Forsaken for Free – Kindle Sale

iStorm Witch, the second tale in The Exiled Crown series is out now. To celebrate, (and also to deviously get people to try out the series) Forsaken, the first in the series is free on Kindle until the 21st.

The series is a sword and sorcery short fiction series with a grimdark vibe.

Feel free to check it out and leave a review of your thoughts.


Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Storm Witch – Out Today

iiIf you’re looking for a short Grimdark read on your lunch break, commute to work, or even if the grim darkness helps you sleep at night, Storm Witch is out today. It’s the second tale in my ongoing series The Exiled Crown. It can be read independently from Forsaken, but some of the elements from the second story are present in that first tale. Storm Witch is about Ayla and her companion Brim taking a contract to kill a witch who has cursed a city with winter in the midst of summer and rescue a princess to get paid some much-needed gold. It’s double the length of Forsaken, around 4,000 words. I hope you’ll check it out and, as always, if you’d like a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review on Goodreads, feel free to contact me. Have a grim and dark day!


Only .99 at all Amazon markets.

Storm Witch:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU



Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Forsaken on Audible

Audible gave me 25 promotional codes for my short story Forsaken, the first in my grimdark themed fantasy series. 
If you would like a free audiobook in exchange for an honest review on Audible and Goodreads (and obviously wherever else you desire) feel free to comment below and I will contact you.
These codes are good for the US marketplace only unfortunately. And obviously limit of 25, first come first serve. I have reached out on Facebook as well.

Forsaken Giveaway


To help promote The Exiled Crown short story series, I am giving away 10 copies of Forsaken over on Amazon. Winners are selected instantly on 1 in 5 odds. It will run until the ebooks are gone. Feel free to enter at the link below. Thanks for your participation!



Foray Into Indie/Pro Publishing

The time for solely reading and reviewing books has passed for me. For most of my life, I’ve had a mind to write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories in my own worlds. This, for a long time, was just a dream and I did little to pursue it. Over the last several months, however, I’ve been pumping out short fiction and submitting to various pro magazines around the speculative community.

While I pursue this, I have also planned a short story series which I will publish independently on Amazon. The series is called The Exiled Crown. The first store, Forsaken, can be read now. The second, Storm Witch, will be available on March 17th.

Most of you share my love for grimdark fantasy fiction, and I hope you’ll give my grimdark themed stories a try. If you’d like to keep up with me as I pursue my goals, you can keep track of me in the following places:

I hope to see you around. And may your days be forever grim and dark.



Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan

Here is my review of Queen of Fire as posted on my new blog Deviant Worlds.

18405221Blurb: After fighting back from the brink of death, Queen Lyrna is determined to repel the invading Volarian army and regain the independence of the Unified Realm. Except, to accomplish her goals, she must do more than rally her loyal supporters. She must align herself with forces she once found repugnant—those who possess the strange and varied gifts of the Dark—and take the war to her enemy’s doorstep.

Victory rests on the shoulders of Vaelin Al Sorna, now named Battle Lord of the Realm. However, his path is riddled with difficulties. For the Volarian enemy has a new weapon on their side, one that Vaelin must destroy if the Realm is to prevail—a mysterious Ally with the ability to grant unnaturally long life to her servants. And defeating one who cannot be killed is a nearly impossible feat, especially when Vaelin’s blood-song, the mystical power which has made him the epic fighter he is, has gone ominously silent…

Format: Queen of Fire is the third and final book in the Raven’s Shadow trilogy. I am reviewing the Audible format of the novel which was 26 hours and 43 minutes in length, narrated by Steven Brand. The novel was originally published in July of 2015 by Ace Fantasy imprint of Penguin books. The novel is in limited 3rd person POV and spans a few separate character story arcs that were familiar from the previous novel Tower Lord. 

Setting: A portion of the story takes place in the familiar Unified Realm as queen Lyrna and her forces seek to fend off the Volarian army and regain control of their capital and people. Many off her people have been shipped off however to the Volarian Empire and she seeks to cross the seas and rid the world of the Volarian Empire once and for all. The setting changes from the war torn familiar to the harsh and brutal differences of the land across the sea. The setting played a key role in setting the mood for the entire novel. The war is a struggle and it is felt in our characters’ surroundings with harsh accuracy.

Characters: Vaelin is once again back as a main character arc in the story. Where Blood Song was Vaelin’s story, Queen of Fire focuses more on Reva and Lyrna, who head their own POV arcs throughout the novel. I felt time between the three was divided well and each separate tale delved into the costs of war and it’s toll on the three characters. The result was excellent character development. This was surprising to me because the third novel of any series usually expects you to know your characters for who they are and Queen of Fire does a lot to let you see the changes in the characters it presents even in the conclusion of the story. Dialogue between these characters was excellent as ever and Anthony Ryan does a great job making everyone feel and do realistic things. Characters are definitely a strength of this tale.

Plot: War is hell and Queen of Fire represents that well. Although our main characters are some of the best swordsman in the world, the costs of war aren’t lost on them in this tale. Lyrna decides to take unexpected action to the Volarian shores. She gains support through changing the policy’s of the crown’s rule from her father’s tyrannical rule to a more fair and just mindset. As she gains strength, the Empress across the sea proves to be a powerful opponent with deeper resources than Lyrna could have prepared for. While Lyrna and Reva must attack the unsuspecting Volarians, Vaelin is tasked by Lyrna to gather strength and join her for the attack on the Volarian capital. Meanwhile, the mysterious 7th order steps into play to support the Unified Realm and years of mystery come to light. Needless to say, not everything goes according to plan and the invasion quickly becomes a struggle for the survival of the free world.

My Thoughts: Wow. I loved Blood Song for what it was, the tale of a young boy growing under the martial ways of the 6th order to manhood. I then enjoyed Tower Lord for what it was, the severity of the Volarian threat and the development of Vaelin, Reva, Frentus. and Lyrna into even stronger characters. I’ve been rewarded with the series as I’ve went along, every scene building into an epic clash with the Volarians and the way our strong characters will deal with it. Now with having read Queen of Fire, I feel very much satisfied with the way that’s all played out. It was brutal at times, a struggle, and there is much loss, but I like that sort of thing in a novel. I want a novel that is realistic, honest in its presentation, and free from ridiculousness, and that’s what I got. Anthony Ryan is skilled in his craftsmanship and Raven’s Shadow will be a series marked by it’s excellent story telling for a very long time. I’ve really enjoyed this series. I liked the way it closed out and I’m sad to see it go. But it was so very excellent. If you’ve not read Queen of Fire for some reason, you would be doing yourself an injustice not to. This series has quickly become one of my favorites all time and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.

Deviant Worlds

Drawing (3)

I’ve been sort of taking a break from Grimdark here lately. I’m sure many of you have noticed the dip in postings over the last several months as well as my attempts to revamp the site and the way I review books. For those of you that enjoy the content I put out, I really appreciate you and your support.

I’m still reading copious amounts of fantasy, but it hasn’t really been Grimdark. I’ve been using The Grimdark Review as a sort of niche Grimdark site but I noticed I’ve started to turn away from reading and posting Grimdark fantasy and turned more to Epic fantasy and other types in the same genre. I love fantasy and I will never be tired of the genre, just need some high fantasy with the Grimdark every once in a while.

So, I decided a place for all those other books to land was in order. A place where I can post about the latest Star Wars novel I’ve read or high fantasy novel or sci-fi tome. I don’t want to blow up The Grimdark Review with a lot of random books in the genre as that wouldn’t really make it The Grimdark Review, feel me?

So I created Deviant Worlds, a catch all site for fantasy news, interviews, science fiction novels, Star Wars, contests, a little bit of everything. I want to post more frequently and don’t want to fall out of touch with the blog. Deviant Worlds will be updated regularly and I hope you will join me over there as well. The Grimdark Review will live on, but I need a break from the grim darkness in favor of some of the other great stories out there.

You can check out Deviant Worlds at

Feel free to follow and I hope to see you all there!

The very best of fantasy.

%d bloggers like this: