Tag Archives: book

Renegades: Origins Free 21-23 APRIL

The new cover art for Renegades Origins

Hey everyone, I’ve got a new cover for Renegades: Origins.  In honor of that, I’ve put it up free for the weekend.  If you haven’t got a copy yet,  here’s your opportunity and please leave me a review!

Fate of the Tyrant is Live!

Fate of the Tyrant by Kal Spriggs
Fate of the Tyrant by Kal Spriggs

Fate of the Tyrant is now live!  Get your copy just in time to enjoy over 4th of July weekend right here.  (I promise there’s plenty of explosions)

The Tyrant’s time has come.

Winter has come to the Five Duchies, a time of bitter cold when noblemen scheme and commoners wonder how to feed themselves through the long, dark months.

In the far north, the Warlord Tarjak Rusk stirs his forces, guided by the wizard Xavien, Herald to the dark spirit Andoral Elhonas.  Xavien knows that the time has come when the Five Duchies are vulnerable… and with the might of his master behind him, Xavien could conquer the civilized lands as an undisputed tyrant.

In the Duchy of Masov, Duke Hector the Usurper faces a civil war, brought on by the survival of Lady Katarina.  If he doesn’t squash this rebellion with the coming spring, he’ll face a war on two fronts.  Yet even if he wins victory, it will be a hard fought one against his own people, leaving scars that might never heal or even shattering the Duchy into splinters.

The fate of the Five Duchies might well be decided in Masov, but if Hector and Katarina cannot resolve their differences, then they’ll only be the first to fall to the raiders from the north.  Only if they can unite against him can they seal the fate of the tyrant.

You can get Fate of the Tyrant from Amazon as paperback and ebook.

Book Sale and Release for Renegades: Out of the Cold

Renegades: Out of the Cold
Renegades: Out of the Cold

Renegades: Out of the Cold is now available from Amazon!  As a limited time promotional event, the first novel of the series, Renegades: Origins, will be available for $2.99 and my short story  set in the same universe, Look to the Stars, will be available for free for the weekend.  My novel, The Fallen Race, set in the same universe will also be discounted to $2.99 for the weekend.

The Renegades are coming out of the cold.

They have escaped from an alien prison, stolen a ship, survived pirate attacks, and now they are finally returning to civilization.
Yet civilization brings all new threats.  Old enemies await and new enemies abound.  They’ll have to work together to survive, even as their own pasts and fortunes seek to tear them apart.  Along the way, they’ll face an infamous assassin, slavers, bounty hunters, and get caught up in the biggest war that humanity has ever seen.
Because the Chxor are coming and if the Renegades won’t help stop them, who will?
Get your copy here.

Book Review: A Call to Arms by David Weber and Timothy Zahn

A Call to Arms by David Weber and Timothy Zahn
A Call to Arms by David Weber and Timothy Zahn

While A Call to Duty was something of an introduction to a time before the Star Kingdom of Manticore was a major power, A Call To Arms takes the time to show the reader just how messed up things are.  Politicians spend more time trying to manipulate the system for their own game than they do considering the consequences, pirates and outside influences see Manticore as vulnerable and weak, and even the colonists of Manticore seem to have a low opinion of what they might accomplish.  In all, it sets up a number of nasty repercussions as all of these factors come due.

Travis Uriah Long, the main character from the last book, along with a number of new and old characters, finds himself at the center of those repercussions.  David Weber and Timothy Zahn do an excellent job of weaving several character arcs and stories, some that end with victory, some with barest survival… and a few in tragic death.  While I enjoyed A Call to Duty, I loved reading A Call To Arms.

Overall, the story itself doesn’t explore any new themes to those familiar with either author’s works.  Duty, courage, standing up for what is right, and with a good amount of self-sacrifice thrown in.  Yet where this book really shines is how it approaches these themes with fresh eyes, exploring them from the perspective of someone who doesn’t seem to be cut from the same hero material as Honor Harrington.  Travis is a young man who is just discovering who he is, which makes his efforts and sacrifices all the more impressive.  The Star Kingdom of Manticore, too, is a new nation, just getting their feet under them and developing the first processes that will make it the mighty power later on in the Honorverse.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it and the first book of the series to all fans of military science fiction and space opera.  An excellent book, well worth the read.

Here is my review of the first book, A Call to Duty.

From multiple New York Times best selling author David Weber and #1 New York Times best selling author Timothy Zahn. NEW ENTRY IN BEST-SELLING SERIES. Book #2 in the Manticore Ascendant series, set in David Weber’s Honorverse.

Lieutenant Travis Long of the Royal Manticoran Navy is the sort of person who likes an orderly universe. One where people follow the rules.

Unfortunately, he lives in the real universe.

The good news is that Travis is one of those rare people who may like rules but has a talent for thinking outside them when everything starts coming apart. That talent has stood him—and the Star Kingdom—in good stead in the past, and it’s one reason he’s now a “mustang,” an ex-enlisted man who’s been given a commission as a King’s officer.

The bad news is that two of the best ways of making enemies ever invented are insisting on enforcing the rules . . . and thinking outside them when other people don’t. Travis learned that lesson the hard way as a young volunteer in basic training, and he knows that if he could just keep his head down, turn a blind eye to violations of the rules, and avoid stepping on senior officers’ toes, he’d do just fine. But the one rule Travis Long absolutely can’t break is the one that says an officer in the Royal Navy does his duty, whatever the consequences.

At the moment, there are powerful forces in the young Star Kingdom of Manticore’s Parliament which don’t think they need him. For that matter, they’re pretty sure they don’t need the Royal Manticoran Navy, either. After all, what does a sleepy little single-system star nation on the outer edge of the explored galaxy need with a navy?

Unhappily for them, the edge of the explored galaxy can be a far more dangerous place than they think it is. They’re about to find out why they need the Navy . . . and how very, very fortunate they are that Travis Long is in it.

You can get it from Amazon here.

October Giveaway, Get a Signed Copy of The Prodigal Emperor

This month I’m giving away a signed copy of The Prodigal Emperor to one of my newsletter subscribers.  If you want to get your chance to win a signed paperback of The Prodigal Emperor subscribe today.  Existing and new subscribers will all have a chance to win a signed copy as long as they have subscribed by October 16th.

Subscribers to my newsletter also get the latest info on what books I have coming out, receive snippets and samples, as well as short stories, and get the news before anyone else as far as what I’m working on and when to expect it.  You can sign up on the link to the side or here.

Wrath of the Usurper Audiobook Live

Wrath of the Usurper, Book II of the Eoriel Saga
Wrath of the Usurper, Book II of the Eoriel Saga

The audio book for Wrath of the Usurper is now live!  It is available on Itunes, Amazon, and Audible.com.  Links are below.  As with Echo of the High Kings, Eric G. Dove is the narrator.  He did a fantastic job once again and if audio books are your thing, then you should check it out!

Civilization is dying. The lands of the Five Duchies are in chaos. They are leaderless and each land stands alone. Besieged by barbarians, savages, fell beasts, and infighting, few doubt that the end times are upon them. Yet all is not lost. In the East, Lady Katarina Emberhill has begun an uprising against the Usurper and those who follow her carry relics from the time of the High Kings. In Boir, Lord Admiral Christoffer Tarken forges alliances and defends his lands. And in the Eastwood, powers that have been silent for eons are stirring and turning their eyes to the outside world. But the key is the Usurper Duke, a man drawn to savagery and battle. His victories in his personal war against the Armen have swelled the ranks of his army. Who will draw the wrath of the Usurper: will he turn it against his own rebellious people or levy his forces against the threats to all civilized men?

Wrath of the Usurper on Audible.com

Wrath of the Usurper on Amazon

Review: David Weber’s Sword of the South

David Weber's The Sword of the South.
David Weber’s The Sword of the South.

David Weber’s new Epic Fantasy novel, Sword of the South, is up on Baen’s websubscriptions and I picked it up last week for some ‘light’ reading.  I thought that I’d do a review of it, to give my impressions.  I’ll preface this by saying that I read an eARC of this book.  It’s not the complete version and it still has some editing to be done.   Therefore I’m not going to nitpick grammar and such.

I’ve been a long time fan of David Weber’s fantasy series, starting with Oath of Swords and then leading into The War God’s Own, Windrider’s Oath, and culminating in War Maid’s Choice.    If you haven’t read the series, you should.  It’s excellent.  The stories are, much like most of Weber’s, rich and interesting with detail, well orchestrated, and while the good guys don’t always get a happy ending, the bad guys generally come to bad ends.

The Sword of the South is, as far as I am aware, the start of his main epic.  The other four books were designed to be the opening act, as it were, much like Tolkien’s The Hobbit was to Lord of the Rings.  The clash between the powers of Light and Darkness is begun.  From the very first pages, you get the feeling that the stakes are higher and that the costs may be far higher than the previous books.  Since the previous books saw the deaths of beloved characters, this generally means that no one is safe.  The Sword of the South is also written so that a new reader, someone unfamiliar with the series, can start here without issue, while still rewarding long-time readers with inside jokes and references to events in humorous fashion.

The premise of the book is simple enough, retrieve a powerful weapon from an evil sorceress and defeat her minions along the way.  In execution, there are a number of complications, with master assassins, arch-wizards, demons, and dragons all getting involved.  This book gives a much broader picture of the world in some ways, filling out some of the details that the reader might have been interested in from the other books.  In some ways, though, this book feels… incomplete.  Almost as if this were a sideshow in the larger overall events that David Weber has scripted to come later.  The mission is, without a doubt, essential, in more ways than one.  Indeed, in many ways the journey seems as important as the mission, but while I came away eager to read the next installment, I also came away at the end with a feeling that a little too much remained unresolved.

Characterization is excellent.  Several characters from the other books are here, to lesser or greater extent.  Some time has passed (I won’t say how much, because that’s part of the plot, actually), and it is good to see how characters have grown or matured from their experiences.  As a reader, I found it wonderful to see the payoff of how characters had progressed and grown (and also to see some guesses confirmed).  The new characters held their weight, none of them overshadowed by the stories and personalities of the others.  David Weber did an excellent job of making even some of the villain’s motives and motivations understandable… even while showing that they had gone too far.

Later on in the book, however, I did have a few issues with changes of perspective.  At times the perspective in a scene will change from one character to another from one paragraph to the next and then back.  This left me with a sense of whiplash, trying to figure out who was thinking what.  This might be something they’ll edit before the final release, but in one particular case it was not only hard to follow, but left me feeling as if I had missed something.  Very slight spoiler: In some scenes there is a character who is under another guise.  The other characters knew this character by a different name, but in the changes of perspective it would go from the disguised character’s actual name and thoughts, to another character who didn’t know the character’s true identity, and back, sometimes multiple times in a scene.

In all, I enjoyed the book and I’m eager to read the next.  It was excellent to get to see some of the promises made in the earlier books finally fulfilled and I can’t wait to see how the further books in the series progress.  If you haven’t read any of David Weber’s fantasy series, you should get started!

Here’s the publisher summary:

A#1 in a NEW EPIC FANTASY SERIES by 28-times New York Times and international best seller David Weber, set within his Bahzell Bahnakson/War God universe. A swordsman who has been robbed of his past must confront an evil wizard with a world at stake.

Know thyself. Its always good to know who you are, but sometimes thats a little difficult.

Kenhodan has no last name, because he has no past . . . or not one he remembers, anyway. What he does have are a lot of scars and a lot of skills some exhilarating and some terrifying and a purpose. Now if he only knew where he’d gotten them and what that purpose was . . . .

Wencit of Rūm, the most powerful wizard in the world, knows the answers to Kenhodan’s questions, but he can’t or won’t share them with him. Except to inform him that he’s a critical part of Wencit’s millennium-long battle to protect Norfressa from conquest by dark sorcery.

Bahzell Bahnakson, champion of Tomank, doesn’t know those answers and the War God isn’t sharing them with him. Except to inform Bahzell that the final confrontation with the Dark Lords of fallen Kontovar is about to begin, and that somehow Kenhodan is one of the keys to its final outcome.

Wulfra of Torfo doesn’t know those answers, either, but she does know Wencit of Rūm is her implacable foe and that somehow Kenhodan is one of the weapons he intends to use against her . . . assuming she can’t kill both of them first.

But in the far northern port city of Belhadan, an eleven-year-old girl with a heart of harp music knows the answers to all of Kenhodan’s questions. . . and dares not share them with anyone, even the ancient wild wizard who loves her more dearly than life itself.

It’s not easy to face the future when you can’t even remember your own past, but if saving an entire world from evil sorcerers, demons, devils, and dark gods was easy, anyone could do it.

For those of you wanting to find the other books in the series or the book itself I’ve listed them in order with links:

Oath of Swords

The War God’s Own

Wind Rider’s Oath

War Maid’s Choice

The Sword of the South

The Sword of the South eArc

Echo of the High Kings Giveaway Reminder

Hey everyone, just a reminder about the Echo of the High Kings giveaway. As I stated before here, the contest just requires a review of Echo of the High Kings posted to Amazon. I’ll draw three winners from the reviewers. Those reviews have to be posted by midnight on the 15th of November. The three prizes include a signed copy, one of my audiobooks, and getting to be a character in a book I’m writing. So, if you read and enjoyed Echo of the High Kings, please write a review, good or bad, and tell me what you think. Only three days left!

Echo of the High Kings, Book I of the Eoriel Saga
Echo of the High Kings, Book I of the Eoriel Saga

Echo of the High Kings Book Bomb Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the Echo of the High Kings book bomb will occur on the 11th of October. As part of this, I’m also doing a giveaway for those who buy the book and post a review (because I can’t tell who bought it otherwise) by the 15th of November.  I’ll randomly pick three of the reviewers as the winners. The three winners will receive either a signed paperback copy of Echo of the High Kings, an audiobook, or a spot in my next book.

In Eoriel, the High Kings are legend: rulers who once stood against the darkness and ruled the world for two thousand turns of peace and prosperity. In the long turns since their fall during the Sundering, Eoriel’s civilization has faded. Dark men and darker beings have torn down and destroyed the old works. While some have held out against the grind of history, other places have been reduced to primitive tribes of savages, worshiping dark spirits and demons as their gods. Yet a spark of hope remains. Some still believe in the old legends, some still fight to restore the old ways, and some will stand against the darkness, in an echo of the High Kings.

Get your copy of Echo of the High Kings here.

Kal’s Writing Worlds

Now that the insanity of Dragon*Con is past, I think it’s time to tell you all a bit about what I’m writing, what I’m working on, and most importantly, what I’ve got in the chute.

Currently, I’m actively writing in four universes. Two are space opera, one is straight military science fiction, and the last is an epic fantasy setting. I currently have four completed novels, six completed novellas, and some indeterminate number of short stories, all in these same four universes. Each of the novels is intended to be the first books of their own series, while the novellas are a series themselves.

I’ll go into more depth on each of the individual books in a later post, but I thought I’d give an overview here, and later on I’ll link the post here to those later posts.

My first published book, the novella Renegades: Deserter’s Redemption, is the first story in a serial that takes place in what I call the Mira universe. It’s a series of short stories and novellas that cover the adventures of a band of, well… renegades. The second novella, Renegades: The Gentle One, is set from the perspective of Ariadne, a psychic and all around nice person who just happens to light people on fire when she loses her temper. My novel, The Fallen Race, is also in this universe, and there is some overlap and interaction between the two series, mostly in the big events but sometimes in individual characters as well. The Fallen Race is a hundred and twenty thousand word novel and is set around five years after the Renegades series begins. The Fallen Race is the story of Captain Lucius Giovanni, the captain of a warship whose nation and home have fallen to aliens and who seeks to take a stand and make a difference.

My military science fiction setting is the Star Portal setting. In it, a very distant cluster of colonies has become separated from Earth. Alone, they’ve encountered several hostile alien races. In wars of vast scale they’ve managed to survive, but most worlds suffer as protectorates of the core colonies and the Star Guard. My first novel in this setting is Fenris Unchained which is a hundred thousand word novel. Fenris Unchained follows the story of a sister and brother who get dragooned into helping to stop a berserk automated warship from destroying a planet.

The third setting is what I call the Eden universe, and my first book in that is the Eden Insurrection. This universe is set several thousand years in the future. Technology, society, and humanity itself have stagnated and the power brokers within the Confederation prefer it that way. Several waves of colonization have spread humanity in a vast sprawl across the galaxy. In the Eden Insurrection, various factions of humanity seek to seize power within the Confederation and to forge it into a weapon to seize still more power. It is a complex story, with varied plots and morally ambiguous characters.

The last setting is my take on epic fantasy, with the novel Echo of the High Kings. I’ve personally grown frustrated with the slew of generic epic fantasy novels I’ve seen. Particularly where magic is poorly understood or virtually nonexistent, yet technology is undeveloped. I’m also sick of the characters who seem to be recycled from multiple books: the archetypical hero, the scoundrel, the damsel in distress. Or the writer goes the other way and has characters so morally ambiguous they can’t pull on their boots without stabbing someone in the back. The characters in these books are real people, with complex motivations as well as reasoning and logic to their behavior. I also did my own take on magic, one where I applied scientific method to how wizards develop magic. Here the magic has rules, and follows some fundamental physics. Conservation of energy is a big one… so are the principles of thermodynamics. But I think I kept most of that off scene, so for those of you (like me) who hate the math… well, just set back and enjoy the ride.

So that’s what I’m currently working on. The first novel in the chute is The Fallen Race, which dependent upon real world stuff, I should have out sometime near the end of September or early October. The next novel out after that will be Echo of the High Kings, my epic fantasy. All of this is being self-published, and will be made available on Amazon and Smashwords (and through them, their affiliates: B&N, Sony, and Apple stores). My goal is to publish a novella a month, but as I’m also active duty military, that could be somewhat problematical. Since I’m doing this in my (limited) free time, as well as writing… well, I’m doing what I can to get them out. If you like what you see, please tell others. They can find my stuff on Amazon or Smashwords or just follow the Buy My Books link at the top of the page. Monetary incentive means I’ll work harder at getting things written, edited, and published.