K.M. Frontain

Biography

I am an anglophone writer in Quebec province, Canada. I like to write epic fantasy with romantic elements and particularly enjoy stories of relationships between men, though this is not my only reading interest. My published stories often have glbtq content.

The Soulstone Chronicles blurb: An enigmatic deity reborn as a human being has been enslaved to work the downfall of the religious sects governing a coastal crescent of his world, but nothing can contain this perilous individual forever, not the memory-crippling blackness of death, the ominous earth goddess who seeks to recapture him, or the powerful spell that binds his soul to a stone.

The chronological order of the series is as follows: Bound in Stone, The Gryphon Taint, The Disposition of Ashes, The Redemption of Tehlm Sevet. Future sets are planned: The Sun Bane, The Apostate God, and Hell Walker.

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I'm on Goodreads. Please rate my books. Sorry, Smashwords doesn't allow html on this bio, so please cut and paste.

http://www.goodreads.com/kmfrontain

In case you are interested, I have an alter ego for a paranormal romance series that does not have a strong GLBTQ focus. You can find my other work at the following link (or look for the ocarina image under the cat butt):

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KarenMichaud

Where to find K.M. Frontain online


Books

Omos of the Ether
By
Series: Gods of Faith and Destruction. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,300. Language: English. Published: February 12, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
A millennium ago, Omos chained his child to an island culture that viewed the boy as a gift of divine protection and convenient slave labor. Intana is now free, but has been missing for a century. In an effort to find him, Haru Sachoné seeks the aid of Intana's father and signs a contract of usage to secure the ether dragon's assistance. Second novel in Gods of Faith and Destruction. 18+
Haru of Sachoné House
By
Series: Gods of Faith and Destruction. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,400. Language: Canadian English. Published: January 27, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Haru, merchant prince of Sachoné House, sails into the port of Verdant on a day when Ardu magic rejects outsiders of the faith, and despite that he is an infidel, he is chosen to be the next Oradhé, the holy man who must act as a dragon god's conscience. But there is a price to this duty. To Haru's dismay, the Ardu brethren plan to burn the eyes from his sockets. Content warning: glbtq fiction.
The Redemption of Tehlm Sevet: Volume Three
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 135,020. Language: Canadian English. Published: September 22, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
A few seconds are all it takes to destroy the misconceptions of a lifetime, yet still burden a mortal-born god with more unanswered questions. Herfod, current avatar of the Ylf Lord, regains his divine heritage, but can a legacy of secrecy, betrayal and sorrow save him and his growing family of consorts from Mahall Ryn's enmity? (The Soulstone Chronicles 12.)
The Pearl
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 70,570. Language: Canadian English. Published: September 7, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
(5.00)
Miruku, the blind son of a nobleman, has been cloistered since childhood, but now his father and half-sister have been murdered, and the demon responsible has captured him. Miruku believes he will die, until Kiniroshinju, the Golden Pearl, names the young man a demon as well. Content Warning: Violence, crude language. Please read the novel forward and sample before deciding to purchase.
The Icicle
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,330. Language: Canadian English. Published: September 2, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Comedy/Humor
Elli is a girl in a modern fairy tale. She has a wicked step-sibling, a selfish parent, elves watching over her and...a fetish. All the better to catch naughty elves with. Content Warning: This story contains erotica and some GLBTQ subject matter. See long description for more information.
The Redemption of Tehlm Sevet: Volume Two
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 169,610. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 16, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Get the ashes. Get the soulstone. Raise the Shadow Master. It sounds simple enough. However, life is never simple for the beloved teacher of the Ulmeniran gryphon royalty. Never let it be said that trouble only comes to Herfod. He'll foment his own the moment nobody's watching and pay back, with an avalanche of disasters, every annoyance perpetrated on him. (The Soulstone Chronicles 11.)
The Redemption of Tehlm Sevet: Volume One
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 159,140. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 16, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
He's been dead and his soul trapped for sixty-two years, but Tehlm Sevet has never been reluctant to exploit people and circumstances. However that his beloved Kehfrey has abandoned him to a cold stone at the bottom of a subterranean lake, he will find a way to break free or bring his unwilling lover to him. (The Soulstone Chronicles 10, glbtq content.)
The Disposition of Ashes: Volume Three
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 126,240. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 16, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Their first winter together is at an end, and the relationship between Ufrid, Nicky and Herfod has survived, but it has been a troubled association. Herfod has kept his doubts about Ufrid’s motives hidden, but he’s certain, because the Goddess subverted Ufrid last autumn, that his lover will soon betray him. (The Soulstone Chronicles 9, glbtq content.)
The Disposition of Ashes: Volume Two
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 127,350. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 16, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Ufrid, uncrowned king of Ulmenir, is well aware of what he takes to bed each night: the mortal avatar of a god who has defied the comprehension of the pantheon for aeons beyond count. It hasn’t been easy, and life isn’t getting easier. His brother has returned from travels afar with a god in tow, a satyr who may well know who and what Herfod is. (The Soulstone Chronicles 8, glbtq content.)
The Disposition of Ashes: Volume One
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 128,580. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 16, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
King Ufrid has been a hero, a leader, and a traitor. He’s colluded with the Shadow Master, murdered his father, and violated his brother’s wife. In retribution, he’s been enslaved to an ancient half-elf female. Even so, slavery will seem an easy burden by the time he learns the truth of former Abbot Herfod, revered living saint of the Turamen Order. (The Soulstone Chronicles 7, glbtq content.)
The Gryphon Taint: Volume Three
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 154,060. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 14, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Disaster. The war is on with the Shadow Master, and Sticks, the former golem, must fight at Hanicke's side to prevail against Ugoth's brother Ufrid, who's learned the trick of becoming a gryphon. The gryphon taint is like to drive them all mad, Sticks included. (Third Edition. Content warning: Adult fiction. This novel is the sixth book in The Soulstone Chronicles.)
The Gryphon Taint: Volume Two
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 137,090. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 14, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
The adventures of the golem with an angel's soul continue in the capitol city of Durgven, where religion and family combine in an attempt to tear Ugoth and Hanicke apart. (Third Edition. Content warning: adult fiction. This series contains GLBTQ fiction. Fifth book in The Soulstone Chronicles epic.)
The Gryphon Taint: Volume One
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: Free! Words: 105,310. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 14, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
What does a monster with an angel's soul do when a prince comes along to steal his girl? He wants to kill him, of course. When the gods meddle in the lives of mortals, personal disaster is assured, and disaster is coming for golem, girl and prince. (The Soulstone Chronicles 4. This series contains glbtq content and graphic horror elements.)
Bound in Stone: Volume Three
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 145,070. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 14, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Kehfrey, infamous plaything of the Shadow Master, hides his traumatic past as Herfod, the Turamen monk. He's become the confessor and close friend of the Ulmeniran monarch, but will this save him when Tehlm Sevet decides the time is right to invade the southern realms and take his reluctant lover back by force? (The Soulstone Chronicles 3. Contains glbtq content and graphic horror elements.)
Bound in Stone: Volume Two
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 133,080. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 13, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Kehfrey and Vik seek to free themselves from the Shadow Master's clutches, but the sorcerer's dark agenda threatens to overwhelm any softer emotions they are capable of feeling. They must win free or become murderous monsters who have lost any remaining sense of humanity. (The Soulstone Chronicles 2. This series contains glbtq content and graphic horror elements.)
Bound in Stone: Volume One
By
Series: The Soulstone Chronicles. Price: Free! Words: 122,340. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 11, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Tehlm Sevet, the most potent summoner the world has ever known, has been sent by the Earth Goddess to conquer the coastal kingdoms of the northeastern crescent, where her worship has been eschewed. He must risk all peril, even the destruction of his immortal soul. But can he resist a mortal-born god? (The Soulstone Chronicles 1. This series contains glbtq content and graphic horror elements.)
The Beast in Beauty
By
Series: Gold Bites. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 17,900. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
The title "The Beast in Beauty" is a play on the old fairytale we all know, but in this rendition, the beast isn't your typical unfortunate male character who stupidly gets himself cursed. In this story, the beast is a female, or rather a pair of females, and the unfortunate prince is very disinclined to letting a curse, or anyone, get the better of him. See content warning in long description.

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Smashwords book reviews by K.M. Frontain

  • Fragile Bones on Jan. 07, 2012

    Fragile Bones, though listed under general gay fiction, is not what I would call gay fiction. This is a story of human nature set in a creation-hell mythos, a story of the darkest sorts of human nature, and in one very important aspect, that two men undergo this dark journey together makes sense and is perfect for the story. In Fragile Bones, men have hurt men. Sure, a woman may have been responsible for abandoning the protagonist, Nathan, when he was a child, but ultimately, men are doing the hurting and it is men (a pair of them) who must heal each other. I find that very appropriate. This is a very yin yang story. It’s about depression and self-loathing and the desire to be better, do better, despite it. It’s about how difficult it is to rise above the bad and how easy it is to succumb or worsen, or to give into anger and acts of violence rather than suffer further as a victim. The most wonderful thing about this story is how the author wove the plot together in a manner that makes the grim aspects of human nature bearable enough to read about. At first, the narrative is somewhat disjointed because of incomplete sentences, but this suits the incoherent nature of the main character. Later on, the wording gets smoother, just as the protagonist becomes more aware and thoughtful. There is a lot of internal conflict in the narrative, but it’s balanced with the continuation of the plot. Every once in a while, the author throws in a bit of wry humour, which I liked. There is sexual tension exactly where it needs to be, but this isn’t a story about sex, not really. I had a number of surprises while reading. Nathan and the partner in his journey aren’t easy on each other, and that’s as it should be. Overall, very worth reading. Kudos to the author for nailing the nuances of depression and self-loathing of a person mired in the history of his victimisation. More kudos for making this dark subject matter so readable. Just in case you’re worried, Fragile Bones ends on a good note. This is a story of redemption, after all. :-)
  • The Summer of the Frogs on Aug. 08, 2012

    This review is late in arriving. I bought The Summer of Frogs a while back, but—as is often the case with me—I was not ready to read a novel of this sort. I will explain that. The Summer of Frogs is a veritable cloud of uncertainties with a bright ray of sunshine somewhere above the overcast sky. You can feel the glow as you read the novel. This is a first person story about a young woman with problems; most would say mental problems, possibly schizophrenic. One wonders, throughout the telling, if anything Claire experiences is real or not. Her problems start after she suffers a dog attack, but the dog may not have been a dog at all. It could have been something otherworldly. Then, while raving in her bedroom, bleeding from self-mutilation, Claire meets a man, Tommy, who may have arrived to finish her existence. But he doesn't. The title is almost a red herring until you look at the book cover again after reading a certain small anecdote the protagonist relates about a park filled with artisans. The cover is art by the author. It's absolutely beautiful. I never fail to stare at it. And now attach this conception of artistry to the prose. That's Tressa Green's gift: imagery, some of which is pure poetry. Ok, back to not being able to read this for a few months: it's mostly because I'm a rather linear sort of reader/writer and tend to choose action-filled novels, but The Summer of Frogs is a cloud of events. The author can leave you wandering in that cloud (which, I remind you, has a glow from that hidden ray of sunlight) and while you're in the cloud wandering, you're often musing on what you should think about the latest thing Claire said. You keep reading, thinking you'll figure Claire out later, but you once more end up pondering truths after the author skillfully leads you to believe in Claire's sanity again, and all throughout, there is this poetic imagery. While reading it, I started thinking of this cloud as a soft sort of coral with branches leading off. Claire tends to branch at random, but one always comes back to that bright main trunk again. This story is as much about accepting loss of control as it is about anything else. And you can feel that loss of control. You can see Claire being selfish and then generous, blind and then radiant. She's really fractal. But that main trunk of story draws you back inward, the story about Claire and Tommy and whether their relationship—a strange composite of fear, love, closeness, dependence and independence—can survive their enemies. Ok, up front and honest, I know Tressa Green from working on line with her. Her grammar and punctuation in this story needs work (she'll probably laugh after reading that, because it's just like me to say so, very blunt like). If I gave her five out of five stars for the writing, it wouldn't be fair. She really needs to buckle down on the grammar and punctuation. This brilliant piece of work deserves smoother grammar and punctuation. But enough editorial harping. I am giving her five out of five, and it's because of the cover art. That deserves a ten out of five, but yeah, Smashwords won't let me do that. Keep doing what you do, Tressa—and get better at the punctuation and grammar. :-) Well done, you. Once I finally picked the story up for a proper read, digested it all in a day. Awesome cloud! P.S. Would have given Tressa a four out of five for the story, but you know, the cover. Really beautiful.
  • Keeper on Aug. 23, 2012

    Really enjoyed this first novel in the series. Nice premise for a difficult friendship relationship between men. It was a fast read for me, as in I ate the story in a day.
  • Madness on Aug. 23, 2012

    Bit too much repetition of character thought processes in this one--it filled a lot of book space--but still a good theme for a friendship story. Alex Marcase, who is an experienced space explorer and captain, dithered too much with decision making--a drawback of lingering too long on repetitive thought processes when writing male POV--and perhaps "patting" Evan was a poor choice of action description, leading some readers (see earlier reviews) to think the story was getting bromancy. But then, if you can get past this novel to story three, you get the feeling Alex was being a big baby just to wake Evan the heck up. I still could have done with less repetition of thought processes. I read this one for the plot arc so I could continue on with the story. Again, the premise behind the friendship is excellent. Small spoiler for those worried about it: this series is not a bromance as of book four. Keep reading.
  • Tools of Extinction on Aug. 23, 2012

    This book picked up and moved faster for me than book two in the series. A lot more space exploration, which meant more SF. Alex Marcase is more decisive, while Evan is starting to figure him out better, including the fact that Alex can be a nuisance to purposely force someone to backpedal and think. I liked it. Some parts slow (thinky bits), most of the story very good.
  • Sha'erah on Aug. 23, 2012

    Fast pace, lots of harsh realities for the main characters. Not that they didn't have harsh realities in the other novels, but this time they're fugitives, on the run, in a ship with engine trouble, and possibly the cause behind a galactic war. Yeah. They're not having fun, and that of course means Alex--and Evan--are going to cause trouble because it's the only right thing left to do. This is a must read.
  • Forgotten Soul (Book 1 of the Soul Reader Series) on Sep. 17, 2012

    I just read this. It's so good. The plot is exceptional for a vampire story, paranormal romance with a good dose of hotness. The male-male relationship was hot, but felt more like it happened because of romantic reasons rather than purely physical ones, which of course made the sex even hotter. Nothing is hotter than love. Minor fixes to punctuation/grammar needed; this is still one of the better written short stories I've read in a while
  • Merrick on Sep. 26, 2012

    I bought this last night and swallowed the story whole. This is a well-written indie pub. The story had a nice combination of mystery, romance, sex, angst ,of course, vampire lore. The lore included a nice twist different from what I've seen in previous vampire novels I've read. The protagonist felt very real and his 'voice' was very personable. Excellent short novel. Highly recommended.
  • The High King's Golden Tongue on Sep. 30, 2012

    At the end of the story, the author writes that she is often accused of fluff and nonsense. If so, it's the best sort. Very enjoyable, well-written story.
  • Lancelot And The Wolf on Sep. 30, 2012

    I thought this was a very interesting twist on an old story. It's true there are modern terms in the story that don't sit well, but it is still a very engaging read. Recommended. The characterization is superlative.
  • Delivery with a Smile on Oct. 01, 2012

    Delightfully cynical and sexy romance.
  • Second Chances on Oct. 07, 2012

    I really liked the last story in this anthology, Notice to Appear, by C.C. Lorenz. This was a really sweet story about getting a second chance at a childhood crush despite terrible circumstances for a second meeting and bad timing to start a relationship. There's hot sex in here, and it's well balanced with relationship without too much exposition into the main character's thoughts on everything. Very nice read, enough to make me happy with the ending and wish I could have seen a larger story about these characters, with more sex of course. I also liked the first story in the set, Non-Negotiable, by T.D. Green. This is another sweet romance, but a bit rougher in that, of the entire anthology, this short is the most about a second chance. This is a story of a nasty break up that gets in the way of a renewed relationship some years later. Alex, the man at fault for the break up, gets desperate and pulls sneaky stunts to force his love interest, Jacob, to see him, because Jacob makes it clear in no uncertain terms he will not entertain the idea of renewing the relationship. But circumstances alter to make Alex show his vulnerable side, and Jacob… Ok, not saying anymore except this is a story that draws you in because you wonder just what Alex will pull next and just what Jacob will do about it. The fourth story, Dirty Martini by Bette Brown, was more about a man getting a second chance at love than at fixing the relationship that just failed. There's some nice writing in there and some sweet scenes. I really liked the bartender, I mean really liked him. Really, really liked him. Wish I had a skill to draw, because I'd have drawn him the second I finished reading the story. The second short, Heart of Glass by L.J. Harris, had a plot I really wished was better executed. It was too expository for my taste. I wanted to feel and see and hear more of what the characters were doing, but a lot of the story occurred as narrative about how things came about rather than letting the reader live through the actual scenes with the characters. Thumbs up for the story idea and making me want to have more, but thumbs down for the frustration of not really feeling the characters' lives, because I really did wish I could. I liked these characters, but I didn't like feeling so much space between them and me. The best scene was when I was in the car with the driver, seeing what he saw. I expect this author will be putting some great stuff out in the years to come if a balance to narrative and action develops in future stories. The third short, Better Together by DaNay Smith, was interesting. I liked the overall idea and how the writer showed the complexity of a relationship and the consequences of partners with narrow viewpoints. The writing had a lot of pronoun/name awkwardness that I often see in m/m writing that jarred me out of the story, but character complexity was great. The ending, with the artist and how he realized what was important to him and how it showed in his art, this was beautiful. Ok, so 4 out of 5. Anthology loses a point for some awkwardness, but overall very good.
  • Social Skills on Feb. 21, 2013

    I really enjoyed this novel. The characters felt very real, both the main ones and support. Connor's painful, stumbling attempts to socialize are poignant, his trouble with overbearing, judgmental parents very real--judgmental as in overly concerned with making an impression on society/neighbours, to the point where happiness is no longer a factor in decisions for a future, the type of judgement that can eat a person alive in slow bites. Brilliant portrayal of oblivious parents who force decisions on their kids for all the wrong reasons. Jared, whose family is much more generous of spirit, has a more difficult time coming out for entirely different reasons. His struggle is poignant and very well written. It's not simple. It does hurt. There is guilt, even if you do have the full support of your family. This is a story where gentleness and self-acceptance prevails. Highly recommended.
  • The Between on Feb. 25, 2013

    I did not want to stop reading this story. After the least interruption, I was back reading it again. I loved this story. I don't write reviews for just any book. For me to read a story, it must first of all be decently written; not perfectly, just decently. Then it has to have characters I want to stick with. After that, if the author wove the tale about those characters in an engaging manner, I'll finish reading. But to leave a review, I have to at least see something done with a story that isn't typical, such as an unexpected take on a theme, or a twist that left my mouth dropping open, or basically just awesome writing that really engaged me in the lives of the characters--writing that made me want to read an old theme like it was new again. The best writers can take the oldest idea and make you feel like you're walking the path for the first time. This story has all of that. If I could give it a six star review, I would. Underneath the fantasy story of a girl who is dragged into the world of the fae unwillingly, you discover a deeper story of soullessness, of lost compassion, of love abandoned as something useless. This is a story of what happens when you lose your spiritual roots, when you decide status is more important than what is right. It's about the selfish decisions and lack of empathy that leads to warfare. It's about the outsider looking at the powers in control of her life and deciding it's just not right. I really, really loved this book. Fantasy can entertain, but it an also explore really tough themes in the most brilliant, illuminating manner, and this one does that. Very much hoping for more from this author.
  • Not His Kiss to Take on April 02, 2013

    This novel bravely explores some kinks that might surprise or offend some readers (enema play for one), so be prepared for bondage, a mouthy submissive and lots of kinky sex. I did not like the doctor to begin with. He comes off a predator who only targets twinks as relationship material. So throughout the story, I always had at the back of my mind the inevitable 'but!': But when will he get tired of dream twink and dump him for no longer fitting the twink image? In a story about realistic people in a realistic setting, a person with an age fetish is a downer for me when two characters fall in love. The submissive, not gay but perhaps bi, had the hell beaten out of him by homophobes, and this included rape with an object. His acceptance of the dominant's advances sometimes felt too quick, sometimes not. I was ambivalent about this guy too for that reason. Sometimes I felt like he was a jaded rent boy packaged as a straight, out-of-luck skater boy/dishwasher. All the same, once I tossed my objections to both characters, the book was an interesting read. The author was brave to explore the medical kinks in this story. Kudos for that. Overall, well written, but not for everyone.
  • Hainted on May 20, 2013

    Very nice story. This is a romance adventure with paranormal elements, all of it combined to make an entertaining story. Lots of effective background on different culture versions of folk/tribal exorcism, which set the mood nicely. 4½ stars if I had the option, and since I don't, five stars. The few things that bothered me had nothing to do with plot or characterization, just some name vs pronoun awkwardness when in character head space. This story had great balance between adventure and romance, pensiveness and action.
  • The Wrong Side of Right on June 03, 2013

    Have to agree with other reviewers. This is a very visceral read, often poetic and very moving. This story very bravely enters the territory of self-abuse after victimization, the self-abuse taking the form of seeking more victimization (as opposed to consensual BDSM with safe words). I did get lost a few times wondering where the protagonist was physically, because steps between his being in one place and another were absent, which made me back track to see if I missed something. That sort of thing pulled me from the story more than once. Also found myself misdirected by pronouns many times. The dedication of third person pronouns to the use of Tony only was very strict for most of the story, which at one point distracted me enough that I made substitutions of he for I, him for my, and got a perfect translation into first person. I had a hard time suspending disbelief near the end. Why didn't either Tony or his love interest think of security cameras? They're dealing with criminals, have a suspicion of who is the criminal and they don't quietly set up security cameras? That wasn't very smart at all and doesn't seem likely in a story about people in our modern technological North America. A sting without security cameras? A sting where the love interest abandons his partner because he has work elsewhere? No. Doesn't work for me. Other than that, I enjoyed this story. I found myself wishing I had Aidan's perspective too. Tank was an unapologetically brutal and fascinating character, and the sheer, unabated depth of hurt you wade through with Tony is riveting. I very much wanted to get to the redemption at the end.
  • Widdershins on June 08, 2013

    This author is fast becoming one of my favourites. I almost can’t encompass how much this story has everything that makes me happy to read a book. Romance, beautiful and complicated men, supernatural horrors, sorcery, a steep learning curve for oblivious characters who are forced to wake up right now or die. The scenery: it’s grim and snowy and cold and set in an alternate early America, in a city born from the whaling trade. You get that harsh flavour of hard work, now and in the past, mixed with industry and ruthlessness and authority and arrogance. Tuck in the all but smothering attitude of learned men in a museum, and you feel edifices will crush your emotions to a grey pulp. And then you get the redeeming characters who remind you why we make friends, have lovers, entertain hopes. The bright parts are so bright, you are warmed when the characters feel that warmth. Loved the narrative. Very beautiful balance between feelings, scene and action. I’m on the second book in the series now. If not for distractions in the house, I’d probably read it in hours like the first. But I’ll do my best in any case, no doubt.
  • The Foxhole Court on Oct. 14, 2013

    I enjoyed these two novels (The Foxhole Court and The Raven King). The story was engrossing, but very dark emotionally, which is to be expected when the plot concerns mafia, death threats and mental illness. After finishing, it took me a while to rise out of the miasma of the main character's life. So as I said, very dark, but riveting. I admit to skimming some of the sports bits. That said: the sports bits that I read were very well done. I've just never been that interested in sports. But the author has meshed the sports very well with the plot and character emotions/thoughts, so I doubt many readers will skim like me. I'm a chronic skimmer or speed reader. Some things just put me into speed mode. Sports is one, but gotta say, I slowed down for this book. This is an excellent first novel in a series and well written over all. Mafia matters are very intertwined with the sports in this series. It works. It was very easy to suspend disbelief except every once in a while I wondered if Japanese mafia members were really that f---ed up and totally without a sense of humour. There's always some twisted SOB or two in a story with mafia. I'm looking forward to book three and how the main character continues rising out of his emotional shut down while learning to have faith in some of the human race again.
  • The Raven King on Oct. 14, 2013

    This is an excellent series so far. I just about inhaled the story, I read so fast. Totally engrossing. Here's a cut and paste of the review I left on The Foxhole Court: I enjoyed these two novels (The Foxhole Court and The Raven King). The story was engrossing, but very dark emotionally, which is to be expected when the plot concerns mafia, death threats and mental illness. After finishing, it took me a while to rise out of the miasma of the main character's life. So as I said, very dark, but riveting. I admit to skimming some of the sports bits. That said: the sports bits that I read were very well done. I've just never been that interested in sports. But the author has meshed the sports very well with the plot and character emotions/thoughts, so I doubt many readers will skim like me. I'm a chronic skimmer or speed reader. Some things just put me into speed mode. Sports is one, but gotta say, I slowed down for this book. This is an excellent first novel in a series and well written over all. Mafia matters are very intertwined with the sports in this series. It works. It was very easy to suspend disbelief except every once in a while I wondered if Japanese mafia members were really that f---ed up and totally without a sense of humour. There's always some twisted SOB or two in a story with mafia. I'm looking forward to book three and how the main character continues rising out of his emotional shut down while learning to have faith in some of the human race again.