Tag Archives: Amazon

Book Review — The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson (Epic Fantasy)

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Below is the review I submitted to the book’s Goodreads and Amazon. If you’ve read the book, but haven’t submitted a review yet, please consider doing so! More good reviews means more sales for the author. With that out of the way, here are my thoughts on Alec Hutson’s The Crimson Queen.

The Crimson Queen is one of those rare and wonderful books that manages to be both unique and familiar at the same time. Wizards, paladins, rogues, monsters, dungeons and treasure are all present and accounted for, so fans of traditional fantasy need not worry. But in addition to these familiar elements are warriors styled after Chinese swordsmen, eldritch abominations, creepy demons, and truly weird and awesome new elements. The worldbuilding here is on point, and every character from the heroes to the villains feels real and fleshed-out. The plot will have you guessing all the way, and the ending was a satisfyingly epic conclusion that sets up the events of the next book smoothly.

One “flaw” I feel this book has is the lack of a cohesive magic system. Magic in this book, is less like Mistborn and more like Dragonlance and Lord of the Rings. You never quite understand the mechanics behind it, but it still remains cohesive and believable. It’s by no means a deal-breaker though, and everything else on offer more than makes up for it. Overall, if I had to sum up The Crimson Queen, I’d say it feels like a more mature, HBO -ified version of the 80’s and 90’s epic fantasy paperbacks. There were certainly whiffs of Wheel of Time and the aforementioned Dragonlance to be had, but the conflict and characters are way more fleshed out in my opinion. Easily a 5/5 recommendation for me, and worth the hype.

Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Author Interviews are Coming Soon!

Been a while since I’ve posted here. Had some personal/family stuff going on that’s kept me busy, but I wanted to make an important announcements!

So about a month ago, I wrote an article on self-published fantasy, and how it’s a vastly underrated segment of genre fiction. Long story short, it blew up a bit and ended up on the front page of r/Fantasy for a few days. Some authors sent me messages, or shared my post, which helped me get almost a thousand hits on this fairly obscure and new blog.

All I can say on that count is…wow. Thanks a lot, everyone!

Because of the positive reception that got, I’ve decided to start interviewing some authors and creators in the SFF community, particularly in small press and self-pub. I always love hearing all the different stories these writers have to offer, and nothing would make me happier than helping them sell a copy or two.

On that note, I’d like to announce my first interview! Michael R. Baker, author of The Thousand Scars, will be sharing some thoughts on his writing journey, as well as a bit about his books.

I’m working on a big project of my own as well, so stay tuned for news of that as well!

My Thoughts on the Upcoming Conan Show from Amazon

So Conan’s getting an Amazon Prime series, and here’s my two cents on that as an avowed Conan and Frazetta fan:

Overall I’m cautiously optimistic about this. Conan adaptions have been pretty garbo overall (yes, including the Arnie one a bit, though they are the least bad and James Earl Jones is stellar in it), and I think a TV show would do wonders to help flesh out the Hyperborean world and show off aspects of Conan’s character only the books touched on. I want to see Conan the King, the Tactician, the Pirate, and all the different aspects of his personality, especially his cunning and wit. Because in the end, that was what made the books really kick ass.

My hope with this show is that it has the budget and vision to accurately replicate the look and feel of the classic Frazetta paintings rather than hop on the “Game of Thrones-esque fantasy” bandwagon. Because the thing I really like about Conan is it’s NOT medieval/viking/d&d stuff. It’s weird, pulpy, bronze age and wholly unique. And it’d really be a crying shame it they tried to Game-of-Thrones-ify it by downplaying the bronze age stuff and focusing more on Norse-inspired adventures like The Frost Giant’s Daughter.

Also on that note, I’d be nice to actually find a guy that looked the part. While many were fond of Arnie in the role, I honestly want either a buff Native American-looking dude or Jason Momoa to play Conan. Again, we’re likely gonna get a flood of western fantasy titles in the near future, and I’d really be disappointing if a proper Conan adaption of all things just blended in with the post-GOT fantasy adaptation crowd. When I think Conan, I think this:

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Not this.

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I dunno, I just think Option B, while looking pretty cool, looks like he’d fit in more as a Game of Thrones wildling. Although to be honest, if they got the personality down (and a sun tan) It’d still be better than most Conan adaptations IMO. But yeah, give me Bronze Age, Frazetta Conan over Generic D&D Barbarian #1266 any day. And I want towering elephants and bronze-age cities of wonder, eldritch horrors and giant apes, dammit! Seriously, I’ll do Amazon Prime again if it means proper pulp Conan on the screen, my dudes.

That’s not to say I’m not also looking forward to the Wheel of Time and Kingkiller Chronicles TV Shows. It’s just that Conan is an entirely different beast altogether, and I’d honestly hate it if boardroom execs tried to “make it like that show with the titties and the dragons.” It is its won beast and ought to be treated as such.

As long as they get those character details down and make it like the books though…yeah, this could kind of rock.