The Court Of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

The Blurb On The Back:

Shadows.  Sorrow. Death.

Something’s coming.

 

We need to be read.

And yes.  That does mean blood.

 

We’re too weak.  The way we are.  Sitting on our piles of gold pretending nothing exists beyond our walls.

We’re too far gone for anything else. 

In the richest empire the world has ever known, the capital city of Sorlost stands eternal, or so it believes …

Decadence has become the true ruler, blinding its inhabitants to their decay.  The empire is weak and, haunted by dreams of its demise, Lord Orhan Emmereth has decided to act.

On his orders, a company of mercenaries will cross the desert to reach the city of Sorlost.  Once inside, they have one mission: assassinate the Emperor and all who serve him.

The mission is suicide but Marith is ready to die. He is running away from a shame and grief, which only the weight of a knife in his hand can banish.

Little does Marith know that his destiny awaits in the Golden City of Sorlost.  A destiny beautiful, bloody, and more terrible than anyone could have foreseen. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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2017 In Books And Onwards To 2018

I don’t tend to do much “normal” blogging on this site because I figure it’s easier to just keep it to reviews but also because, if I’m being honest, I’m not convinced anyone’s really interested in reading my blathering on.  However, I’ve seen a number of book reviewers whose blogs I follow do a 2017 round up and thought it might be interesting to do the same.

I  had set myself a target of reading 150 books in 2017 and actually managed 152 – the most I’ve ever read in a single year.  The full list is here if anyone’s interested in checking it out.  The vast majority of books have been thrillers (58 of my reviews in total) – mainly because one of my “things” (I don’t do resolutions) for 2018 is to try and write a thriller of my own.  I wanted to read more non-fiction in 2017 and I succeeded in that (24 books read – so almost 16%) and I have found that very beneficial – exposing me to new ideas, theories and bits of information that I’d never normally have been drawn to and, at times discovering that sometimes the truth is indeed more fascinating and stranger than fiction.  Of the books I read, 76 were by female writers (so 50%) and 16 by writers of colour (so about 10.5%) – those aren’t bad statistics, but I’m aware that I can improve on that – particularly for writers of colour as I really need to read more diversely.

I’ve been very fortunate to benefit from being a member of the Amazon Vine Programme (119 of the books I read came courtesy of that) but I’ve also benefited from the kind folk at Faber & Faber, Scholastic, Shrine Bell, Simon & Schuster and Walker Books.  Many thanks to the PR and marketing people at all of them for thinking of me.

There’s a lot of on-line rumour about what Amazon is going to do with the UK Vine programme going forward (indeed 2017 was dogged by rumours that it was about to end at any moment).  I can’t complain if it does – I have had a very good run there and am grateful for the opportunities it’s given me – plus, it may well be better for me if it does finish because I have a massive To Read Pile for 2018 that I really need to make some inroads on (I’m not even joking about that – I’ve hidden the list behind a jump cut because it’s at the point where I’m quite ashamed about how out of control it is).

I moved my blog to WordPress from Livejournal at the end of 2017 (with a complete back up of my posts sitting on my Dreamwidth account) and didn’t really expect to get much in the way of traction.  This has always been a personal review blog that reflects whatever I want to read at a particular time so it’s a bit of a pot pourri of genres and markets when the trend in book blogging seems to be to focus on one or two particular genres.  Plus I don’t do scheduled review posts – fitting them in during my spare time so there may be a week between some posts and sometimes there’ll be several posts on the same day.  Anyway, I’ve been surprised and very pleased to see that a number of people have got enough of an interest in it to follow so hello and thank you to all 29 of you who have subscribed and another hello and thank you to the 1,664 visitors who have checked out the site at some point during 2017.  Many thanks as well to those who have taken the time to comment.

In terms of my favourite books of 2017, I’ve set out the ones I rated the most highly below:

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An All New And Shiny Review Blog

Thanks to Livejournal opting to locate its servers to Russia, I’ve decided to move the review blog that I’ve been running since January 2006 to WordPress and Dreamwidth.

The original LJ blog with all the links and master lists can still be found on Livejournal at http://quippe.livejournal.com or alternatively at Dreamwidth on Quippe.  Due to issues with trying to import my LJ to WordPress, I’ll be updating on Dreamwidth and cross-posting here.