, and in this case Tisala the rebel, and love of Ward. Neither book is a romance, something I quite enjoy. I’m weird like that. For some reason I both dislike romance in books and yet really enjoy it at times. Romance done the Hurog way is great.

The beginning of Dragon Blood is quite brutal. We come upon Tisala while she is being tortured for information about the rebellion that has been realized in the wake of Ward’s exploits in Dragon Bones. She escapes and runs to Hurog. This implicates Ward in the mind of the king and the king demands that Ward be committed for mental illness. All of this comes on top of Ward having to prove himself politically able to his little kingdom. One might say that Ward’s life has a bit more excitement than is good for a person’s health.

Hurog means dragon, and dragons are showing up on the door-steps of the kingdom once more. Dragons have played an important part in the whole kingdom’s past history, not only Hurog’s. Thankfully neither book is very graphic, enabling them to be read by a younger audience (not too young). Neither violence nor romance is explicit. Upon finishing the Hurog duology, I was left with a sense of wanting more.


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p>Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood are available as audiobook.

Foster, Alan Dean: Journeys of the Catechist

I loved the Journeys of the Catechist. What an excellent trilogy this is. This is Alan Dean Foster at his best. All three novels were of high quality and the characters enjoyable. Fantasy adventure is fun when the author manages to make it work. Our main character Etolje Ehomba takes us through several adventures on his way to fulfill what he sees as his obligation. While there were plenty of adventures and action scenes in the books, for some reason they came across as quiet books to me. Maybe that had to do with all of Etolje’s questions. He does like his questions. Or maybe I like these books because they are different from much of the fantasy and science fiction out there on the market. That probably has to do with the Catechist (teach through questions and answers) part or the story.

CARNIVORES OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS (1998)

Cover art by Keith Parkinson

When a group of dead men are washed up on the beach near the home of Etolje Ehomba, one of them turns out to be alive but close to death. He charges Etolje to save the Visioness Themary of Laconda who has been abducted by Hymneth the Possessed. Ehomba does as he has been charged despite the protests of his family. Armed with a sword, a spear and a few things that the women of the village have collected for him Ehomba sets off.

Shortly after setting off, Etolje meets up with Simna ibn Sind. Simna ends up following Ehomba on the whole quest. Our suspicions of Etolje’s magical abilities are soon aroused, as he seems able to do miraculous feats. But Etolje never agrees with that description. Instead all credit is given to the collection of things that the women of his village gathered for him.

These two travelling companions’ adventures are like Aesop’s tales. There is a moral behind each encounter. A Catechist is one who teaches by word of mouth. Sometimes Etolje’s tendency to ask questions of everything and everyone, patiently waiting for answers, frustrates Sind. As a reader it gives us insight into the world of Ehomba, and if we are attentive we should certainly begin to see that perhaps Etolje’s village might not be as every other village that he and Simna encounter.

INTO THE THINKING KINGDOMS (1999)

Into the Thinking Kingdoms is book no. 2 in the Journeys of the Catechist trilogy. It begins where Carnivores of Light and Darkness left off. Ehomba is still asking questions and Simna is still complaining about what he sees as a waste of time. Along with them on their journey they have acquired Ahlitah (a feline).

While their environment has changed somewhat, all three still manage to get themselves in and out of trouble. Etolje’s word magic is especially needed when the trio manages to get themselves arrested for thinking and expressing independent thoughts. As in Carnivores of Light and Darkness, each place is left a changed place for having encountered Ehomba, Simna and Ahlitah.

I enjoyed Into The Thinking Kingdoms as much as Carnivores of Light and Darkness. These books show off Foster’s tale-spinning abilities. You need to have read Carnivores of Light and Darkness in order to be able to follow along in the story. Into the Thinking Kingdoms is not a stand-alone book.

A TRIUMPH OF SOULS (2000)

Cover art by Keith Parkinson

A Triumph of Souls is a great conclusion to the Journeys of the Catechist trilogy. The trio, Etolje Ehomba, Simna ibn Sind and Ahlitah, the feline, are still together on their quest to save the Visioness Themaryl from the evil Hymneth the Possessed.

This time they take to the sea to get to their goal. Once again the trio gets themselves in and out of trouble. Some of this trouble is strange indeed. The island with the faceless people is a clear example of Foster’s ability to play with weirdness. Etolje still denies having sorcerous abilities.

When the gang gets to Hymneth the Possessed we meet a person who makes regular fantasy villains look stereotypical. And the ending of the book. What a perfect, yet surprising story this has turned out to be. While there might not have been a great deal of character development on the part of Simna, he feels real. Some pe0ple aren’t really changed by their experiences. Motivations stay the same. Etolje is Etolje. His role seems to be to surprise, and he does that well. As I said earlier, Journeys of the Catechist is an epic fantasy of great quality and it delivers what it promises.