Tag Archive | "dark-fantasy"

Flames

No Quarter: A Roake Heist Excerpt

Posted on February 13, 2012 by

We have an exclusive excerpt from No Quarter: A Roake Heist by John Wick. A combination of dark fantasy and noir adventure, No Quarter is the first volume in the Roake Heist series. It is available now in eBook format at DriveThruFiction.com.

Roake is no hero. He’s a bad man in a bad world. A world of sorcerers, crowded cities, corrupt nobles, eldritch assassins and big payoffs. Someone hired Roake for a simple break in, but the job went sour, and now, Roake is looking for revenge. More than revenge. Roake wants the payoff he was promised. And if anyone gets in his way, they’ll find out what “no quarter” really means.

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Megan

Mistborn Adventure Game Characters Review

Posted on February 2, 2012 by

Whether you are looking for inspiration, want a few well-detailed NPCs to act as associates or rivals, or need a character (or whole party) in a hurry, this product will fill your purposes admirably.

Herein are eight fully-developed characters, set up as an integrated crew. Each one gets a couple of pages – one a filled-out character sheets with all the necessary game stats, and the other a write-up of the character’s background, including a brief history, notes on personality and motivations and even what he thinks about the other members of the group. There is also a sketch of the character to enable you to visualise him.

A fairly shady group they are, too. The leader is one Beck, a fixer – the sort of fellow who can get you whatever you want, no questions asked, provided you are willing to pay his price.

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Flames

Tales Of The Far West Available Now!

Posted on January 31, 2012 by

Imagine: A fantasy world, but not one based on Medieval/Dark Ages European culture and myth, but rather on the tropes of the Spaghetti Western and Chinese Wuxia. Add steampunk elements. Mix well.

A fantasy world that mixes the inspirations of Django and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon… The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and House of Flying Daggers… Fistful of Dollars and Fist of Legend.

A fantasy world that’s explored through a book series, a constantly-updated website, a tabletop role-playing game, comics, artwork, webseries and much, much, more.

This is FAR WEST.

Tales of the Far West is the first book in Adamant Entertainment’s Wuxia-Western mash-up, featuring a dozen all-new tales written by critically-acclaimed and award-winning fantasy, science-fiction, horror and adventure authors.

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Flames

Final Twilight Kickstarter Campaign launched!

Posted on January 24, 2012 by

In the near future, on the western coast city of New Metropolis, an evil that has lain dormant for centuries is about to be awakened to the 21st century. Forces of darkness and magic strive to unleash a horror upon the Earth unlike any mankind can remember. The only forces capable of stopping it are rendered impotent by an age-old fear and hatred. Will humanity set aside their differences and stand as one against the darkness? Or will this be humanity’s Final Twilight?

Trinity, the first series, follows a trio of souls whose fates are intertwined. Mark Jarus, the last classically trained mage, fights the good fight as a vigilante in city overrun by crime! Kerra Neil, a young woman and skilled hunter stalking the shadows for murderers and magic-using blights upon humanity! And the enigmatic Charles Faust, whose cool and calm demeanor belie a centuries old heart of darkness and unnatural lust for power!

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Flames

Debut author brings a devilish edge to the English Civil War

Posted on January 21, 2012 by

Figure the English Civil War is all about dashing Cavaliers and dour Roundheads? Think again…

Solaris is proud to announce it has acquired Gideon’s Angel by Clifford Beal, due for publication in 2013, which takes the seemingly familiar history of the mid 17th Century but introduces an infernal plot that makes this much more than just a history lesson!

Described as The Day of the Jackal meets The Devil Rides Out, this swashbuckling historical fantasy set in the aftermath of the terrible English Civil War sees science and alchemy as strange bedfellows with witchcraft and magic.

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Megan

BRP: Merrie England RPG Review

Posted on January 16, 2012 by

This is the England that ought to have been, rather than the history of the one in which I sit writing this review. This is the mediaeval England of legend, with Robin Hood scampering around Sherwood Forest, a Good King Richard off fighting the Infidel whilst Bad King John does his best to steal a kingdom, never mind everyone’s hard-earned gold… this is an England in which excitement and adventure are to be found, but where drains don’t smell and nobody worries about the Black Death!

The Introduction outlines this setting, the mediaeval England of stories, rooted firmly in the history of the 12th and 13th centuries but with an eye to the rise of the ideals of chivalry, to the world of ballad and folk-song, the sort of mediaeval England that you’d like to visit. Designed to be used in conjunction with Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying (BRP) ruleset, there’s a handy list of what rules from that work will be of particular use when running this setting. Whilst there’s a whole section about running adventures and campaigns at the end of this product, it’s noted that Scenario Hooks are scattered throughout, to spawn ideas and help Game Masters come up with their own material, or players to develop their characters more fully.

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Flames

Shroud of the Ancients RPG Kickstarter

Posted on January 2, 2012 by

The Shroud of the Ancients D5 Role Playing Game is Dark Tavern Press first game. Created by Randy Miller and Roderick Edwards, it is the product more than 50 years of combined RPG tabletop gaming and over 15 years of combined adventure writing and game design. Dark Tavern’s goal is to continually create the best quality RPGs and gaming accessories possible. It is our aspiration to entice tabletop top gamers looking for an alternative to the status quo with this project and to help us raise enough money to bring the Shroud of the Ancients™ D5 Role Playing Game to tabletop enthusiasts everywhere.

Our Kickstarter goal is set at only $5,000 and this covers mostly artwork, design, layout, editing and production costs for the Adventurer’s Guide to Terrath.

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Flames

Read THE SUGARPLUM FAVOR (A Christmas Story) from Tad Williams!

Posted on December 24, 2011 by

Tad Williams’ new short story collection, A Stark And Wormy Knight, is available now, worldwide, as an ebook, $4.99 (or equivalent) for one month. The following story is published on FlamesRising.com with express permission of the author. Happy Holidays!

THE SUGARPLUM FAVOR (A Christmas Story)

Danny Mendoza counted his change three times in while the teacher talked about what they were all supposed to bring for the class winter holiday party tomorrow. It was really a Christmas party, at least in Danny’s class, because that’s what all the kids’ families’ celebrated.

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Hunting the Moon Tribe Review

Posted on November 17, 2011 by

David Agranoff’s Hunting the Moon Tribe is an interesting and well-thought out coming of age story that spans the globe. It starts us out in China with a soon-to-be-former Red Guard, Yuen, and his wife, Elsa, at the time of the birth of their son. Without much warning, they are attacked and this sets up the story of a centuries-old war that will eventually lead to California and the life of a young man that is about to awaken to his destiny.

Vampires of a different sort, martial arts, dreams and difficult choices take center stage. Enrich is a bullied American high school student. He decides to learn martial arts to combat the daily attacks, but what he doesn’t know is that he is training for the biggest battle of his life.

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Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge Review

Posted on November 8, 2011 by

“A stunning full-color celebration of the eye-catchingly original artwork creator Roman Dirge, the first anthology of his work available anywhere. This lavish hardback includes an introduction and background commentary information on the imagery by Dirge himself, plus previously unpublished artwork, covers and strips, and paintings. The book also includes fold-out pages, displaying Dirge’s work in its full glory, and some brand-new pieces created just for this book!”

I have never reviewed an art book before, so I guess it is only fitting that I start with an artist whose work I love. Now being an art book please note that this book contains tons of GORE-Geous pictures.

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Monica Valentinelli

Night Veil Review

Posted on September 13, 2011 by

NIGHT VEIL is the second book in the Indigo Court series by NYT best-selling author Yasmine Galenorn. It follows the story of Cicely Waters who found herself inexplicably drawn to Grieve, a Fae Prince, then torn from his side. This story is the second in the series and may not be as powerful if you haven’t read the first book, so please keep that in mind when you’re reading this review and you’re worried about spoilers. My review of NIGHT MYST was published during our Vampire Week, and we do have a NIGHT VEIL excerpt you can read at your leisure.

One of the reasons why I like this series, is because Galenorn presents the darker side of magic, vampires, Fae and other creatures. This is not the happy-go-lucky world where everyone winds up together.

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Drop Dead Dangerous Comic Review

Posted on September 8, 2011 by

“They thought it was over. They were wrong. Back on the hunt for the maniacal figure known as The Raven, private detective Jack Smith must face a nightmare from his past— but not all is as it seems. A new evil comes to town as he and his dumbstruck partner Alice, a young woman with secrets of her own, get tangled in a web of deception without realizing that the most dangerous truths are the ones they keep from each other. Meanwhile, The Raven paints the town red as the clock starts ticking for a final showdown in this debut issue of DROP DEAD DEAD DANGEROUS, a murder mystery manga by Chad Cabrera and Mike Banting set in the weird, weird west. Who will be left standing… and who will be left in pieces?”

Fans of the artwork found in Hellsing and Priest gather around because this book is right up your alley. This book had its moments where I didn’t quite see what was going on in the action scenes, but there might have been only 2 max. This book is drop dead GORE-Geous plain and simple.

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Billzilla

City of the Damned: New Orleans Review

Posted on September 1, 2011 by

Setting books are a tough sell in most role playing games. For one thing, if the game master opts to set the adventures of the characters in a different city then those offered – or the players’ characters find themselves drawn in another direction entirely – setting books become less than completely useful. Also, since they will only sell – for the most part – to game masters, more than three-quarters of the potential audience is already uninterested in purchasing it.

Such is the problem with city guides for the World of Darkness; despite aiming for fascinating cities with a great many points of interest besides vampires, werewolves and the like, they just haven’t sold well enough to justify others in the line. However, they are well worth a GM’s time and cash outlay to obtain; besides a wealth of interesting NPCs that might show up in one’s own game, the city books are filled with fantastic plot hooks and useful information that is easily adapted to any chronicler’s setting.

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Megan

The Last Four Things Review

Posted on August 30, 2011 by

This is poetry! Even when it is prose… I mean, that the writing flows smoothly, honed turns of phrase that draw you in and create pictures in your mind.

The plot continues to follow, in the main, the exploits of Thomas Cale, who is now brought to prominence as the recognised – at least by some – embodiment of God’s own anger, his innate talent for violence being viewed as divinely inspired, and thus admired by an organisation as partial to using force to impose what they see as the will of God on others. Given privileges surprising to one of such young age and lack of experience, he is given battlefield command of Redeemer forces where his unorthodox tactics and personal leadership bring results… mirrored by turbulance in the higher echelons of the church hierarchy as plotters seek power and even the Pope’s throne.

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Flames

Dave Gross on Dark Fantasy in Kung Fu Movies

Posted on August 22, 2011 by

Dave Gross, author of Pathfinder and Forgotten Realms fiction, who Alana recently interviewed here at Flames Rising stopped by to tell us a little about how his favorite kung fu movies inspired his writing.

For inspiration in writing Master of Devils, the latest Pathfinder Tales novel, I steeped myself in dozens of kung fu movies. Some were straight-on martial arts stories from the heyday of the Shaw Brothers, while others were more recent blends of wuxia action with art-house photography. Among my favorites are the fantasy films of the 80s and 90s, many of which include a strong element of supernatural horror.

The first thing you need to know about kung fu movies is that any one of them can seem like five or six different movies crammed into one. Chinese screenwriters seldom stick to a single genre, so you’ll find elements of horror, romance, satire, political commentary, and even slapstick humor in what appears by the DVD cover to be a straight-up action film. Thus, when you’re looking for a “horror kung fu movie,” you shouldn’t expect a simple fright fest–although some of them have some great scary moments.

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Billzilla

Chilling Tales Anthology Review

Posted on August 12, 2011 by

Horror is a subjective state; what one finds horrifying another might find merely gruesome or grotesque. It is within this ambiguity I find myself regarding Chilling Tales: Evil DId I Dwell; Lewd Did I Live. There was horror within to be sure; also within was loneliness, isolation, despair, and a lot of really good writing.

Standout stories for me in this collection included “Tom Chesnutt’s Midnight Blues” by Robert J. Wiersema and “404” by Barbara Roden. Both are among the first three tales and get the anthology off to a great start. “Tom Chesnutt’s” is about a philandering folk singer who inadvertently causes his wife’s death. She haunts him now, not actively rattling chains and moaning but rather showing up at his gigs – a phantom only he can see – as a reminder of his misdeeds. “404” is a distressingly familiar tale about office workers who discover their comrades simply disappear one day. As their numbers dwindle and their isolation increases, they each find themselves coming under the watchful eye of their supervisor.

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Flames

Operation Backpack August 2011 Fundraiser

Posted on August 2, 2011 by

August usually means back to school shopping for most Americans. But each year, thousands of children living in homeless shelters and foster care return to school without even the most basic of necessities. Operation Backpack, a program operated by Volunteers of America, helps provided these needed supplies to our country’s most vulnerable students and gives them a chance to continue their education.

In an effort to support this wonderful project, Bards and Sages has partnered with other independent authors and publishers to create a special charity ebook bundle. 100% of our profits from this bundle will be donated to Volunteers of America to support Operation Backpack.?

Operation Backpack August 2011 Fundraiser is available at DriveThruFantasy.com.

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Monica Valentinelli

The Magician King Review

Posted on August 2, 2011 by

The Magician King is a novel penned by author Lev Grossman that follows after the events of The Magicians. Before I go any further, I want to point out two things: first, you may want to read my The Magicians review or our preview of The Magicians to help you recall the plot. Second? If you haven’t read the first book, I’m not certain you’ll enjoy this one as much, for reasons which I’ll get into shortly.

As I mentioned above, The Magician King takes place after the events of The Magicians. Because of that, fair warning: I feel there is no possible way I can write this review without spoiling something for someone… So be kind to the reviewer. Please.

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Flames

Bradley P. Beaulieu on The Winds of Khalakovo Debut

Posted on August 1, 2011 by

Thanks to Monica for letting me stop by Flames Rising. It’s always great to meet new people through different sites as I’m spreading the word about my debut novel. The Winds of Khalakovo came out this past April, and I thought it would be interesting to talk a little bit about the arc of emotions I’ve had along the way.

Any writer with a debut novel will tell you how exciting it is. (If they aren’t excited, they’re either lying or they’ve done something they’re not proud of.) It was wonderful to have The Winds of Khalakovo come out, and it was terribly gratifying seeing the kind of welcome it received. One of the most interesting things for me was how fun it was working with reviewers, not on the reviews themselves, of course, but on guest posts and interviews. It’s so nice to share beyond the bounds of the book. There are so many stories to tell.

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alanajoli

The Snow Queen’s Shadow Fiction Review

Posted on July 19, 2011 by

How do I start a review of the final book in a series that I love, which had me sobbing for about three chapters of the conclusion? As it turns out, by avoiding the issue:

I feel sorry for Prince Armand.

There, I said it. Three kick-butt heroines of the whole series and this review starts off with some compassion for the guy who is always first in line to get cursed, kidnapped, and just generally gets the short end of the deal. In a series about princesses who don’t need to be rescued, someone else has to be — and once again, nice-guy prince Armand (who seems reasonably capable) suffers some of the very first consequences to evil becoming a threat in the kingdom of Lorindar.

This time, the threat starts close to home, with Snow White, who has been set up for this kind of fall from the beginning of the series, overstretches her magical abilities and ends up releasing a demon from her mother’s magic mirror. Worse, the demon corrupts Snow herself, meaning that our three heroines are no longer on the same team.

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