Tag Archives: Christian A Brown

Feast of Chaos by Christian A Brown

Feast of Chaos by Christian A Brown

 Feast of Chaos
by Christian A Brown

Menos has been destroyed. No corner of the realm of Geadhain is safe from the Black Queen’s hunger. Zionae—or the Great Dreamer, as she has been called in ancient tongues—has a thirst that cannot be quenched until all of Geadhain burns and bleeds. She preys on the minds of weak men and exploits human folly for an unhuman end. She cannot be defeated in her current state, but the answer to her downfall may lie in the land of her past.

It is with this aim that a Daughter of Fate, Morigan, and her brave and true companions venture to the mysterious Pandemonia, the land of chaos itself. Ancient secrets and even older power lurk in its swamps and deserts. Life itself becomes uncertain, but the Hunters of Fate have no choice: Pandemonia must give up its secrets if they want to find the Black Queen’s weakness.

Elsewhere in the realm, alliances form and break. Dead men rise and heroes fall. Eod prepares for war. In hiding, Lila, the bearer of its destruction, will be given a chance to atone and answer for her sins. Will her actions save Eod, or has she damned it with her crimes?

Four Feasts Till Darkness Book 3

Rated: ★★★★
Publication: September 23, 2016
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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Feast of Chaos by Christian A Brown

Third book in the Four Feasts Till Darkness series, Feast of Chaos by Christian A Brown continues the delicate dance of progressing the possible destruction of Geadhain with the struggle to save it. Brown continues to excel at balancing the wide cast of characters with ample time and story.

It is a credit to how well Brown has developed his characters over the past two previous books that by the third, they feel like real people, people that you know and care about. So when they make mistakes, they make choices you don’t agree with, there comes an anger. You want to reach into the book, take characters by the shoulders and shake them, beg them to wake up and get real. You feel that very real exasperation you feel when you see real life friends make wrong choices, even though this time, they are just ink on a page. If that isn’t a testament to Brown’s writing ability, I don’t know what is! Especially considering the anger I felt towards said characters never once had me doubting Brown’s ability as a writer or storyteller. Since I have literally talked all about my anger over these characters in the Pages and Pause Screen podcast (spoilers, obvs), I’m going to skip over that and talk about how well the arcs progress for the rest of the cast. Those that once appeared irredeemable suddenly find themselves walking the penitent’s path and it feels real. You feel sorry for him. You feel sorry for most of these characters and the situations they’re in. And then, then you have the villains! At first, I rolled my eyes at the newest addition, the Dreamstalker, but then, THAT ENDING! Brown creates the villain that I never thought I would see. It was fantastic.

The closer we get to the end of the series, the more we see happening. War comes from all fronts and the road for our heroes looks ever bleaker. Still, there is hope that they can win, though it is interwoven with the realization that it will likely come at a great cost. Feast of Chaos by Christian A Brown is yet another great addition to the outstanding Dark Fantasy series Four Feasts Till Darkness, continuing the tradition of strong character driven fantasy.

Feast of Dreams by Christian A Brown

Feast of Dreams by Christian A Brown

 Feast of Dreams
by Christian A Brown

As two queens plot each other’s destruction, a small band of adventurers continues its quest for the knowledge needed to defeat the mad King Brutus and his unearthly parasite, the Black Queen. Their search brings Morigan and the Wolf to the perilous forests of Alabion, where they and their companions will face the darkness of their pasts–and discover equally dark destinies. Meanwhile, far from Alabion, the queens of the East and West continue their deadly dance. One seeks a relic of great power, while the other puts her faith in a mix of military and technomagikal force. Both are aware they have a slim window of opportunity to settle their power struggle–after all, Mad Brutus’s recent defeat is at best a setback. The mad king is already amassing a new army of soulless husks in the wastelands of Mor’Khul.

Unknown to the great powers struggling for control, a father and son wander those same wastelands, scavenging what they can as they weather Brutus’s gathering storm. They too have a role to play in Geadhain’s fate–a role which may just provide a last remnant of hope.

Rated: ★★★★!!
Publisher: Forsythia Press
Publication: July 31, 2015
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Personally purchased title

 

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Feast of Dreams by Christian A Brown

After re-reading Feast of Fates, I was beyond excited and ready to pick up the second book in Four Feasts Till Darkness series.  Feast of Dreams by Christian A Brown did not disappoint. It went beyond every expectation, dream, hope, and nightmare I could have had. Brown remains an expert at weaving hope and destruction simultaneously with each character, each story, while propelling the overarching plot. There hasn’t been a series in a very long time that has managed to keep me solidly in its grip, paralyzed with emotion.

One of the greatest strengths in making Feast of Dreams so enjoyable is the pacing. The fact that there isn’t a single chapter, a single point-of-view, that bores. Everything has a purpose, propels the multiple layers of story forward. The push and pull of the story sweeps you away until you stop and realize you’ve reached the end and are desperate for more.

With expert pacing, we get fantastic characters. They don’t feel like plot points or placeholders. Every character seems to have a purpose, whether we know it or not, which makes this book so different from the multitude of other fantasy novels. Whether it’s stated or not, you get the feeling that Brown has each character, no matter how minimal, completely fleshed out with a full backstory that we might never actually get to see. With such real characters, we get to experience the joys and heartbreaks that accompany real people. The shades of grey everyone is composed of. Good intentions turn to ash and though you want to fault them, be angry with them, you can’t because you understand their motivations. You understand the situation they were placed in and the limited choices available. Nowhere is this more evident than with poor Queen Lila. The way Brown nudges her character forward, ever so slowly, so subtly, that her downfall comes as the only logical option for her, no matter how sad the outcome. Indeed, with most of the characters, Brown is subtle at leading you down a path that the final destination shocks you, but only because you were foolish enough to miss the signs leading there.

Amazing characters that are so intricately well-defined that they feel real, individual plots that not only further character progression, but also move forward the gargantuan main plot, Feast of Dreams by Christian A Brown is a dark fantasy masterpiece. Never does it lag, nor does anything ever feel thrown in simply to move the story along or get words on a page. Truly, the new pinnacle of the fantasy genre. Cannot wait to start the third in the series, Feast of Chaos.

Want to hear more? Listen to me talk about Feast of Dreams on the Pages and Pause Screen podcast.

Interview with Christian A Brown

Bookcast | Interview with Christian A Brown

Welcome to the Roadside Reads Bookcast!

Be warned, there is foul language!

It’s technically still Wednesday so the podcast isn’t late this week! Hurrah! This week we have an absolutely amazing podcast! We were lucky enough to sit down with the author of Feast of Fates, Christian A Brown! We talked about his series, life, and a few serious issues as well, so definitely a must listen to! Also, Helga’s views on the Nordic countries are purely her own, so don’t send anyone else any hate mail! INTERVIEW IS FULL SPOILERS!!

Sorry for some of the audio issues during the podcast. We didn’t record as we normally do, which apparently also gave my pupper Frodo the license to squeak at inopportune times. Yikes!

New intro music!
Bit Quest Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

 

Next week we start Pride and Prejudice and Zombies so pick up your copy today and start reading! We’re reading up to but not including Chapter 19!

Feast of Fates by Christian A Brown

Feast of Fates by Christian A Brown

Synopsis

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her—visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive.

Feast of Fates (Four Feasts Till Darkness Vol1)
Christian A Brown
Publisher: CreateSpace 
Publication: July 2014
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Witchy, Shifters
I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review
Locate: amazon | b&n | book depository
Rated: ★★★★

Feast of Fates by Christian A Brown

This book BLEW ME AWAY! Once I really started getting into it, I could not put it down. Absolutely something that I needed to find in the Epic Fantasy genre that feels new and familiar at the same time. Feast of Fates by Christian A Brown is a book that is a must read for fans of Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire.

I confess, I am a horrible person. When I first started this book, I had no idea what I was getting into. I picked it up in 2014 and read the first 10% and thought, this is not what I had in mind. At the start, you meet the three fates and I thought yes, this is good. I like this. But then, viewpoint switches over to handmaiden Morigan and a smith named Caenith. Things seemed to get hot and heavy and that was when I put the book away for a LONG time. I didn’t want to read another epic fantasy with gratuitous sex or romance.

Finally, earlier this month, I decided to finish reading all of the books I picked up but put away, and came back to Feast of Fates. I am a fool for putting it down when I did. Right as their romance is starting, viewpoint switches again and things GET GOOD. We meet the rest of the main players of Geadhain: a pair of immortal Kings born of the earth and time itself (so it seems), a pair of Queens fighting a war away from the Kings, a former pleasure slave turned spy messenger, a reanimated dead man, an elderly mage, a wolf in men’s clothing, a metal mouth sadist, a selkie, and a psychotic necromancer. All of these wildly different characters (and more I’ve not mentioned) connected. Where one moves, the others follow and react in an elegant dance of intrigue and warfare. And through it all remain Morigan, the handmaiden, finding the threads of each character attached to her.

The characters are amazingly fleshed out. I want to know about all of them, the Kings, the Fates, Sorren (who is a horror and a madman, yet one of my favourites?!). They each carry their own voice through the book and their motivations for their journey remain true. Morigan, the main heroine, rings likeable and believable, which is quite a feat considering her origin and powers. Mr. Brown tactfully was able to ground her, show that she is not invincible, that she is not a “Mary Sue” (a term I despise.)

As I mentioned earlier, the book reminded a bit of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. It has the intrigue and multiple converging storylines and characters, but not the gratuitousness for the sake of being gratuitous that ASOIAF has. It does amazingly well with world building, creating unique biomes with their own cultures, landscapes, and rules.

For me, however, where the story truly thrives, is in its writing. That is where I think of Lord of the Rings. It feels epic. It feels grand. The writing is descriptive, but purposeful. It does not over encumber the reader. Every word feels carefully chosen, every description and detail given means something and brings knowledge to the reader. There is also a big great doom as one (if not the) main enemy, but as Sauron was the enemy in LotR, and Melkor before him. There are bonds created through necessity, through kinship, through blood.

The second I finished Feast of Fates by Christian A Brown, I immediately told my fellow fantasy readers, go, buy this now, read it. I myself am buying a physical copy of this and of the next instalment in the series, Feast of Dreams, which I cannot wait to begin (but will have to for the time being).

Quotes & Excerpts

As he left the bed, kissing her upon the shoulder, she was so calm and sleepy that she didn’t reach out to him when she should have. For without any magik, but merely in her heart, she knew that this was the last she was to see of her bloodmate, her immortal and beautiful king, for a long, long time.
IV The Black Queen

Those not walking rode the streets in carriages, with metal-and-meat horses that carried the faint herb-and-formaldehyde waft of preserved flesh. Beasts animated and repurposed from dead parts were these; enhanced with plating, pistoned legs, and nictating eyes so they could navigate farther and faster than a natural of their species
V The Mouse : I

“When I saw you and Magnus together, your harmony reminded me of a love that had been ripped from my heart, and it brought me as much pain as it did joy.”
[…]
“Thackery, what are friends if not comforts to your sadness? Do not feed your darkness selfishly. We have seen what can become of a man once that path is taken.”
VIII The Heart of the King

“I cannot separate myself from the sins in my blood any more than you can separate yourself from your bloodthirstiness. Nor should I, nor should you, for it is these struggles that define us. We are what we are, Wolf, though we can always try to be something better. I now that you understand this.”
XVII The Long Nightmare : II

What Others Are Saying

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Thursday Quotables

Thursday Quotables: Feast of Fates

Thursday Quotables is a weekly book meme hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies, showcasing your favourite book quote of the week. This week, I’ve got an AMAZING quote that just captivated me right into the book I’ve picked up again, Feast of Fates by Christian A. Brown.

Feast of Fates, by Christian A. Brown

 

Those not walking rode the streets in carriages, with metal-and-meat horses that carried the faint herb-and-formaldehyde waft of preserved flesh. Beasts animated and repurposed from dead parts were these; enhanced with plating, pistoned legs, and nictitating eyes so that they could navigate farther and faster than a natural of their species.
[….]
Scarce was the smile that was seen on the cheeks of a Menosian, for it was a society that valued mind and power over empathy and weakness. It was a hierarchy of predators, where the weak were food for the strong.

V – The Mouse

 

 

I DIED when I got to this section. Honestly, I had put this book down a year ago because I just wasn’t in the right headspace and couldn’t get into the beginning. But as soon as I picked it back up again and hit that chapter, I was just hooked. I could not believe I ever stopped reading this. Just, so dark and predatory, it is exactly what I love. I cannot wait to finish this and have the review up next week!

What was your quote of the week?