|Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)||View|
|Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)||Download|
|Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)||Download|
|PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)||Download|
|RTF (readable on most word processors)||Download|
|LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don't support .epub)||Download|
|Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)||Download|
|Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)||Download|
|Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)||View|
on Oct. 22, 2012 :
This is the first [big] half of a great sword and sorcery story from Jonathan Strickland, and is very fast moving, full of interesting characters, lots of muscle, magic and monsters and quite a bit of blood.
The first half here works very well as a stand-alone story. Calin is a warrior mercenary who loves his women, and his ale. In fact he’s in the pub when he hears a tale of distant Pagzuire, where peoples’ hearts are being ripped from their chests by person or thing unknown. A local wizard on the island has spread the story far and wide in the hope of attracting a group of warriors to locate and destroy the culprit.
So off Calin goes to make his name and fortune, and getting to the island, he becomes one of a “Magnificent Seven” of hard-as-nails barbarians, determined to get to the bottom of the macabre mystery.
This is among the longest fiction that Jonny Strickland has yet published, and yet it effortlessly retains the fast-moving pace and down-to-earth characters of his short stories. OF MUSCLE AND MAGIC is compelling from the beginning, and action-packed. The battle concerning the seven mercenaries makes up quite a large scene in the book, and it moves with an almost breathless pace, with blood and gore, monsters and severed limbs everywhere. Take care not to break the buttons on your Kindle device from pressing them too fast.
I loved this story and read it in one hugely enjoyable sittings. It has everything you would expect had you read any of the authors shorter work; larger-than-life yet down-to-earth characters, evil demons and massive great monsters; humour and sardonic wit, and a great story at its heart. I thought it read a bit like a cross between one of those fast Moorcock novels like THE RUNESTAFF, for its twisting story and fast pace, and the work of Clark Ashton Smith or Robert E Howard for its brilliant flurry of invention.
If you love fantasy fiction, especially the sort written by Howard, Leiber and Kuttner, then this is an excellent read.
(review of free book)