The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin, Elio M. García & Linda Antonsson

This is a companion volume to A Song of Ice & Fire, basis for the Game of Thrones TV series. It serves as a history and geography text for the world and is written from the viewpoint of a maester in the Citadel. Interestingly, it leaves a lot of ambiguity, which feels realistic because most […]

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms – George R.R. Martin

This short story collection is set in Westeros one hundred years prior to the events of Game of Thrones. The protagonists of the three stories are a hedge knight called Duncan the Tall, or more commonly just Dunk, and his squire, a boy named Egg. Egg is actually Aegon Targaryen, a royal prince who later (and beyond the […]

New Moon (Luna I) – Ian McDonald

Over several decades, the Moon has developed from harsh frontier to thriving colony. The “Five Dragons”, five industrial dynasties, control the Moon under the aegis of the Lunar Development Corporation. There is no criminal law or civil law, only contract law, and everything is negotiable, including air, water, life and death. It is techno-anarchy or the furthest […]

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen – Lois McMaster Bujold

Three years after the death of Aral Vorkosigan at the end of Cryoburn, Cordelia is still serving as vicereine of Barrayar’s Sergyar colony. Feeling a desire to have more children, she starts the gestation of embryo’s combining previously frozen ova and sperm from her and Aral. She also makes an unexpected offer to Aral’s former […]

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire V) – George R. R. Martin

The narrative in A Dance with Dragons runs in parallel with the one in A Feast for Crows, this time mainly following Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion and Ser Barristan Selmy. Several other semi-major characters also feature as viewpoints, including Quentyn Martell and Theon/Reek. Daenerys must deal both with her dragons, and with the untenable situation in Mereen. […]

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire IV) – George R.R. Martin

The War of the Five Kings is over. The Lannisters appear to have won, with only the mop-up remaining. However, the Seven Kingdoms are far from stable, with enemies both near and far conspiring to grab what power they can. If nothing else, winter is coming, and the war has meant little food has been […]

Kris Longknife’s Bloodhound (Kris Longknife X½) – Mike Shepherd

This  “companion novella” to the Kris Longknife saga is set at the same time as Furious and follows the efforts of Special Agent Foile to assist Kris Longknife in her efforts to stop her grandfather’s trade flotilla. Note: Shepherd has previously written about our heroine’s great-grandfather Raymond under his real name, Mike Moscoe. Fine reading assuming have read […]

Kris Longknife – Furious (Kris Longknife X) – Mike Shepherd

Following the events in Daring and Welcome Home/Go Away, Kris Longknife has been sent to metaphorical Siberia, nominally commanding a squadron of fast attack boats but in reality having to stay out of the way. She has fallen off the wagon and spends her nights consuming large quantities of whiskey. The details of the Voyage of Exploration […]

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance – Lois McMaster Bujold

In the latest book set in the Vorkosiverse, Miles is conspicuously absent barring an amusing cameo. The protagonist is instead Miles’s cousin and close friend Ivan Vorpatril, a favorite secondary character in many of the earlier books. Ivan is mostly known for his somewhat overbearing mother, social secretary to the Emperor, his high birth but […]

Welcome Home/Go Away (Kris Longknife IX½) – Mike Shepherd

This “companion novella” takes place between Kris Longknife – Daring and the upcoming Kris Longknife – Furious. It is not a fantastic piece but serves as a good way to bring readers up to date. The story focuses on General “Trouble” Tordon, one of Kris’s great-grandfathers, and his involvement in the events on her homecoming […]

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire III) – George R. R. Martin

The third book in A Song of Ice and Fire flows seamlessly from A Clash of Kings. The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros are in chaos due to the “War of Five Kings”. While a lot of the “issues” are resolved, new and bigger issues crop up. And an even greater threat is looming. This has […]

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire II) – George R. R. Martin

The sequel to A Game of Thrones picks up right where the previous book left off. Westeros has been plunged into civil war, with five kings clashing for the Iron Throne and for the North. Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen continues her quest to find supporters in her bid to return her dynasty to the Iron Throne. […]

Kris Longknife – Daring (Kris Longknife IX) – Mike Shepherd

United Sentients, led by Wardhaven, takes action to find the cause for the Iteeche ships that are disappearing, a topic introduced in Undaunted. Kris, as commander of a patrol squadron, is ordered to lead an exploration into very deep space. Various other states, prominently including the Greenfeld Empire, decide they need to go along. Kris […]

Kris Longknife – Training Daze (Kris Longknife III½) – Mike Shepherd

This novella fills in some of the events following Kris Longknife – Defiant. Kris and her cohorts are tasked to set up a training command for foreign navies buying Wardhaven’s fast attack boats. It’s a cute little piece with plenty of banter between the now familiar main characters, in particular Kris and Jack. How the […]

Kris Longknife – Undaunted (Kris Longknife VII) – Mike Shepherd

The seventh book in the Kris Longknife series has Kris still in charge of the exploratory ship Wasp. She blunders into an encounter with an Iteechee vessel. The Iteechee are a race with which humanity had a war 80 years previously. They are so mysterious that the causes of the war are still essentially unknown. […]

Kris Longknife – Intrepid (Kris Longknife VI) – Mike Shepherd

In Intrepid, Kris finally has her own ship command. She is on a mission to explore the outer rim and show the flag of Wardhaven/United Sentients. She discovers a plot against her arch enemies, the Peterwalds, and also a plundering expedition launched on an agrarian colony. Lots of ground pounding action anchors this book, with […]

Kris Longknife – Audacious (Kris Longknife V) – Mike Shepherd

In Audacious, Kris is sent to Eden, an old and conservative colony world where her native and cosmopolitan Wardhaven is thought of as very much a backwater. The plot seems absent at the start, apart from the by now de rigeur repeated attempts on Kris’ life. As usual, the Peterwalds are trying to take over. […]

Kris Longknife – Resolute (Kris Longknife IV) – Mike Shepherd

In Resolute, Kris is put in charge of an out of the way naval district assignment on the frontier. In a sub-plot, she finds ancient alien ruins. But the real action is a “fleet visit” from the Greenfeld navy commanded by her old nemesis Hank Smythe Peterwald. In short, the Greenfeld fleet is trying to […]

Kris Longknife – Defiant (Kris Longknife III) – Mike Shepherd

In Defiant, Kris must face an imminent threat to her planet. Betrayed by incompetent politicians, she skirts the law to organize the archetypal rag-tag flotilla in defense of Wardhaven as a massive force of hostile warships approaches. Defiant is a further improvement over the first two books. From the viewpoint of Defiant the first two […]

Kris Longknife – Deserter (Kris Longknife II) – Mike Shepherd

A marked improvement over Mutineer, Deserter has Kris Longknife run to the rescue of her best friend Tom. The story is a bit hazy, with an “evil dude” trying to kill Kris. Mayhem ensues. As a little side note, the title is only vaguely descriptive. I guess they had to come up with something in […]