Book Review: Trial of Chains by Sohan Ahmad

Book Review: Trial of Chains by Sohan Ahmad
cover
Image taken from the book’s buy page on Amazon for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Trial of Chains  is the first book in the Crimson Crossroads saga by Sohan Ahmad: Two brothers, one a slave, the other destined to rule, are separated by a tragedy born of secrets. One young noble is orphaned by the assassination order of a jealous queen.  All of them fall into a life of fighting and blood. Will any of them find peace? NOTE: I’m still reviewing this book because I’ve read it, but it’s out of print at the moment.

Character: I thought the characters were all very sympathetic and memorable. I liked this cast. I’m very done with the dark “everything is murder, blood, and horror” fantasy angle, but this story had a very “Game of Thrones” feel. The author did a good job of revealing each character’s motivation.  

Exposition: I thought this was done well. There are some parts that lagged, and the biggest issue was less about the exposition of plot points and more about occasional soliloquies which felt more like author soap boxing. Still the action and drama of the characters kept me engaged.

SohanAhmad
Image of Mr. Ahmad was taken from his Amazon author page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Description:  This was good. It wasn’t too much, which I appreciate, but I don’t think there was enough. I needed to feel the locations more, and I needed to have more senses activated. There was a scene where a sword master was fighting in the woods. That had the amount of description and perception I want. There were reasons for that. The character had an issue which limited his ability and the author had to account for that in the description. I wish he’d used more of that mindset in the rest of the story.

A note on metaphor: So while writing this review, I couldn’t remember why I actually didn’t care for the book. Then I read my own summary and realized it. This author has potential (or had if he’s chosen to step away from the craft), but he used far too many metaphors far too often, especially in fantasy.  I was flat out confused sometimes because I didn’t know if I was reading description or metaphor. This book also had too many proofreading issues. Again, I don’t normally harp on this. I’m not anywhere near perfect, but when there are more than five typos per page, I can’t help but notice, and it can’t help but drag the story down.

Overall: This story was entertaining despite its issues, but it would have been great if those issues (just the proofreading and removal of useless, confusing metaphors) were addressed. Still, if you like the battle and fighting portions of Game of Thrones, this book isn’t such a bad read.

Thanks for reading

Matt

The 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Bracket Starts Now!

The 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Bracket Starts Now!

Hello all!

I’ve been building to this for quite some time, and I’m so excited to kick things off. This is it! Twelve Book Covers of the Month join four Wild Card Book Covers to comprise a sixteen-book tournament to determine which one will rule them all!

If you like, you can take a look at each book cover’s winning announcement: December, January, February, March, April, MayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober, and November.

The Weech365 book covers. 53,047 votes. All leading to this tournament! The covers were ranked 1-16 by the number of total votes each received. That means the cover that received the most votes (Until Nothing Remains) is going up against the Wild Card that received the fewest votes. (Age of War), and so on and so forth.

You can vote all the way through the tournament, supporting the covers you like best through each round. I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve, so please show your support. Please vote and share as much as possible to get people a chance to pick their favorite.

As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.

If you are the author, let’s remember to be good sports! 1) Please feel free to message or contact me at any time. 2) Please feel free to like, share, text, ask for support, and call everyone you know. I absolutely want max participation. However, if you’re going to offer giveaways or prizes, please offer them for voting, not just voting for you.

Also, while your summoning your army of voting soldiers, please make sure you ask them to vote in every match. Part of the idea of this is to get exposure to as many artists and authors as possible. By all means, if you can get 1,000 people to vote for your book, do it. Just please also send some eyeballs to the other matches.

A final note to authors and artists: I currently have links to the books’ Amazon pages. If you’d prefer I switch that link to sign up for your newsletter or like your social media page or whatever, just send me the link and let me know. I want this to help you. I want this to be as helpful as possible, so whatever you need me to do to facilitate that, just let me know.

It’s been fun! I’d like to end this tournament on a high note. I’m trying to get 10,000 total votes. Please, tell everyone. Get people to vote. I want this trophy to mean something, and it’ll frankly mean more as more people vote.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Announcing the February Book Cover of the Month!

Announcing the February Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

We’ve just wrapped up another month, and thanks to some last minute voting, it had a pretty decent turnout. This month was honestly slow (especially compared to last month), but that made it a pretty close, exciting competition.

We had 2,226 votes this month.

Close as it was, one book came out in front and managed to stay there.

The February Book Cover of the Month is…

 

 

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Trial of Chains by Sohan Ahmad! If you’re curious about how I felt about the book, check out the Facebook post that I posted when this book first landed on the bracket, here.

Let’s look at the stats!

Ahmad received 578 total votes. The other noteworthy detail is Ahmad was last month’s runner up. That’s only happened once to my immediate recollection, but it shows finishing second and getting a second chance can pay off.

Speaking of finishing in second, Star Mage Exile by J.J. Green was this month’s runner up, which means Green will get another shot just like Ahmad did.

Ahmad made the most of his second shot, so he’s moved on to the Book Cover of the Year Bracket.  Let’s look at the summary for his book.

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

Born to rival kingdoms, young Cyrus and Sebastian seek to end the hatred between their people. One, a bastard slave with king’s blood, thirsts for the freedom of the other, a lord’s half-common son who curses the title left by his dying father. But before they can attempt a feat not achieved by history’s greatest kings and queens, enemies emerge from within their walls.

When an ambitious slaver catches Cyrus’s father with a damning secret, the southern king sells his bastard in exchange for silence. Now, Cyrus must fight for freedom and a place to call home. Meanwhile, Sebastian’s elder brother turns his jealousy into murder, and Sebastian must evade an assassin whose eyes are more dreaded than steel.

Hunted by shackles that break free will and shadows that slay, Cyrus and Sebastian will have to dirty their innocent hands if they are to survive long enough to free the realm from a thousand years of war.

(END BLURB)

I’ve added Trial of Chains to my TBR. (For those who are new to the deal, I buy the Book Cover of the Month to read and review in the future. I buy all the winning covers. I’ve already bought January and December’s book.


Feb_Cover_CollageHere’s
 Ahmad’s Facebook page. Give it a like if you’re curious about him and his work.

I’ll try to find out who did that cover. I’m still  behind my interviews, but I’m hopeful my vacation can give me a chance to get caught up.

The March Book Cover of the Month is coming along, and that contest will launch April 1. Things are finally going to get back to normal after the end of the year.

I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebook page, you can see what covers will make the bracket.

Thanks for reading

Matt

A February Book Cover of the Month Update

A February Book Cover of the Month Update

With just seven days left in this month’s bracket, it’s time to update you all on how things have been progressing.

As I type this, we have 1,176 votes so far. That’s not quite where we like to be around here. In fact, it’s about 1,000 votes away from where we want to be. We’re dangerously close to breaking the record for fewest votes ever, and I’d really rather not break that particular record.


51QO4TqqorLTrial of Chains
 by Sohan Ahmad has the number one spot. He’s taken the spot and held on despite a small number of votes and how close things are.

Most Voted on so far: Trial of Chains is getting a lot of votes, which is why he’s in the lead. He currently has 98 votes.

Least Voted for:  Painkiller  by Aery Leigh. This cover has 13 votes. I think Leigh’s book deserves more credit.

Sohan has a solid lead in the first round and the Sweet 16, but the Elite Eight is a challenge for him. He has a five-vote lead on A Black Fox Running by Brain Carter. A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybour is only 11 votes away in the Finals.

 

The trick here is there isn’t a lot of separation overall. At this point, any book cover that gets 14 people to vote it all the way through to the finals, and that might do the trick.

61LZkCgwUrLA quick reminder of how the tournament works. The easiest way to win is to have the most people vote for you in every round. The trick is you have to have the most people vote you through in each round, all the way to the final.  As an example, 100 people could vote someone through to the finals, but that doesn’t do a cover any good if he doesn’t win the first round. It’s not total votes. It’s not simple championship votes. The winning cover has to have the most votes in each round of the competition.

This will be the only update for this type of bracket. It’s been slow so far, so I hope readers start lining up to support their authors by voting, liking, and sharing the bracket with as many people as possible.  You can vote at this address!

I’ll announce the winner is just seven days!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

The January Book Cover of the Month Starts Now!

The January Book Cover of the Month Starts Now!

Jan_Cover_CollageHappy first everyone! As is now officially tradition here on my blog, it’s time to start a new book cover of the month competition.

The Saint’s Rise by Michael John Grist, last month’s runner up, joins thirty other fantastic covers.

You can vote all the way through the tournament, supporting the covers you like best through each round. I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve, so please show your support. Please vote and share as much as possible to get people a chance to pick their favorite.

As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.

If you are the author, let’s remember to be good sports! 1) Please feel free to message or contact me at any time. 2) Please feel free to like, share, text, ask for support, and call everyone you know. I absolutely want max participation. However, if you’re going to offer giveaways or prizes, please offer them for voting, not just voting for you.

Also, while your summoning your army of voting soldiers, please make sure you ask them to vote in every match. Part of the idea of this is to get exposure to as many artists and authors as possible. By all means, if you can get 1,000 people to vote for your book, do it. Just please also send some eyeballs to the other matches.

A final note to authors and artists: I currently have links to the books’ Amazon pages. If you’d prefer I switch that link to sign up for your newsletter or like your social media page or whatever, just send me the link and let me know. I want this to help you. I want this to be as helpful as possible, so whatever you need me to do to facilitate that, just let me know.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt