Book Review – Holy Remedy by J. G. Martins

Holy Remedy
A unique and enjoyable fantasy.
Holy Remedy is the first book in The Invisible Conflict Chronicles by J. G. Martins. Set in the thirteenth century kingdoms of the Magyars, the book is instantly recognisable to so many fantasy novels by its departure from those more usual settings. A feather in the cap to the author.
The Knight, Rodger Clement, is sent out to find a cure to the Baron Levente’s illness by (everybody boo,) Bishop Konrad. Konrad is a man with a desire for power at his core and will stop at nothing to gain it.
A story with much to admire, particularly in the use and believablity of its characters, the story speeds along with an almost continual trail of twists and subterfuge. The book keeps the reader on edge from start to finish and will leave them licking their lips at the prospect of more, which I understand there will be.
Short in length though not in content, Holy Remedy is a story that one can read almost in a single sitting. A few grammatical errors, all easily fixable, prevent a five star review, but if fixed there would be no hesitation from me in upping this to a five.
Highly recommended.

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Biography
J. G. Martins received an engineering degree in telecommunications. He was a professor of physics and other scientific subjects at a university, prior to devoting himself to his true passion – creating and telling stories.
Passionate about music, food and literature, when he’s not writing, he spends his time reading about history, the mysteries of the universe and searching for his favorite sushi.
In the meantime, he’ll continue with the creative work. New stories about the Invisible Conflict Chronicles will be revealed soon.

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Click Here To Purchase: Holy Remedy

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New Author Page For Friends

Dear all;

I have just published a new page on my site. This addition is dedicated to all my good pals in the book business. I have placed links to as many of you as I could think of off the top off my head. If you’re my pal, your books are clean, and you would like me to add you to the list, please comment below. Leave me your links and I will add you. Also, if you’re already on there and would like to be worded differently (I gave up halfway down) don’t hesitate to correct me. 

As some of you know, I have the memory of a goldfish, so this sort of intricate stuff is extremely hard. Don’t be afraid to ask to be added, I can assure you I’ll be more embarrassed at not having done so than you will at asking.

This is just my way of hopefully promoting some wonderful people with wonderful books. 

HERE is the page link

I hope it helps

Richard

The Author List

This is the second and final part of my lists posts after The Book List yesterday. These are the lists that define my reading and writing career so far. Again, I have put this in a rough chronological order from young to now. There is not one author here that appears on my book list.

So, what’s the difference between a Book List and an Author List you may shout? A lot. There are books that define people, they may be one-offs or part of a series, but authors resonate through both time and mind. The person stays with you when their works may fade.

This list was extremely hard to put together. I, like you, have read thousands of authors, but I felt these represented my writing history and principles best. I love them all. Accordingly, I have placed an example of what best demonstrates my explanations here for you all to see. I am sure this list will have more unknowns to you than the last. I can only hope they inspire. They inspired me.

B. B.

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So, why start with an author simply known by his initials? Well, for me, this was the easiest choice of all. I had read many authors even as a child who put fantasy into my life. B.B put fantasy into REAL life. The Little Grey Men were gnomes who lived by a beautiful stream and went in search of their brother. Their journey takes them through meadows of flora and fauna that are perfectly described and can be seen by the reader every day. Even the heroes are named after plants: Dodder, Baldmoney, Sneezewort and Cloudberry. What more could a kid want? B.B. taught me that the magical can be closer to home than one thinks.

Ray Bradbury

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Another easy choice. Bradbury was a true master, a storyteller in the best sense of the word. Something Wicked This Way Comes personifies his easy style, total believability and appeal to both a child, and child at heart. But, and here’s the thing, as a writer who had and still hasn’t had any training, when I found out Bradbury was the same as me, unqualified, he gave me confidence a commodity I have always lacked. ‘Just write,’ he said in my mind. ‘Just write, lad.’ And I have. And I don’t care what anyone says anymore because nobody could judge me harsher than I judge myself.

Oscar Wilde

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Ah, good old Oscar. He resonates on many levels to many ages. I studied him at High School and went to see The Importance of Being Earnest at the theatre as part of my course. Wilde brought literary wit into my life, sometimes cutting, sometimes pertinent, always brilliant. You should read Wilde every year, once a year, because with every day  that goes by, his words will mean something deeper.

China Miéville

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Goddamn it, I want an accented letter in my name. Anyway, back to business. As I grew older, and the books I read evolved, I happened upon Miéville and thus grit was added to my list of what, in particular, a fantasy book can contain. His worlds are dirty, unpleasant, and all the more rounded for it. One of my pride and joys in life is a signed copy of The Iron Council by this author. He isn’t for everyone, but I’m not everyone, and I think he’s fantastic.

Henry James

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I first read James’s The Turn Of The Screw at a young age and to say it was such an old story it scared me to death (in a good way.) In many ways James along with Wilde are the most classical authors on this list and both are always eloquent. That is not why I included him, though. James’s The Aspen Papers is beautifully written and loses the reader in it’s style. But what got me was a line on the last page which turned the whole thing on it’s head. I realised then that all those many, many years ago people thought the same as us now and that we aren’t so very different and shouldn’t think it, either. Great writing is timeless as are we.

Gene Wolfe

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Wolfe is poetry in motion. The above book demonstrates this perfectly. I couldn’t care less what he writes about only how he writes it. The two are one and the same with Wolfe. Similar to Haruki Murakami on my last list, Wolfe’s book can turn on a sentence and you can be several chapters further on before you realise what you’ve missed. He taught me not to treat readers like sheep. One discovers and enjoys in equal measure it doesn’t have to be shoved down one’s throat.

Ryū Murakami

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I love Japanese literature in the same way I love Japan; they enchant me because they are not of the world I know. That is why Ryū Murakami hit me hard (not to be confused with Haruki, whatever you do!) His stories are indisputably Japanese but offer a grit and deep, dark undertone that I would never have thought of their culture. Again, Murakami taught me to look beneath the gloss and really understand those you write about. It may disturb, but wow it’ll make you think.

Robert Silverberg

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I refused to read Silverberg until later in life because I don’t like reading overly popular work. Even then, I chose his lesser known stories. Both Nightwings and Roma Eterna twist the past into stunning fantastical literature. They are almost Science Fiction, almost Historical, almost Fantasy, and many more. They are always superb. This leads me to an author you’ll all know but is of particular interest to me…

Margaret Atwood

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Genre-bending, in  my eyes, is never more prominent in its displaying than with Margaret Atwood. She represents to me what writing is all about, words and stories, not classifications and pigeonholing. She writes what she wants how she wants and it goes into the fiction category of a book shop. To my way of thinking all writing should be either Non-Fiction or Fiction, nothing else. Readers are led to sections of a store by the labels publishers give their authors thus limiting the discoverability and readability of almost a whole life. Those same readers may never stray from those sections and therefore miss brilliance of an only slightly dissimilar style. I think this is criminal. I never want to fall into a category. I’d rather just fall.

J.G Ballard

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Ballard has literary and professional ties to my favourite author, Michael Moorcock. So why include him on this list and not Moorcock, who I was tempted to have on both, especially as he’s the last of my top ten. Again, this is not because of what he wrote, I love much of his work The Drowned World being foremost of them, but why he wrote them. It wasn’t until I read The Empire of the Sun and then because of it his own biography that I fully appreciated where, how and why you were brought up in a certain way could make your outlook so different. Ballard spent part of his youth in a Japanese concentration camp, which is enough to shape anyone’s ideas on life. An author’s outlook is shaped by experience; we do not all share the same experiences, though many say we do, therefore our stories are so very different. There is nothing wrong with this and it would do us well to appreciate it. Variety. Variety. Variety. If anything in my world of literature sums up both my own reading and writing it is this: Show variety, show your experiences, be uncontainable and revel in it.

I hope you enjoyed this selection of essential authors and examples of their work. Unlike the last post, I would encourage sampling them all for the reasons I have listed. Revel in their brilliance and take a little bit away from them all. It’s the little bits in this jigsaw we call life that make us what we are.

Richard

Richard M. Ankers author of The Eternals trilogy.

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All images courtesy of Goodreads.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For The Love Of Books

The walk into the city of York, England, was a long one for a lad just bordering his teens. There were two routes into the city from Acomb: dark alleyways, a tunnel and a very grotty bridge but with the payoff of walking past the Railway Museum, or the more straightforward but hilly stroll through the ancient city walls and over the river. I almost always chose the hilly route. Mountains, albeit small ones and mostly in my mind, were a part of my soul even then.
The walk was a part of the greater whole, a section of the adventure in spending the money I had so carefully squirrelled away. Both routes took about forty minutes and gave me plenty of time to think about my purchasing. Whilst my Nanna and Grandad had an afternoon sleep, on the weekends I got to stay with them, this was my mantra.
York was and still is a busy city, and due to the nature of society, as unsafe as all big cities. A youngster could not make that trip anymore: a terrible shame. But when I was a boy things were different and I loved my shopping expeditions. I valued time to myself even then. And when I reached my destination ‘Claude Gill Bookshop (I think that is right-you all know my memory) or W.H Smiths’ I was ready for action.
Avoiding the hurly-burly of the ground floor, I would ascend to the upper echelons of the First floor and the comparative quiet of the Science Fiction shelves. Oh, my, and what rows of delight they were!
Choosing a book was no easy matter when you didn’t have much money. I had to weigh up a lot of variables: the cover; thickness of the tomb; whether it was part of a series and of course price. I usually ended up with a Michael Moorcock novel-Elric was my personal hero-but C.S Lewis, Gene Wolfe and Ray Bradbury also featured high on my list. How I valued that moment of decision; I lived for it. The moment I passed my money over was one of both a sense of relief and achievement. The walk back never took as long. 
I still find it hard to resist the pleasure of making that choice of which fantasy world to delve into even if most are now my own. I can only pray that the children of today are never robbed of that choice. This is the reason that I write. The hope that my words touch another young child in the same way that those marvellous authors of my past touched my own. This a driving force in my work. I can only hope that in this world of fast everything and robbed youth that books still get the chance to make those formative years as wonderful as books made my own. I think we should all hope so.

Richard