Title: PERDITION BLEEDS
Series: KNIGHTSHADE #1
Author: JOHN GROVER
Publication Date: OCTOBER 19, 2014
ABOUT THE BOOK
WHAT WAS ONCE BELOW IS NOW ABOVE
King Gravynmere of Vanosia has sent some of his best soldiers to investigate strange stories in the nearby border town of Faxon. The men will soon learn there is more truth than fancy to these stories, for something walks in the fields, something with cloven hooves and fire dripping from its hands.
The king rallies his son, Prince Quinn, his entire army and all of the Kingdom of Vanosia to confront the very forces of darkness in an epic tale of adventure, magic and mystery as the veil between their world and Perdition grows thin.
Join the Princes as he battles for his land, his people and his beloved on a mission that will take him to ends of the world and back, through pain and sacrifice, war and horror as what is below claws its way to above.
I have so many feelings about this book. I don’t know how to begin my review! Anyway, this is like one of the darkest Fantasy book I read. Also the plot was incredibly well-written and the flow of the story was smooth. The writing was very interesting, I don’t find anything to be so complicated or hard to understand which make reading this book to be so enjoyable, because if I don’t understand, I couldn’t enjoy it, but I’m glad things are all easy for me. The plot was great, but there are some of the things that can be a bit predictable, for example what Quinn would do in order to save his people, his family, his kingdom. I’ve seen that one coming so it wasn’t a surprise, but still I enjoy reading the story.
It’s an epic-fantasy story of a prince sacrificing himself in order to save so many lives. The journey that Prince Quinn had to go through and all the challenges he had to face was very stressful to me. I was stressed out by the whole non-stop chaos that happened in the story, it makes me anxious, nervous, scared and afraid of what will happens next. This book was epic, brilliant and excellent.
There was ton of actions in the book, from the beginning until the end, there are so many non-stop actions which is why this book is so epic. I was surprised that it has a lot of actions, the fight was truly amazing and the involvement of magic made the situation even more epic than it already is. The magic system was excellent, it wasn’t that hard to understand how it works. Prince Quinn possessed a powerful magical abilities, and his betrothed, Eloise, possessed a gift that she doesn’t fully understand yet. There was also the use of a Font, a sort of thing that can help a person travel to another place so fast, like magically fast. The magic system was tremendously amazing!
Talking about the most evil thing to ever exist. The demons in this one aren’t ghosts, but it was a very scary-looking demonic creatures. They are the villains in the story, and one of them is named Ravenous. Ravenous bring the feeling of uneasiness whenever it appears in the book, I thought it was the leader but I was wrong, the leader only have a small appearance in the story. I never read a story that has an involvement of holy water in order to defeat the villain, so this one was a first. It make sense why the humans needed the holy water to defeat the villains, since the villains are basically demons/demonic creatures. Ravenous is the only one immune to it, the whole time I told myself “How are they gonna defeat it if the holy water doesn’t work on it?”
Ravenous is a tough creature, it was so vile and so terrifying. Its purpose was to served its master, which is the master that opens the Perdition gate—a gate for these demons to escape to the human lands. For most people it can be a weak motive, but after learning the history of the Lady (the goddess that human worship) and her brother, Beelzebub (the first ruler of Perdition), I finally understood why the new leader opened the gate. The history of the Lady and Beelzebub played an important part in the story, and the author did the right thing by including their history, or else the whole thing won’t make sense, especially why the Perdition ruler wanted to open the gate in the first place. There are some scary demonic creatures like the incubus and the succubi and many others. The description of their appearances was very detailed and well-done and also there was an explanation on what they can do to the humans, which is disgustingly bad and that’s what made them scary and very intimidating.
The story has multiple POVs but it wasn’t too confusing which I find it to be okay at least. The POVs are from the important characters who plays a huge part in the story, so I’m not complaining about it. It was great to see the story being told from different characters’ views, it shows how each of them doesn’t have the same thinking sometimes, how different they handle certain situations from one another, and it just shows the characters has different but unique personalities. I much prefer a dual POVs rather than multiple or single POV, but then multiple POVs help readers to understand each characters more and without multiple POVs, readers won’t understand what the characters were thinking half the time, so multiple POVs has a lot of pros than cons.
As for the dialogues, can I just say that the dialogues flow so well and that each characters were given dialogues that fit for their characters, because this is very rare to find in most books. Just the more reason why this book is so unique and far different than most books I read. I loved the dialogues, especially the conversation between Quinn and his father, King Gravynmere, and between Quinn and Eloise. Not trying to exaggerate things, but I feel like the dialogues the main characters were given in the book are something that no mortal is worthy of using.
Aside from the great dialogues, the story also has great pacing. It wasn’t slow or too slow, but rather fast. I really liked the pacing of the story, since the story is a fast-paced story, it doesn’t made me lose interest at all because the story is straight to the point and there are no filler contents at all.
The ending was very heartbreaking, I didn’t think this book would make me cry at all. I already predicted what’s gonna happen to Quinn, what his fate will be like, but I wasn’t prepared to get crushed so hard like the ending did to me. I totally didn’t expect the way most people easily shunned him for doing what he had to do in order to keep his kingdom safe. The moment he cried, that was what break my heart the most. And hearing him scream after that because he feel so betrayed just break my heart so deep I thought I won’t be able to recover. I felt his pain at the end there, and I’m sure those who are loyal to him will help him in the continuation.
Eloise already made it clear she won’t abandon him, and then John is concerned about him and tried calling him, it was obvious these two are the main ones who will try to get Quinn back in the next book. Maybe I can add Bart in too on that, after all Bart respected Quinn and didn’t lose faith on him.
Bart was the one who recorded the events of the great war against Perdition and wrote Quinn as the hero who saved Eurone, so I think Bart is trustworthy enough to join Eloise and John in their mission on getting Quinn back. The ending really hit hard, I cried for like an hour because I was so broken and sad over Quinn’s fate. He looked so vulnerable at the end there. I knew a happy ending is impossible for this type of story, especially since it’s a first book in a series, but I still kept on hoping for a happy or nice ending at least. I’m looking forward to see the continuation of this one.
The characters in the story are so memorable, it’s easy to remember them since all of them contribute something important to the story. The main ones play a major role and we later learn why they are so important. It was great to have the amazing and unforgettable strong characters in the story. It was very rare for me to read a book that features a lot of male characters as the main characters, let alone a book that has a male protagonist in it, but I was glad that I read this book. It made me realize how different it is from the other Fantasy books with female protagonists.
Quinn is a great prince. He is the most selfless character ever, he always put the safety of his people’s first than his own which is why I really liked his character. I admired his strength and his intelligence, he’s not like many princes in other Fantasy books who are so selfish and always make bad decisions that put other people in great danger. Quinn take on a very dangerous mission that will changed his fate forever. His sacrifice was a huge game-changer. I was part happy and part sad about it. Happy that he finally had the ability to protect his people and that his journey to find the solutions to defeat the enemies didn’t go to waste, but also sad that his fate changed and whatever decision his father made about his sacrifice will crushed him.
Quinn is a nice person overall, even though his sacrifice changed his true nature, he is still him, the same Prince Quinn. He has a great and big personality. I don’t think I ever met any male characters like him before, he was just unique and different. Whatever decisions he made, it wasn’t a bad one and it was for the greater good of his kingdom and his people. Even though he suffered after that, he didn’t complain about his sacrifice or regret it at all, he felt happy about it because his people, his kingdom, his beloved are finally safe from the dangers. He’s not an all-perfect person, he does have his flaws too but he learned from it and tried to make an improvement. He’s not a stubborn guy, he listened to others’ warning and doesn’t take their words as a joke. There’s not enough words to describe my love for his character and how great he is. I’m eager to see how he will deal with his newfound powers and how he will control it in the sequel.
Eloise is Quinn’s fiancé, and she was just like Quinn, very likable, very selfless, and not stubborn. I thought she’s not important other than betrothed to Quinn. But she is actually important, even though her role isn’t as huge as Quinn’s. She has a very bright personality, and wonderful attitude. She mainly feared that she won’t be able to see Quinn again due to all the dangerous mission he was in. I understood why she acted so reckless sometimes, she just wanted to help Quinn with her hidden gift. She might not be as powerful as Quinn or the clerics or the priestesses, but still she put herself in danger just to help Quinn, even from afar. I admired her determination, and her strength. She was great and always did things with good reasons.
There are so many things I need to learn about her, there wasn’t much in this book, but I’m sure the sequel will tell me more about her. Eloise is just an amazing and a sweet young woman. The ending was hard to read, seeing her cry and hug Quinn then seeing her future being crushed right in front of her was truly saddening. I’m hoping she and Quinn will reunite, she made it clear in front of the court that she still loves him. I loved her character just as much as I loved Quinn’s. I liked that she stay true to herself and accepted Quinn’s new change with no difficulty than despise him for the decision he made.
As for the romance, it wasn’t the main focus which is fine by me because a story like this need to focus more on the plot. I loved the little amounts of romance in this book, and so does the pairing. Quinn and Eloise is already engaged since the start of the story, and I was glad that the author include the little information about how they met in the story, at least I don’t have to wonder how they first met each other. They’ve been close since they were kids and grew up to be lovers, the whole process of their relationship was beautiful. I loved the moments they shared together in the story. They were so sweet together, and a perfect match. I’m glad there are no love triangle at all, and also glad that both Quinn and Eloise are loyal to each other. I swooned at how sweet they were to each other, especially when they said “my love.” They totally have the best chemistry and strong connection. Not only that, but they were also very compatible together, and the way I see it, Quinn and Eloise are equal so that makes them the perfect future king and queen of Vanosia. What they had to go through in the story was very challenging, there are so many forces that try to break them apart, but their love for each other is stronger than any forces. Now that they discovered their newfound powers, it only makes them powerful than they were before and I’m sure both of them will use their powers to protect one another. There are so many similarities between Quinn and Eloise, and that’s why they were perfect together. I’m looking forward to see more of them in the sequel.
It was truly an epic tale that I enjoyed, and I was glad to be able to follow Quinn’s journey on saving not only his kingdom but also the world everyone is living in from the demons that plagued their lands. It was a nice story but dark, and I was surprised by how good it was because I didn’t have any expectation before I started reading this book. I’m glad it didn’t disappoint.
Title: SHADOW SCOURGE
Series: KNIGHTSHADE #2
Author: JOHN GROVER
Publication Date: JUNE 15, 2018
ABOUT THE BOOK
A SISTER’S WRATH KNOWS NO BOUNDS…
The Great War with Perdition has ended but all is not well in the continent of Eurone. Prince Quinn, half-human, half-shade, lives in exile at the hands of his father, King Harlequin. The King withers into depression, leaving the kingdom of Vanosia weakened and open to attack. It is now that the Shrouded Woman seeks vengeance for the death of her sister at the hands of Prince Quinn. She will stop at nothing to see the extermination of the royal family and all of Vanosia.
In this sequel to Knightshade: Perdition Bleeds, the forces of darkness and light will once again collide in an action-packed, fantasy tale of family secrets, dark history, forgiveness and redemption. Prince Quinn is the only way to stop the dark shadow magic of the Shrouded Woman and the scourge she has unleashed upon the world. He must learn that to finally bring peace to the kingdom he will need to not only face the truth of the Shrouded Woman’s identity, but the truth about his own family as well.
It was so terrifying but so satisfying at the same time. The story started off with Quinn staying at Dogan Isle, far away from his home and still trying to learn how to control his inner demon. The story explores more of Quinn’s battle with his inner demon, and the origin story of the Shrouded Woman. There is more depth to this story which makes this an even better upgrade from the first one. I loved the first one, but this one have a lot more to tell.
It was a very well-plotted story, and there was some mind-blowing plot twists that I didn’t see coming. The writing was amazing as usual, and that means the story isn’t hard or complicated to understand. I really liked the concept of shadow magic in this one. Quinn using his power every time he transformed into his shadow-self, and then the Shrouded Woman in all her shadow magic glory terrorizing Quinn’s kingdom, these two are so powerful in their own ways. The whole shadow magic battle was beautiful and haunting, it automatically made me think no one would survive it.
I loved the magic battle in this one, it was very intense from the start to the end. The non-stop actions in this book has the same level of intensity as the one in the first book, so I really liked it and seeing all the main characters in action was truly satisfying. The pacing still remain consistent, it was fast and steady, everything just straight to the point, except for the Queen of Medfyre’s part. I don’t think it was necessary to include her part in the story, the whole traitor thing felt like a filler to me but it was nice to finally meet her.
I liked how the author split the teams into three; Quinn and some of his soldiers went to find answers on how to defeat the Shrouded Woman, John and his team recruiting a group of soldiers who are willing to help them defeat the Shrouded Woman and her Suspellian army, and Henry along with his team seek help from the Queen of Medfyre. With the team split into three, there are multiple POVs where I can see Quinn’s, John’s, and Henry’s progress in trying to save Vanosia. Also, it help readers enjoy the adventure of these three heroes. Multiple POVs help readers learn more about the characters, introducing readers to new characters, and let the readers see and hear the thoughts of each characters.
I really loved seeing the hard works that Quinn, John, and Henry put into saving their kingdom. Henry is a new character, and he was so likable and has a great leadership skills. John still remain consistent, he was still loyal to Quinn and did everything he can to get Quinn back. Bart finally made an appearance—even though it was a small one—I finally get to meet his character. In the first book, he has been journaling and recording his adventures joining Quinn to other places, so it was nice to meet him and get to know a little bit about his character. Also, Ilandra is a new addition, and she has always been so helpful but seeing how easily the Shrouded Woman weakened her makes it hard for me to take her character seriously. I don’t expect Ilandra to be so powerful, but since she is a high priestess with an amazing magical abilities, I was hoping she stood a chance against the Shrouded Woman longer than what it was displayed in the story.
The Shrouded Woman whom we met for a little bit in the first book is back and she get a major appearance in this book. She wasn’t so terrifying in the first book, but in this one, she was so terrifying because of her full wrath that she unleashed on Vanosia. She was a very formidable villain. I liked that she wasn’t written as someone who can easily forgive those who hurt her and wronged her. Her deep hatred for Quinn and his family motivated her to destroy Quinn. Even after Quinn tried to make amends with her, she doesn’t accept it and still continue her attacks. She was a very cold villain, so different than any other villains.
She is like Ravenous, but an upgrade version. There was a big information about who she really is being revealed later on in the story, and how she become evil. Her origin story was horrifyingly sad, but it does help me know her a bit more. She was a very well-written villain with a strong motive, just perfect for the story. Aside from that, Emperor Tarmus also made an appearance. He was the ruler of Suspellia and has been working with the Shrouded Woman. He was just a greedy and power-hungry man. He has a very weak motive and I truly didn’t see the importance of his character at all. I’m glad that he doesn’t appeared too much in the story.
Quinn is still the same. Despite being half-shade and half-human, he doesn’t lose himself or turn fully evil. The story explores more of the inner conflict he had with his own self. He might be able to control his shade self in this one, but I’m afraid to see what will happen to him in the next book. I wasn’t ready to see the shade side of him takes full control of his mind. He still had a hard time battling his inner demon, but he was able to control it even for a little while. I’m hoping there is a cure for him and he can be back to his human self again. I was anxious about him the whole time, I was worried he might be losing control, but glad for his pure and strong heart, because that’s what helped him defeat the shade in him. Quinn has grown quite powerful here, and his development in this book was amazing. His epic entrance when he came back was truly magnificent. He was still a great man, very humble, very selfless, and he never give up when it comes to helping save his kingdom and his people. No wonder he is the best hero and the best protagonist of the Knightshade series.
Eloise…the most sweetest character and is a fierce heroine, I loved her character. She has been so helpful too, and she had a major role in this book. I truly appreciate what she did in order to help Quinn and everyone who defended Vanosia from the enemies. There wasn’t a clear information or explanation about her magical power and from where it came from. It was hinted by Ilandra that Eloise’s power is far different from the Shrouded Woman’s power, and it was one that she never seen before. So that alone made me curious about her power and its origin. She was surprisingly so powerful than any characters in the story, and her heroic act at the end there caught me off guard. I can’t wait to see more of Eloise exploring her power and learning about its origin. Eloise is a fierce young woman, she was so tough despite the torture she had to go through, she never lose hope or give up so easily, she has a strong mind and a pure heart. I was happy that she get the development she deserved, and seeing her used her intelligence just show how smart she can be. I can’t wait to see more of her in the next installment and what she can do with her abilities. I’m hoping her power won’t make her evil.
As usual, the romance was a side focus but it was still playing an important part. Quinn and Eloise’s reunion scene melt my heart, I was happily crying seeing the two of them together again. I was glad that Quinn and Eloise stay loyal to each other, and that there is no third person in the picture. These two deserve to rule Vanosia together. They were so compatible and so strong together, and both proved to have all the skills of a leader. There are some things they need to work out on, I want to see Eloise help Quinn fighting his inner demon because he really need it. All the forces that try to separate them failed to do so, and I’m glad that it failed, I don’t think I can take another heartbreak of seeing them far apart from one another. Their romance was sweet and so beautiful. I loved the connection they shared, and I loved their strong chemistry. I need to see more of this strong couple ruling their kingdom and being the greatest leaders they were born to be.
The whole story was so satisfyingly beautiful, and it was very brilliant. The plot, the storyline, the characters, the romance, the whole thing was very enjoyable. I didn’t expect it to remain consistently good, but most importantly I was happy it turns out to be so much better. The little glimpse of the new enemy already stressed me out, I’m nervous to see what will happen to everyone next, but also looking forward to see which direction the author will go for for the next book.
John Grover is a fiction author specializing in Horror, Fantasy and Sci-Fi residing in Massachusetts. John grew up watching creature double feature with his brother on Saturday afternoons. This fueled his love of monsters, ghosts and the supernatural. He never missed an episode. In his spare time he loves to cook, garden, go to the theater to watch horror movies with his friends, read, talk about food, bake amazing desserts, play with his dog Buffy (yes named after the character in the TV show) and draw-badly.
Some of his favorite TV shows and influences are The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Darkside, Space 1999, Battlestar Galactica, X-Files, Night Gallery, Monsters, Star Trek, and much more.
He completed a creative writing course at Boston’s Fisher College and is a member of the New England Horror Writers, a chapter of the Horror Writers Association.
Some of his more recent credits include Best New Zombie Tales Vol 1 by Books of the Dead Press, The Book of Cannibals by Living Dead Press, The Vermin Anthology, The Northern Haunts Anthology by Shroud Publishing, The Zombology Series by Library of the Living Dead Press, Morpheus Tales, Wrong World, The Willows, Alien Skin Magazine, Aurora Wolf and more.
He is the author of several collections, including the recently released Terror in Small Doses for Amazon Kindle as well as various chapbooks, anthologies, and more.