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A Bitter Draft

Speculative Fiction

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The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3)
Scott Lynch
The Crimson Shield - Nathan Hawke 4.5. Wow. Hell of an ending. Definitely one of the better books I've read this year.Several months back I was looking through the catalogue for Gollancz and one book in particular caught my eye, and it was Nathan Hawke’s The Crimson Shield. Notice anything different about the cover when compared to others? The title and author aren’t there – they’re on the binding. And with a cover that beautiful, it’s both a bold strategy and a no-brainer. Hawke, the pseudonym of Stephen Deas, author of The Memory of Flames, Thief-Taker’s Apprentice, and Silver Kings series, claims inspiration from the legendary David Gemmell in writing the Gallow trilogy. The inspiration is clearly visible, as it feels much look a story Gemmell would write – but it’s got its own identity and something that I can’t quite point out that, while it does feel like a Gemmell story, gives it its own distinct feel as well.The book’s inside cover is a beautifully detailed map (it’s red in the book), allowing the tracking of Gallow’s progress with ease as well as look for historical events such as Selleuk’s Bridge that are mentioned often enough to attract curiosity. As I read the story, I got a strong feeling that Hawke created this world with a great deal of backstory in mind.Read the rest on my blog: http://abitterdraft.com/2013/08/the-crimson-shield-by-nathan-hawke.html#more-158