I am a very lucky book addict and very unfortunate at the same time. On one side I feel so bereft that all my other reviewer buddies receive so many books and on the other I am swamped already from the books I have. Julie Crisp, Twitter Goddess & Generous Benefactor extraordinaire, has possibly broken the postman's back with all THIS. I promised I will use them for giveaways, but I am more or less greedy as hell to start reading, before I say goodbye to these beauties. Thank you, Julie.
'Vellum' by Hal Duncan
Following the trail of a family legend, Reynard Guy Carter finds The Book of All Hours, aka the Vellum, a blueprint for all creation written by the scribe of God after the word was spoken. Carter thereafter wanders the strange, deserted worlds of the Vellum, while angels and demons, the Covenant and the Sovereigns, battle for control of the order of everything. Within the Vellum, Phreedom Messenger is on a quest to find her brother that will lead her to the very depths of the underworld in a movement parallel to Innana's descent to the underworld of Ereshkigal; and Seamus Finnan, her brother's betrayer and an old friend, is, like Prometheus, bound for his sins. The paths the three characters follow become a scintillating web of journeys across worlds and through the three dimensions of time.
'Ink' by Hal Duncan
In the sequel to Vellum (2005), the Covenant has been broken, but the angel and demon unkin still compete for power over the worlds of the Vellum. Playing out against a backdrop of futurism and fascism and little pockets of stagnant order--havens, where the bitmites make all the things humans have ever dreamed up possible--the split parts of Mad Jack, Joey Narcosis, Phreedom, and the rest of their crew seek to rewrite the Book of All Hours and bring the angels and demons to their knees for good.
'The Wanderer's Tale' by David Bilsborough
Many generations ago the arctic stronghold of a terrible demon, Drauglir, was destroyed by the forces of good. Five hundred years later, rumours spread of the evil demigod’s second coming, with terrible consequences for the world of Lindormyn. In the remote northern town of Nordwas a ramshackle group is assembled by the ambitious warrior Nibulus, under the guidance of a mage-priest, to set off on the long and perilous journey back to Melhus to ensure that Drauglir is properly despatched this time round.
The quest includes two foreign mercenaries, three bickering priests, a young esquire, and, last but not least, Bolldhe the unsociable ‘wanderer’. Their eventful progress through a desolate terrain embroils them regularly with a wide array of races, fantastic creatures, giants and sorcerers – and with terrifying adventures which will affect each of them differently.
'A Fire in the North' by David Bilsborough
This second volume picks up the ongoing story in a tunnel leading out of enchanted mountain realm of Eotunlandt. Fighting their way through subterranean dangers, Nibulus and his diminished retinue of ‘questers’ finally reach the open again, only to discover that their rivals the Thieves have mysteriously disappeared.
Meanwhile, Gapp and a sinisterly altered Methuselech continue towards Wrythe, the last settlement. They find the population strangely degenerated, under the influence of a local leader, in fact the evil being Scathur who has been hiding there for five hundred years, awaiting his moment of vengeance. Scathur recognises that inside Methuselech is the outcast soul of a rival necromancer, Mauglad, so imprisons them both till they manage to flee for their lives.
The rest of the original questers also turn up for a scary sojourn in Wrythe, before heading on to Melhus island with Scathur’s deathly henchmen in pursuit. During strange dreams, the wanderer Bolldhe learns he must use a strange sword he has found to kill the evil demigod Drauglir, once and for all. They all venture into Melhus (the Underworld), contesting with the hosts of the dead sent against them. There ensues a colossal battle, with thrills and spills and monumental destruction, before the questers achieve an unexpected victory –and most of them will return to Nordwas sadder but wiser.