Bard Bloom

Biography

I've written:

The World Tree Role-Playing Game (with Victoria Borah Bloom)

Sythyry's Journal -- the diary of a small dragon in a very civilized place, with plenty of doom.

A Marriage of Insects -- a novel set on the World Tree.

Where to find Bard Bloom online


Books

The Wrath of Trees
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 93,630. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2011. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Melyl is an intelligent, telepathic tree who can eavesdrop on the minds of anyone who eats her berries. She was kidnapped, enslaved, and forced to use her powers to spy on her master's rival nations. It won't be long before she is discovered, uprooted, and burned as another invader. But how can she free herself when she is rooted in her kidnapper's garden?

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Smashwords book reviews by Bard Bloom

  • The Stairway To Nowhere on May 03, 2011

    There are wizards about in the world -- mighty wizards with amazing powers. You wouldn't notice them, though. The mystical talismans that supply their power, the Star and the Crystal, both insist on absolute secrecy, and won't let them do blatant public magic. Still, in private, or off in the astral plane, they're quite impressive. They're also rivals and almost enemies: the Star being sorta-kinda Good or at least Lawful, the Crystal sorta-kinda Evil or Chaotic. They've got a truce, though. Correl and Karla were lovers and lived together for a while, but they fought all the time. After they broke up, Correl was recruited by the Star Mages, and Karla by the Crystal. Then Karla stumbled on something peculiar in the astral plane: an immense stairway, marked with a symbol that points it towards worlds where humans never evolved. Strange enough so that she called up Correl and asked him to help investigate it ... and they uncovered a plot that upsets the balance of power of the mages of Earth. This is mostly a love story of sorts, though, with a twist. Sure, there's a massive mage-war there, and a plot that could ruin Earth, and other fun stuff, but it's mostly a love story, and quite a sweet one at that. The Big Flaw: It's kind of repetitive and talky. Correl and Karla spend a lot of time hasing over relationship matters, with each other and with various advisors. Which is all fine and reasonable, but the relationship changes only slowly, and the book winds up treading over approximately the same ground repeatedly. The Goodies: I was quite amused by the tie-ins with real-world magical traditions The magic, at its best, was spiffy and flavorful. I particularly liked the bit where Karla went into the Akashic Library, where all knowledge past and future is stored, and ... checked out a book about the war she was about to engage in. She got some really useful information from it about things that had already happened --- but the future sections, which might occur several ways, are unreadable. The magical systems and structures gave me good flashbacks to Zelazny's Amber. The writing is decent but not exceptional. All the characters sound very modern, which is fine for the ones who are, but a bit off for the ones who are centuries old. The main characters are decent but not exceptional too. The minor characters are pretty much indistinguishable. My rating is 3 magic talismans out of five. (I'd rate it "3 stars", but in a book with a Star, a Crystal, and a Surprise, I better not use that system.) Good mind candy or airplane reading or what have you, and worth your time.
  • The Confederacy of Heaven on May 06, 2011

    The Confederacy of Heaven by Margaret Taylor. It hasn't rained for two hundred years -- anywhere on Earth. Civilization is pretty much destroyed; for some reason Calgary is the main surviving city. The world was cursed by the stars, you see. Literally, the stars. Rigel and Spica are important characters in this story. It's a pretty wild and wondrous bit of world-building: the apocalypse happened, and it was wierd. (And, since it's history, all the characters in the book take it as perfectly normal, and so the reader gets to experience it in piece by astounding piece.) This is the story of Nasan (her name means "Life", as she says to everyone she introduces herself to), an unimpressive but adequate nomad warrior-girl, and all the turmoil of a dessicated world on the eve of -- well, not redemption, but a chance at redemption. Though the stars in the Confederacy of Heaven aren't generally very much given to changing their minds. It's a pretty light book: an easy read, and, despite the apocalyptic setting and significant hardships the characters endure, it doesn't dwell overmuch on the agonies. And it's funny, with an understated humor that doesn't get in the way of the story: "The tour continued on much warmer terms after Jalal appreciated that boobs were not an automatic disqualifier for killing things." Far more fun, more exciting, and more mind-blowing than I had expected. This is a free e-book, but I'd have been glad to pay for it.
  • Feng Shui Assassin on May 10, 2011

    Feng Shui Assassin is a light-hearted story of holistic murder and New Age mayhem. And that ultimately makes sense. As any witch worth her salt knows, a power that can heal can also harm --- and so, if feng shui can bring good fortune and health, it can also bring ill fortune and death. So it's only a matter of degree to realize that Harvey Barker, trained in the East ... or at least in Chinatown ... out to avenge the death of his sister, can walk into an office, tilt a picture on the wall, rearrange a few letters and tape dispensors on the desk, and drive the tough businessman who works there to suicide in a matter of minutes. The police are, of course, baffled. Though Detective Constable Amanda Morgan pursues the case on the thinnest of leads, anyhow, despite being utterly out of her league. Not, of course, that Barker is the only alternative killer out there. He crosses paths with the Yoga Warrior and the Origami Killer and others. And finally with the ultimate villain: Papa Doc Duvalier, whose scheme to kill everyone in the entire world has one of the most novel and sensible motivations that I have ever read. Anyhow, it's a fun read, guaranteed to cheer you up on a sickday in between cups of kombucha and ginseng tea. The writing is energetic and serviceable. The characters are all stock characters, or New Age versions thereof, but not annoyingly so. The basic premises of the characters are silly (Feng Shui Assassin, indeed!) but they are taken seriously: the humor never gets in the way of the plot, and never degenerates into silliness. Some of the perils are quite imaginative indeed.
  • Right Ascension on Dec. 20, 2011

    Somebody likes Star Trek and space opera. Well, lots of people like Star Trek and space opera, and for some good reasons too. And some people write Star Trek fanfic, and that's just fine too. Right Ascension, by David Derrico, is not, technically, Star Trek fanfic. It is set in its own universe, and has its own characters. But there's a big dose of Star Trek in it: the characters fire phasers, there's the super-logical alien crewmember but the admiral who balances logic and emotion, there's the enemy computer defeated by telling it to find a solution to xn + yn = zn, there's the engineer who's "giving you all she's got, admiral", there's the final problem solved by reversing the polarity of the Quantum Refractor, there's the enemy race called the "Vr'amil'een" (which I have to pronounce "V'romulan") ... Sometimes I thought that it would be more honest to actually write it as honest-to-Borg Star Trek fanfic. But that might wipe out the E.E.Smith style bits, and that would be kind of a shame. I had to approve of the starship half the size of the moon with a population of half a billion, say. And it unironically uses the phrase, "deadly death ray". No, the actual problem with the book is the characters, who are pretty flat. The author sets up a very nice moral dilemma towards the end --- and everyone reacts in the same way to it. Not just everyone on the it's-not-the-Enterprise, but nearly everyone on Earth. Or, not-Kirk's son gets killed in chapter 1, and the book takes place in the week or two after that. He's clearly pissed about it, but doesn't mourn or anything. Anyhow, despite all that, it's not a bad book. The Amazing Events sometimes come off as reasonably amazing, and all the bits that I didn't recognize from Star Trek were original and interesting. It's written with love, if not with skill, and that's got to count for something. It's decent Star Trek flavored brain candy. Three phasers out of five.