Category: fantasy


42nd Spring, Year 256

We had been back just long enough for Chonck to disappear into the library, presumably to pull himself back together, when Churt ordered the party back topside to deal with an invasion of wild boar that had been eating their way through the fields and destroying any fences in their way.

The vast majority of the militia dwarves were already out dealing with their own assigned fields. There were waves upon waves of boar rushing in. Most of them just seemed lost or desperate to find food. The last few seemed driven forward.

Were driven forward. I do not know how we wound up dealing with the only dire boar in the lot of them. Thing is bigger than Chonck and so battle scared that I had a hard time telling the difference between the arrows that he’d been hit with and the ruff of fur down his back. Smart too. After Azurei used one of her brain melting spells on him and failed to kill him, he avoided her. But then when Eclair used one of her last eldritch blasts on him, he saw she was tired out and charged.

The elf managed to calm him down enough to catch him. There were remains of a Goblin harness on him with his name inscribed on it, it translates to something like “Bear-render.”  So not only is this dire boar strong and smart enough to run off a celestial warlock, though an admittedly exhausted one, but he also earned a name before we ran the Goblins out of the area. It seems that Bear-render is going to be a good addition to the fortress.

That said, this is going to put us irreparably behind on growing crops for winter, I fear. At least we should have enough salted pork and mushrooms to keep the fortress fed. I am also a touch worried that the other animals that the Goblins were eating will have similar population explosions that we will have to deal with.

For now though, I have to clean the hog droppings off the crossbow I borrowed before the quartermaster will approve repairs to mine.

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38th of Spring, Year 256

It has been a most strange few days.

Chonck has remained upset about the name situation and continued to insist that he would slay the Eater of the Dead himself and claim his name. He kept circling back to Eater of the Eater.

I feel like that has likely changed.

The door to the Eater of the Dead’s lair felt like it was miles away from the rest of the Eebakuzi Goblin pit, behind a set of distinctly not Goblin made doors. Huge doors with Goblin skeletons piled up around the sides of it.

Chonck raged as soon as we got to them and slammed belly first into the room beyond.

The Eater of the Dead was an enormous spider, intelligent enough to communicate and big enough to make Chonck look small. The room was lit by strange blue lights that, as soon as Chonck hit the Eater of the Dead, rushed in to surround it. Like a protective spell of some sort. Azurei and Eclair’s spells seemed to have no effect until they began to use more advanced magics. Even with the elf having cast a spell to enhance everyone’s weapons, it seemed like physical attacks did little to it either.

But we beat it, some how, we beat it without losing anyone.

I am worried about what happened after though.

Chonck made good on his threat to make his name by eating the Eater of the Dead. As soon as it was dead, he ripped off one of its legs and tore into it. Then the lights that had surrounded it for the entire battle surrounded and flowed into him. The lights were spirits, the spirits of every being that the Eater of the Dead had consumed. It granted him what seems to be the knowledge of all those spirits and the Eater of the Dead itself.

He can count much better now and read and put ideas together better. He has an idea of what makes something contextually appropriate. But it left him badly shaken, sitting in a corner trying to process what was happening to him. I don’t know how this will effect him or how he interacts with the party going forward. It seems like the kind of thing that could break some one quite easily. Here’s hoping he comes out of it well.

The good news in all of this, we did find what I think was the weapon the Obcobra was talking about. When the spirits attached themselves to Chonck, the only thing left glowing was the Eater of the Dead’s fangs, which suggests they hold some power. We harvested those and its venom sacs. Once we get back to Caskfire I want to have one of the craftsdwarves put hilts on them. They should make fine daggers.

 

39th of Spring, Year 256

Even with Chonck in a bad way, we are making good time back to Caskfire.

I find myself thinking more and more about what the skeletons outside of the Eater of the Dead’s lair meant. They were worryingly clean, like something meant for display. While the Goblin corpses within its lair were still covered with bits of meat or even hair and armor in some cases.

It seems possible that this is where our friends in White Hall were getting the Goblin corpses they were sending after Rikke’s bandits. I don’t want to borrow trouble, certainly. But if we have cut their access to bodies it could result in any number of reactions. It might be worth keeping an eye on them for the next while.

33rd of Spring, Year 256

I come down with a little case of being poisoned and variably conscious and as soon as we get back to Caskfire I’m ordered to rest until I can walk to the Inn and back without falling over. Not as if I needed it. Worked through worse more than once. More than twice even.

Not like making notes for an improved map, or even improving an existing map, would tire me out so badly the poison would take me and I would waste away.

But the elf made herself useful and figured out what the poison was. Some root the Goblins grind up.A paralytic of some sort, apparently. The elf also kept saying something about it being fun if it can be diluted enough. I question that, but between her and Eclair it seems likely to turn up again sooner than later.

Hopefully not in my morning beer.

Couple of issues with Conck since we got back. He has been determined as of late to grant himself an orcish last name. Neverminding that those are earned rather than given, the issue is that he wants to name himself after his favorite word and an orcish folk hero. He has dug his heels in on this one, is not willing to listen to the other party members when they say that his using profanity like that makes them uncomfortable.

Makes no sense to me why he would want to change from being a Stonecask, his mother raised him as one. Best I know the only other half orc he ever met was his brother.

At least for the moment we have him convinced not to use his favorite word again until he has earned his name. Which has him swearing to eat the Eater of the Dead. Or to fight it all on his own. I would be tempted to let him if there was not the worry of it killing him. Given that he has decided that I hate orcs, and that the elf is supporting him in his quest for his chosen last name, it seems like a good idea to keep an eye on Chonck.

Which leads to the Goblin Chonck claimed back at Yoyabo. It would seem that Leaky escaped sometime while I was recovering. Made it all the way from the Library to the forests without being noticed, despite leaving a trail the whole way. It could just be that Leaky paid good attention to what was going on when he was brought in, but it seems more likely that he had help. When given the chance, I want to ask Tusk about it. It seems like she should know something one way or the other.

No time to take care of that now though. Tomorrow we head out to the Goblin pit of Eebakuzi and the Eater of the Dead. I need to pack what I can and finish restocking before the morning.

28th of Spring, Year 256

Can not let the others see my hands shaking like this. Poison has mostly run its course, but the tips of my fingers are still numb. It looks bad that I passed out in front of everyone from it. Worse that Chonck expressed concern over it and I waved him off. That makes me seem careless.

At least the elf was elsewhere. No one is certain where she got to, but it was away from our last round of fighting.

We wiped out or chased away all the Goblins who were still in the side passages. I assume most of the ones who escaped were dealt with by the infantry dwarves. The passages are blocked to prevent more Goblins from returning, that should make the area safer.

There was something to that final fight though. The Goblins were better armed and armored by far than the others in the pit or the ones that have been out in the field. It seems we may have found some kind of outpost throne room for their King, possibly some kind of shrine to him given the amount of food and shiny things stacked around the throne. It seems like the armored Goblins would have left us alone if I hadn’t knocked over one of the baskets of offerings while checking for traps.

Further, this could tell us something about the Goblin’s tactics. They struck with poisoned javelins first, presumably to weaken their enemies. Then they attacked in small groups. I would have wanted to see how they reacted to more opponents than just Chonck and I being fully in the room for most of the fight. They were definitely some kind of honor guard.

Hopefully, I can learn more about that from the one we captured before anything happens to him. There’s a hole in his lower torso the size of a whiskey bottle, so there’s no telling how long he can last even with it patched up by Azurei. Chonck has named him “Leaky” and intends to make him do chores for him.

Eclair has already offered Leaky a knife. Twice.

I feel like we have also learned here just how little the elf does. She left shortly after we met the Obcobra and, even with the Obcobra doing nothing to help, the final battle went just as well without the elf as it would have with. Something to bring up with Churt that.

I should stop here though, the numbness isn’t getting any better and I worry that the poison took more out of me than I expected.

27th of Spring, Year 256

The confrontation with the Yoyabo Goblin pit has, so far, been a slaughter. Between Azurei and Eclair’s magics and the heavy infantry’s martial skills we’ve wiped out the entirety of the Goblin’s surface forces and fought our way into the pit itself. That has slowed our advance down a bit, due to branching pathways and closer quarters, but we reached what seems to be the central hub of the pit and Chonck as sealed the entries to most of the main branches so that we can deal with stragglers more safely.

Unfortunately, despite the damage we’ve done to the Yoyabo Goblins, it doesn’t seem that they would be willing to surrender. I offered the option to a group we found headed by a Goblin called Clever, he used the opportunity to attempt an ambush on the party. A few of them escaped to further down the tunnels, but for the most part. For the most part it’s just been killing.

We did find a source of information on the Goblin King Eebaku though. A rather strange source of information, but still.

The Goblins had imprisoned one of their own at the bottom of a well as punishment for trying to trap Eebaku as a source of power. This Obcobra claims to have been down there for nearly a  year, sustained by her magics. She’s willing, to a limited vengful extent, to help us fight Eebaku and his Goblins and has what I can only hope is information on where we might get a weapon capable of harming him.

It would seem that there is a creature called the Eater of the Dead and that it may have or may provide materials to make a weapon we could use to harm a demon lord.

It’s a ways off, probably several days travel, so we would need to finish driving the Goblins out of Yoyabo and return to Caskfire to report and restock. There will need to be guards at the pit to prevent Goblins from returning to bother Caskfire while we are away. That would also require a change in scouting patterns. And above all that we will be relying on the Obcobra’s directions, so we should plan for extra days out or some manner of trickery.

I will need to talk to Churt about all of this. She may not want to put a guard detail at the pit or maybe she would want to try caving in the side tunnels instead. It would be for me to advise and her to worry over.

(Several paragraphs have been started and aggressively scribbled out.)

The Obcobra said that Eebaku was looking for someone in the area some time before our builders struck the earth. The time line seems to have coincided with when we were first scouting for a good place to start digging. Who would be important enough to a demon lord to bring him into the Plains of Burning?

Should I warn Churt that there might be cultists in Caskfire? It seems ridiculous to think. No one in the family would worship a demon lord. Would they?

Could the Obcobra be lying to try and secure our trust more securely? She is our only source on this. This and the Eater of the Dead too. If that were to be a trap, it could be a way to wipe out the fortress’s protectors and leave everyone else open to attack.

(A number of pages have been neatly cut from the journal.)

I don’t like any of this.

I’ve rewritten this at least three times. It was a lot of fun to think about and I kind of want to do a book vs series vs novella now, but I also didn’t want to just sit here comparing it to the web series. This one’s thanks to the awesome folks at Kids Can Press, via netGalley. Here’s Kim Turrisi’s adaptation of Carmilla. Enjoy!

Carmilla cover

When college freshman Laura Hollis’ roommate goes missing after a party she calls everyone she thinks might be able to help find her. Instead of help, she gets stuck with Carmilla, the roommate from hell, an aloof philosophy student who responds to seemingly everything with sarcasm. But the more Laura digs, the stranger things get. And the stranger things get, the more it seems like Carmilla knows much more than she lets on. The more it seems like Carmilla might be interested in her for less than nefarious purposes. What’s a girl to do with a mystery to solve, a very possibly vampiric roommate, and homework piling up by the day?

So, Kim Turrisi’s Carmilla is an adaptation of an adaptation, the Kinda TV web series of the same title started out in 2014 and has grown since. Being an adaptation can make things a little clunky at times, things that work well in video don’t always translate well to writing. But, it’s also not tied to a web cam anymore or just the initial script. The novel seems to tie in some things from parts of the web series’ setting that were introduced later as well as a few new scenes away from Laura’s updates regarding the missing girls mystery.

Not being tied to one web cam in one room is both a positive and a negative. The new scenes can be a lot of fun and add to the feeling of the setting and to Laura’s relationships with other characters. But, it can also feel like there’s just not quite enough to them or of them. The library scene stands out for me on this. We get Laura and La Fontaine and Carmilla breaking into the library and Carmilla knowing things that make getting where they need to be easier. That’s great, it adds to her as a character, it’s something new. Then they get into the library and things play out and are described nearly the same as they were in the web series. It didn’t feel as exciting as the characters being attacked by a flaming card catalogue should have been. It felt like I was being told what happened rather than seeing them experience it. There was a lot of room to expand or to fill things in a bit, and it feels like the author didn’t take it.

The exception to this feels like Laura’s crushes on both Danny, the TA for one of her classes, and of course Carmilla. Being in Laura’s head instead of just seeing her actress react, the reader gets a lot more details on how she feels about these two. Being into Danny because she’s sweet and straight forward in standing up for the missing girls and Laura herself. The attraction to Carmilla while still thinking she’s a terrible person and how that mellows into being into Carmilla the person. There’s a lot of internal stuff added here that makes it flow well.

There was kind of a weirdness about how some of the speech tags were done, especially when it comes to Carmilla. Maniacal laughter doesn’t really mesh with the whole disaffected philosophy student thing, or the whole aloof vampire thing, either way. Some things with Kirsch coming across as whiny, almost wimpy, in a way that feels odd given his whole friendly frat bro character. If I had to put my finger on it, I’d say that the tags that take me out of the narration feel too big for their moments or even their characters. It isn’t a huge issue, but it is a notable one.

It’s an interesting thing. I know that a lot of my enjoyment of the novel comes from my enjoyment of the web series. I know there were moments where I was left waiting for a particular bit or where something filled in a little bit more and it feeling better tied in for that. Turrisi’s adaptation does feel unfinished in places, possibly as a result of working from the script rather than the finished series, or maybe just as a result of things not translating well between one format and another. There are places where I felt thrown off by knowing there was more, and that does knock the book down a little for me. But I also want to see novels for the next two seasons and the movie as well. I’m left hoping that this is part of the lead up to something new coming, something more. I enjoyed Turrisi’s adaptation of Carmilla.

And that leaves the final score in a strange place. As a fan of the web series and knowing what they already managed, I would be inclined to give the novel a three out of five. But I also know that if I was just reading the novel on its own, knowing that the romancy aspect is a fair sized part of it, I would be more likely to bump it up to a four. So a four is where I’m going to leave it with the hope that, if there is a next book, it does all the things this one could have made this one fantastic.

Sort of a one more thing that I hope was a result of reading an ARC rather than the finished book. In the original season one of the web series La Fontaine isn’t specifically said to use they/them pronouns, it’s possible they aren’t entire out at that point, though they do go strictly by La Fontaine or Laf. As a result of this, she/her pronouns are used for them in the first season of the web series. The novel introduces them as gender queer, but still uses she/her pronouns for them in some places where the character speaking would know to not do that. It seems like the kind of thing that happened as a result of just transferring things over, but is also a sign that this could have been looked over again. That’s a big mistake to glance over.

Not much to say here this time. It was really hard to write this without including spoilers and I have enough left that I want to talk about that I might do an “And Another Thing” post about it some time. That said, this one is thanks to the nice folks at Entagled Teen. Here is Rachel Rust’s 8 Souls. Enjoy!

8 Souls cover

Villisca, Iowa is known for murder. For the deaths of eight people in 1912. For the Ax Muder house.  The house that seventeen year old Chessie has been dreaming about her entire life, sometimes new and lived in, sometimes as it is now slowly falling in on itself across the street from her grandparents’ house. Across the street from where she’ll be spending the entire summer while her parents work out the details of their divorce. Amid nightmares and ghostly voices, Chessie finds herself stuck trying to figure out her connection to the Ax Murder house and David, the mysterious boy who knows more than he lets on and so, so many secrets.

So, I make no secret of the fact that I love haunted house stories and horror in general. The promise of a small town with dark secrets and a house that can’t forget pulled me to Rachel Rust’s 8 Souls. It’s a book that was pretty good for what it is and than just misses the mark for what I wanted it to be. Notable differences there.

This being a book published by Entangled Teen, I knew to expect a fairly large romance side plot. That’s just what they do as a publisher. The mysterious boy is mentioned in the blurb. It’s something that I was going to have to roll with. My issue, of course, comes not from the existence of this romance plot but from how much feels underdone in the face of and about it.

There were a lot of ideas that could have been fantastic if they’d been given more room or if they’d been introduced earlier. Most of the stuff about the haunting and David’s whole deal could have worked fantastically if they’d been worked in earlier and given more page space. Make that a thing alongside Chessie thinking that David and Mateo were pranking her with the whole ghost hunting deal. Spend more time with Chessie trying to figure out what’s going on instead of avoiding David and watching Netflix instead of looking into the thing haunting her. Even the romance itself felt rushed along once Chessie decided that she could trust what David was saying.

The antagonist gets hit with this harder than most other details. There’s a thread throughout the book about these little girls having gone missing and that there’s more disappearances and strange deaths in Villisca than most cities its size. But there isn’t much done with that until right at the end. It was almost to the point that I’d forgotten about it in a couple of places. There were a couple of characters who might have been antagonists or, in a more horror focused book, solid red herrings. But nothing came of them and the antagonist was left feeling like they’d been brought in out of left field. A last minute, one more thing, secret that David hadn’t bothered to mention yet. It was an idea that got introduced and used within pages so the story could rush on to the climax. That was frustrating for me, because the antagonist and the climax both could have been so, so good with a little tweaking and a little more page space.

That’s pretty well where I land on 8 Souls. Rust did a good job with the setting, a small town that’s losing people as time goes on. The real world Villisca, Iowa was actually the scene of an ax murder of eight people, so that’s something that could be interesting to look more into after reading this. But it is very much a book that wants for a little more. A little more to the horror, and the characters, and the buildup. As a YA romance with supernatural elements, it’s functional. With more time to percolate it could have been fantastic, and for that I give it a three out of five. I would be willing to read Rachel Rust again, but I also want to see what she would do in another genre.

So, this wasn’t the review I intended to post this week, but I really didn’t like the idea of not posting one at all. This is one that I picked up awhile back after enjoying the first one and just didn’t get to until recently. In any case, here’s Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Worship. Enjoy!

Heroine Worship cover

It’s been months since Aveda Jupiter and her best friend/personal assistant turned co-heroine Evie Tanaka saved Los Angeles and the world from a demonic invasion and subsequent apocalypse. Months with no demons. No monsters. No need for Aveda Jupiter, especially with how in love with Evie’s fire powers the people of LA are. Months of feeling more and more like she’s obsolete. A sudden rush of rampaging bridezillas and Evie’s engagement might be just the thing to help Aveda set herself back to rights. At least it might if it doesn’t destroy her first.

Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Worship feels very much like a middle book. The stakes feel a lot lower than in the previous book, Heroine Complex, and things feel much more focused on characters’ feelings and Aveda as a conflicted person rather than a diva boss. It’s a needed slow down, but one that made the book go a little slow in places for me.

So, a big issue with my reading Heroine Worship was that I didn’t really like Aveda Jupiter for a big slice of it. A part of that is a holdover from Heroine Complex, where she’s this complete diva and more than kind of a control freak. That’s not the greater share of things though, in that book it was a little tiring that she was like that but she was also this larger than life character versus Evie being a normal person forced to become extraordinary. Here though, Aveda is the protagonist and the stakes feel so much lower so there’s more focus on who she is as a character. This is Aveda’s story about coming back to herself from being just Aveda Jupiter the super heroine diva perfectionist and learning to embrace the parts of herself that are Annie Chang the regular woman.

That actually lands the book in an interesting place for me. The reader sees Aveda trying so very hard to shed her diva tendencies and to be a good friend to Evie, just on the terms she understands. We see her being bad at communication and making assumptions about what’s best and a hundred other things, and that’s so frustrating even as it does a really good job of humanizing her. We also get the occasional mini chapter seeing what other people think of her behavior, and the outside perspective is also frustrating because of course the characters from these bits don’t have the whole story and of course they’re written as being extra antagonistic. As frustrating as some of this was, especially her running off assumptions, it all made me like Aveda a lot more. All the frustrations and the trying to do the right things and wanting to be her best self but not having the best handle on who that is, that worked really well for me. It baked in the understanding that Aveda and Evie’s friendship wasn’t magically all fixed up after the last book. It baked in that Aveda needs to learn to let herself be a person instead of always a super heroine. It filled out the cast a little, giving Aveda other characters to work with and react to. All that I really liked.

Honestly, the only thing that bothered me and kept me bothered was the romance. Even then it was, more than anything, a combination of second hand embarrassment from Aveda clearly not knowing what to do with feelings  and just feeling like it was there just for it to be there. The love interest, Scott, was a perfectly decent character, the surfer dude spell caster who’s been friends with Evie and Aveda since childhood. But, I feel like I’d have wanted to see Scott and Aveda end things moving towards acknowledging their mutual attraction rather than that being a thing that ate so many words where it didn’t need to. They’re clearly good for each other and I could have been totally behind it, if it hadn’t felt quite so wedged in and if it hadn’t largely followed Heroine Complex in using sexual attraction to short hand the characters being romantically into each other.

Heroine Worship is an interesting one for me to review. I’m already planning on reading the final book in the trilogy, but there are absolutely aspects that I’m expecting to roll my eyes over when I reach them. I mean, the romance issues are pretty set in the series so far. But it was also a book that I legitimately enjoyed the majority of. While at the end I think I remember the things that I didn’t like more than the things I did enjoy, those same things are absolutely bits that other readers are probably going to be here for. So, I think I tend towards giving Heroine Worship a three out of five. I don’t know that it isn’t better than that, I’m certainly going back for more after all,  but there are certainly aspects that are just not for me.

Hey all, as promised, I’ve got a guest post for you all from Nick Lovelock. He’s talking about his favorite parts about being an author. Enjoy!

Gemenicia

My Favourite Things About Being An Author

I’ve always been a very imaginative and creative person, which more often than not has caused problems especially in school when at which time I was supposed to be studying American Political Change after the Civil War. However my margins were full of doodles of steam tanks, Gatling guns and l sorts of Steampunk ideas that started my journey of bringing it all to life. These doodles the prologue of the illustrations that appear throughout Gemenicia, and so far I have worked through over thirty A5 notebooks that are filled with ideas and practice pictures. I love the idea that I can be working non-stop on every different aspect that makes up one of my novels, or in this case the fifteen novels I have planned for the future.

Being an Author was something that I never envisaged myself doing from an early age, as I went through a few phases that began with wanting to be a lepidopterist, then an Archaeologist, and finally a musician. However nothing has come so naturally to me than writing, it’s something that I find incredibly easy, to come up with an idea from simply thinking or looking at something new. Filling up one of my notebooks which I carry around with me at all times with notes that will come up with or doodles that will one day become the illustrations that feature throughout my future novels.

The influences I have for the most part seem to be relatively obscure to others of my generation, and I love the fact that I am able to bring new life to them through homage’s and parodies, giving them a chance to reach a wider audience. World building has always been a major passion of mine, beginning with sand castles and moving to Lego Kingdoms. I loved to mix medieval with futuristic and build extremely complex models that would remain as they were for about a week, then another influence would come along and I would start trying to imitate that. However building with Lego has its limitations, and now that I have the chance to build an infinite world through being an Author, and that is a feat only possible through such a creative outlet, that and being an artist or film maker.

Being an Author gives me the opportunity to create characters that are given much more opportunity to grow and mature than others are with an hour and a half of screen time. It’s a challenge to give them a multi-coloured personality through the media of writing, but it’s a challenge that I find very fun to attempt. My first major change in the way I approached Steampunk fiction came when I was exposed to David Lynch’s masterpiece Twin Peaks, and it gave me the idea for which the following three novels after Gemenicia will feature. The idea of a great fantasy world having real people that have real life problems, that a small amount of fantasy that they can’t really comprehend will give all the story I need. This opportunity to put my theory into action is what I find to be the best part of being an Author.

Seeing the final product for which I have worked so hard on a feeling that doesn’t come around very often, and holding the first produced copy of Discoucia and then Gemenicia is what the magic of being an Author is all about.

NL v1.2

Nicholas Lovelock lives in a small village in Oxfordshire and has already published Discoucia, the first part of the Alavonia Series which spans multiple novels set to be released in the future. He enjoys riding around the countryside as well as illustrating his own works, as can be seen in his second novel Gemenicia. These Illustrations in stark black and white provide a glimpse into the world of Alavonia and how he sees it, as well as showcasing the different locations and characters that make up the Alavonia series universe.

He is a keen musician capable of playing the electric guitar as well as the acoustic and the piano, often trying to play like his musical heroes David Gilmour, Jimmy Page and Jeff Lynne. His coin collection has transformed from a hobby to a passion and obsession as he attempts to collect one of every issued coin in Great Britain. He is over halfway in that respect collecting such treasures as a 1675 Charles the Second Crown and an extremely rare Edward the Seventh Half Crown of 1905, and has begun metal detecting in an effort to tick some boxes in the Hammered Coinage section.

His love of Steampunk literature and cinema has been with him from a young age when he first saw the film ‘Wild Wild West’, sought out the original series and discovered a world of fantasy that he has painstakingly tried to pay homage to in his novels, to bring the wild west to an English setting and to create something that has never been done before.

History has always been a major passion of his as he makes many references in his literature, from characters whose personalities resemble those of eccentric historical characters or monarchs. The ability to change history through literature was one of the things that attracted him to become an author in the first place, to create similar timelines and put a unique spin on the mundane.

Nicholas Lovelock

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