Tag Archives: J.E. Dugue

Ficks, J.L. & Dugue, J.E.: Kingsblood (The Chronicles of Covent) (2012)

Kingsblood cover

On the planet of Covent there once lived a dark elf named Shade. Growing up had brought Shade into the assassin work-force. I’ve often wondered what makes an assassin. In chapter 1 of Kingsblood we get a look at part of what brought Shade into the business.

I like Shade. Yes, he does some pretty gruesome stuff. But, you know, we all do at one time or another. Sometimes we are the victim and sometimes we are the perpetrator.

To Shade being an assassin is a job that he takes pride in. He is the best in his field. There are some people he will not kill – women and children. He also prefers to kill those who he considers black marks on his planet. Shade’s abilities are the best and therefore he wants jobs that challenge him. If you end up being under his protection, you know that you will be protected. On the other hand, if Shade decides the world is better off without you – well …

One person Shade decides to take under his wings is King Magnus. But, you know, one person (albeit the best assassin in the world) against a whole guild of assassins? Maybe Shade has bitten over more than he can chew this time. He is not quite alone. Shade has strange and mysterious people who root for him. Some of them even aid him. Hmmm. Wonder what kind of agenda they have?

There is plenty of action and humour. Our clumsy duo reappears in Kingsblood. You know, I feel sorry for them. Poor guys are out of their league.

Although several of the characters possess magic, there wasn’t really a lot of focus on magic. Instead action scenes were more about the fights themselves and Shade’s ability to be a shadow. King Magnus should be glad Shade is on his side.

I am going to say one extremely positive thing about Fick’s and Dugue’s writing. Even knowing what their agenda is, I struggled to see it in their writing. No soap-boxes, just really good writing.

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You can find the authors at Facebook-Logo and twitter-icon1.

Thom Scott’s website (last updated 2011)


DWED reviews


My review of The Waiting Game

I received a copy of Kingsblood as a reviewer’s copy but have tried to not let that influence my review.

Ficks, J.L. / Dugue, J.E.: Waiting Game (The Shade Chronicles) (2012)

Cover artist Thom Scott
Logo by James Gilks

First things first. You really ought to take a look at the website Chronicles of Covent. It is full of great art and loads of information about characters and storylines. The cover artist, Thom Scott, is responsible for the artwork done on the website. From what I can see on their website Ficks and Dugue aim to create a world that functions as the Forgotten Realm does – with an abundance of authors dealing with the eight continents of Covent.

The Shade Chronicles are about Shade the assassin, probably the best in his field. He is an Unseen (the best of the best) gone rogue and knows to stay away from the forest surrounding his school. Shade is also a dark elf and are exposed to prejudice just like the ones in the Forgotten Realms. 

The Waiting Game is the first book of this series. It has a proper ending and that makes it a series. I prefer stand-alone novels to the serial type. Serials can be annoying.

Shade is bored. He has been trained to utilise his killing abilities to the fullest and is beginning to run out of challenging kills. Anything will do as long as the hit is difficult. He gets what he wants and from there on there is action galore.

There were two scenes that I really liked. One was in the underground while fighting his challenger. The other was in the bar when Lewd’s hench(wo)men kept coming.

It was refreshing meeting someone who wasn’t out to save the world or make it a better place. Instead we find a dark elf who strikes fear into the hearts of all who realise just who they are dealing with. Only idiots mess with Shade but despite the fear he engenders, Shade is not a bully.

Shade was an interesting character, maybe even some one I would like to meet again. What did I think of the writing? Well, Ficks and Dugue kept me reading. They are above average but fall out of the flow at times. That just gives them room for improvement and I expect we shall see that as time passes.