BOOK REVIEW: The Free by Brian Ruckley

REVIEW SUMMARY: Stock characters but great action and even greater magic.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: With war drawing to a close Yulan and his mercenary company accept one final commission — to hunt down an old foe and bring him to justice before he can kill more innocents.

MY REVIEW
PROS: Intriguing setup and setting; better-than-usual revenge motivation; husband/wife dynamic; dynamic action; memorable scenes; stunning magic; Permanences!
CONS: Stock characters.
BOTTOM LINE: Brian Ruckley crafts a fun and satisfying revenge story.

It seems my choice in video games has influenced my reading habits of late. Playing Bungie’s Destiny reignited my desire for military science fiction and so I read Henry V. Neil’s Glory Main and was not disappointed. Last week I started playing Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and just had to get my hands on some quality fantasy. Fortunately Brian Ruckley’s The Free showed up around this time. This being the first time I’ve read Ruckley’s work, a nice thick standalone seemed a good place to start. I love the current state of the fantasy genre but there are so many different series that a standalone story has a special sort of appeal to it…or at least it did until I finished The Free and immediately wished I could read more about the world Ruckley has created.
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Cover & Synopsis: THE FREE by Brian Ruckley

Brian Ruckley just revealed the cover for his upcoming novel The Free. A band of mercenaries with martial and magical skills? This…this is fantasy that appeals to me.

Here’s what it’s about.
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Things I’ve written: a few novels, a few short stories, a column on this very website extolling the virtues of comics as a medium for speculative fiction. Now, for better or worse, I’ve written an actual comic too: Rogue Trooper, published by IDW, issue #1 of which is in comic book shops and digital outlets including but not limited to Comixology this very week.

So what happens when a novelist tries to write a comic? Herewith, a select few of the very many things that have occurred to me as I’ve begun to learn this new craft.
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SF Signal Welcomes Brian Ruckley!

We’re excited to announce that Brian Ruckely has joined SF Signal’s growing blog army!

We asked Brian to say a little something about himself in the third person. Here’s what he said:

Brian Ruckely is an author with a tiny handful of short stories and four novels to his name: the fantasy trilogy The Godless World, and a stand-alone historical horror thriller The Edinburgh Dead, all four published by Orbit. He lives in Edinburgh, where he divides what little reading time he has almost equally between books and comics. He blogs at www.brianruckley.com, and occasionally as a guest at Orbit’s blog, has both a personal page and a Godless World fan page on Facebook, and is thinking about twittering but hasn’t taken the plunge just yet. His favourite food is spaghetti carbonara, and his favourite drink is usually tea but sometimes coffee.

Welcome aboard, Brian! We’re happy to have you aboard. Don’t let the above image of bagels imply that you we can be bribed with sweet, beautiful bagels…even though we totally can be.

Brian will be writing a new column called Words and Pictures that takes a look at graphic novels. His introductory post is already up, so go check it out and see what he has in store for SF Signal readers. And tune in tomorrow for his first look at graphic novels!

Meanwhile, please join me in welcoming Brian to the team!