Melkorka (The Kaelandur Series: Book 1) by Joshua Robertson

Melkorka (The Kaelandur Series, #1)

4 Stars

Publisher: Crimson Edge Press

Date of publication: January 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Kaelandur Series

Melkorka – Book 1

Where you can find Melkorka: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Kaelandur was forged by the Highborn to slay one of their own, Nedezhda Mager. As their slave, Branimir Baran never thought to question his cruel masters until he is forced to take part in the execution. His actions begin a chain of events that will lead him to confront demons, cannibals, and himself as he is forced to question his own morality and the true meaning of good and evil.

My review:

I am not a stranger to reviewing books from Joshua Robertson. I have reviewed two short stories by and was very impressed. So, when he approached me to review Melkorka, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I am glad I did because Melkorka exceeded my expectations.

Melkorka’s plot was very simple. It follows the Kas slave, Branimir, as he is forced on a frantic journey to protect the Ash Tree. The journey is filled with peril from outside elements and the people he is traveling with. Can Branimir survive long enough to save the Ash Tree? Or will his journey be for nothing?

Branimir held my sympathy because he was the innocent one in everything. Kinhar forced him to be part of the execution. He also forced to go with them on their mad dash from Melkorka after the battle that decimated the city. He was treated horribly by everyone in the party except Dorofej. It was nice to see him come into his own by the end of the book. To shed the slave mentality that had been bred into him.

There was a blurred line between good and evil in Melkorka and I enjoyed it. Some of the “good” guys were not “good” guys, per se. The author did a great job of casting the good guys into that gray area on more than one occasion.

The usage of magic was different from what I have read in other books. The caster aged with every spell that they cast until they die. But, some of the casters also were able to reverse the aging that the magic caused. Kinhar did. He went from elderly man to a young one during one of the battles that they had during the book.

There is a lot of violence in Melkorka. Being familiar with the author, I was not surprised at the graphic violence. I couldn’t see this book being written any other way. It needed to get bloody. What I also liked is that the author didn’t spare anyone from being killed. I was surprised at some of the characters that were killed off. There was one that did disturb me but only because the travelers were fed the body and told after the fact. I gagged at that.

I did have one complaint (don’t I always). There were several references of Kras and Highborn having one eye. The other eye was gouged out in a ritual. Falmagon did kind of explain it. That was something that stayed in the back of my head the entire book. I wish that more was explained about it. Considering that this is a series, I am willing to bet that more will be explained in the upcoming books.

The end of Melkorka was action-packed and bloody. I was not expecting what happened to happen. But it makes sense. I am excited to see where this series goes.

Pros of Melkorka:

A) Rich world building

B) 3D characters

C) Great storyline

Cons of Melkorka:

A) Not enough explanation about the eyes being gouged out in both Kras and Highborn

B) The treatment of Branimir and Dorofej for a majority of the book

C) Falmagon. I didn’t trust him as far as I could throw him the entire book

I would give Melkorka a rating of Adult. While there is no sex or swearing in the book, there is graphic violence. I would not recommend for anyone under the age of 21 to read this book.

There are trigger warnings that go with Melkorka. If you are triggered by graphic violence, then I would suggest not to read this book.

I would recommend Melkorka to family and friends. But I would include a warning about the graphic violence in the book. This is a book that I would reread. It is also a series that I am very interested in continuing to read.

I would like to thank Crimson Edge Press and Joshua Robertson for allowing me to read/review Melkorka

All opinions stated in this review of Melkorka are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

When Blood Falls by Joshua Robertson

When Blood Falls

4 Stars

Publisher: Crimson Edge

Date of publication: January 2nd, 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Thrice Nine Legends

Where you can find When Blood Falls: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Defending against the demons of the Deep has long given Tyr Og’s brethren purpose. When Tyr’s mother is robbed from him during childhood, he loses his will to live. Now, filled with rage and regret, Tyr hungers for a worthy death to bring an end to the futility of his life. In a short tale of blood and self-loathing, Tyr seeks the most honorable path to finally join his mother in the afterlife.

My review:

When Blood Falls is a chilling short story that is set in the Thrice Nine Legends world.  A short story, 29 pages, this book gives you more of an insight into the Thrice Nine Legends and The Melkorka series.

This is a violent and bloody story. While the violence and blood didn’t bother me, it might bother more sensitive people. So, a heads up on that. The violence didn’t bother me. I have reviewed other Joshua Robertson books before and I know what to expect from them. This book fits right in the world that he is creating. A violent, unpredictable world that is being overrun with demons.

I did feel bad for Tyr during this book. He suffered one loss after another. First his mother, then his sister. I can’t get much into the book other than that. Like I said above, it is a short story and  I would be giving away the entire book if I went into it.

I did have one small complaint. I do have a feeling that my complaint will be answered in the other books. My complaint is that the blood cascade was never fully explained. Like I said, it is probably explained in the other books.

I am not going to do a Pros/Cons list because the story is too short for one. I also feel that me doing that would be giving away spoilers to the book.

I would give this book a rating of Adult. While no sex or language, there is graphic violence. I would recommend no one under the age of 21 read When Blood Falls.

There are trigger warnings in the books. If you are triggered by graphic violence, I would not read When Blood Falls.

I would recommend When Blood Falls to family and friends but I would include a warning about the violence. This is a book that I would reread.

I would like to thank Crimson Edge Press and Joshua Robertson for allowing me to read and review When Blood Falls.

All opinions stated in this review of When Blood Falls are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Name of Death by Joshua Robertson

The Name of Death

Title: The Name of Death

Author: Joshua Robertson

Publisher: Crimson Edge Press

Date of publication: January 2nd, 2016 (originally published December 26th, 2016 by Smashwords)

Genre: Fantasy

Number of pages: 40

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Drada Koehn is a fearless, formidable fighter ensnared in a presaged war against the northern humans. When the Speaker foretells their victory upon discovery of the name of death, she sets out to unravel the mysterious prophecy. Now, bound by duty and honor, Drada faces untold horrors with her companions, searching for what may never be found. In a story of unexpected twists, she soon finds that her resolve to see the quest done will be the fortune or doom of her people.

My review:

Since this was a very short story (4o pages), this is going to be a very short review. If I write a longer review, I would run into a conundrum of revealing something I shouldn’t. Which I don’t want to do.

The Name of Death was very well written. From the beginning, where Drada was doing the death rites for her war brother to the end, it sucked me in. But, it also left me with questions. Questions that probably will be answered when I read the novels that this short story is set in.

The characters were pretty fleshed out for being in a short story. Which is good because I have read some short stories where the characters weren’t given much detail or you had to read other books to realize who they were. Not this book and I liked it.

I am not going to discuss the end of the book because I can’t without giving anything away. Let’s just say that things aren’t too good and I was made to wonder if this short story leads into a bigger one.

How many stars will I give The Name of Death: 4

Why: I thought this was a great short fantasy. From what I understand from other reviews, there are other books in this world and I am very interested in reading them.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Early teen

Why: Violence

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**