Meeting of the Mas – Joseph R. Lallo

Just as i was about to start ‘The Battle of Verrel’ Joseph released this month’s Patreon short story.   So i thought i may as have this as a little inbetweeny before diving back into the universe of Deacon.

I was really quite excited about getting to read a book with all 4 instances of Ma having a meeting as i can’t get enough of Ma, the more the merrier.

My only complaint… I wanted sooo much more of all the Mas.   I really do think they deserve their very own full length novel or even a dedicated trilogy.

But it’s a good little short and a good little inbetweeny while we await the next Big Sigma novel.

So how do you get it?

It’s currently only available to Joseph’s Patreon supporters.   Sign up today and get some book’s, support our favourite independent writer and keep on keeping it real against the big corporate nasty publishing houses who want to control everything we read.   Independent writers are well worth supporting, me thinks.

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The Great Convergence – Joseph R. Lallo

The sixth book in ‘The Book of Deacon’ series follows the travels of The Chosen and their getting to know each other a bit better.

Joseph has created a set of heroes, The Chosen, for this story that are everything but a cohesive unit working towards a singular goal, and, at times, this can become rather frustrating and annoying.   I just wanted them to sort their shit out and get on with it, but they just keep pulling in opposite directions with their own agendas being more important than the goal the gods set for them.   And the end result of my frustration and annoyance is i end up liking and admiring The Generals more than i do The Chosen.

So far this has been the strangest book of the series.   Whereas ‘The Book of Deacon’ was exploring how magic works within this series, this book is mostly spent with The Chosen learning to fight, both individually and together.   And i’m not a big fan of lots of fighting, so i can’t say it all worked for me.

But, lots of buts, i suppose this was inevitable.   You take a bunch of people, some who don’t want to be heroes and some who do, and throw them together for a goal that some don’t care about and some do, and you’re going to have chaos for a while.   And this is what this book is really for: bringing together these conflicts, internal and external, of our heroes and attempting to get them resolved before the big day ahead.   Will they all be resolved?   Will all our heroes survive?   You’ll just have to read it and find out.

One more thing about this book.   The war between the Northern Alliance and Tressor has been going on for well over 100 years, continuously, and i kept on feeling that this book had a lot to say about war and the reasons we fight it…

“Peace is preferable to war.   If defeat is the price, I am now willing to pay it,” the king stated solemnly.

“You claim to care for your people, yet you would sacrifice their freedom with victory so nearly at hand,” Bagu scolded.

“Their freedom was not mine to sacrifice, nor was it theirs.   Their forefathers and mine gave it to the war long ago, and the war has been given to you,” said the king.

“Remember this, Your Majesty.   Your continued power is an illusion for the benefit of your people.   The only true power lies in the hand that wields the sword,” warned the general.

With that he returned to his lair.   The defeated king sat in silence.

Food for thought there.

Also available in ‘The Book of Deacon Anthology’.

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The Book of Deacon – Joseph R. Lallo

Although this is the fifth book in ‘The Book of Deacon’ series, this is where the story truly begins.

In this book we follow the journey of a young woman, Myranda, as she gets all mixed up in the game between The Chosen and the D’Karon: and it’s quite a journey.

It’s also a bit of an info dump, in that this is where we learn, through Myranda’s journey, how magic works in this world.   But it’s not a tedious info dump, the info is blended seamlessly into the story and everything just flows along at a really good pace and you never get any down time.

And we also end up back at Entwell during this story and discover what became of our sweet little fairy Ayna, and also get to know a few more of the characters there: which is always good.   There’s even a cute little baby dragon, and we all like dragons, especially cute little baby ones.   Joseph always throws a cute little beasty thing into his stories and they do make for a lot of fun.

Final thoughts… This is my second reading of ‘The Book of Deacon Anthology’ and it’s actually better than i remember it.   It really is one of the best fantasy series out there IMHO.   If you like fantasy, or are fantasy curious, then this series is a great one to read.

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The Rules of the Game – Joseph Lallo

Currently the fourth story in ‘The Book of Deacon’ series.

When i first read ‘The Book of Deacon’ several years ago, this short story wasn’t available and the difference is very noticeable when you go straight into ‘The Book of Deacon’ from this short: it’s a much better beginning.   So, IMHO, a must read for anyone before starting ‘The Book of Deacon’.

As with ‘The Rise of the Red Shadow’ this story also tells us of one of the ‘Chosen’ prior to the events in the main story.   It also does dragons really well, and any book that does dragons really well is a great book.   We liked this one very much.

There are two ways i know to get a copy, one is to sign up to Joseph’s newsletter and you’ll get it for free, the other is by buying the ‘Lone Wolf Anthology’.

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Entwell Origins: Ayna – Joseph R. Lallo

The 3rd book in ‘The Book of Deacon’ series is a little novella about a fairy named Ayna.

It covers a few aspects of Entwell that aren’t dealt with in the main story: like how fairies are captured and used as compasses to guide people through ‘The Cave of the Beast’.   Mostly, it does this through a young fairy named Ayna who has different ideas on what a fairy should aspire to once they reach Entwell.

I read the copy in ‘The Book of Deacon Anthology’ and while it’s a nice little story i felt this had a few too many typos which become detracting at times.   Maybe someone needs to go back and correct all these little annoying errors and put out an update.   But, for now, it’s still worth a read to add a bit more to ones knowledge of Entwell and its inhabitants.

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Seeking the Shadow – Joseph R. Lallo

The second book in ‘The Book of Deacon’ series.

This little short follows on directly after ‘The Rise of the Red Shadow’.   Someone is hunting Lain — again — and is closing in rapidly.

A really good little short.   Not really necessary to enjoy the main series, but absolutely essential if you enjoy the main series.

Joseph’s Page

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The Rise of the Red Shadow – Joseph R. Lallo

At the time of writing this is the very first book in ‘The Book of Deacon’ series, and what a book.

Essentially, it’s just an introduction to one of the series’ main characters, Lain, aka, The Red Shadow.

Lain is a kind of human/fox hybrid creature known as a Malthrope: which is where all his problems begin.   Malthropes are feared, hated, despised, distrusted and hunted to near extinction by almost everyone, and it’s only by pure chance that Lain is not killed when he is captured as a kit after his mother is killed.   But it’s a chance with a slight problem: he’s being kept alive as a slave until he’s big enough for his tail to reach to the required length for his owner to claim the bounty on it.   And if that’s not enough, as a slave he is forced to work with the other slaves who all hate, distrust and despise him and are more than eager to let him know — apart from one old blind slave who seems to have different ideas about him.

Although this is only an introduction to Lain, it’s over 400 pages long and is a complete story in its own right; so if all you want is a taster for the rest of the series, it’s a great book to taste.

Action packed, lots of other great characters coming in and out of the story, twists and turns, engrossing, enjoyable.   Lain is a character you really want to root for.

This book can also be found in ‘The Book of Deacon Anthology’.

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Indra Station – Joseph R. Lallo

Another long awaited book in the ‘Big Sigma’ series has been read and finished.   I say ‘long awaited’ like it’s been years since i read book 4 when it’s only been a few months, but a few months feels like a few years because i love this series so much.

Did it match the expectations?   Now that’s the question with this book.

From the very beginning of Big Sigma the whole series has been a whole lot of fun, and i’ve always felt that Joseph was having a lot of fun writing it, and that’s what i’ve come to expect.   But this book is different.   It’s still a good, enjoyable and engaging read, but it’s just not the fun filled ‘Big Sigma’ that we’re used to, and i think it’s for a good reason.   Sometimes in a big story like this there has to come a moment or two of important decisions for one of our favourite likeable/loveable characters where things that have been simmering away for too long are now getting overcooked and need eating.   So Lex books the best, most expensive and exclusive restaurant on Operlo for dinner with Michella and the chaos and shenanigans begin: pushing the boundaries of what’s believable and what’s ridiculous but never quite crossing them, while at the same time giving us really wonderful characters to enjoy that are so good you kind of widen those boundaries just because.   And that’s what makes this such a great series of books: a writer that is not only willing to push your boundaries to make such exciting and enjoyable stories but is also able to give you such great characters that you’re willing to widen your boundaries as well.

And that ending!   Joseph got called a few choice words last night when i finished this book.   As Nick Patel would say… ‘Not many writers have the ‘fortitude’ to end a book like that.’

And that brings me back full circle.   It’s the ending that makes sense of this book, what it’s all been buiding up to and why it doesn’t have that usual Big Sigma vibe to it.

And it certainly leaves one wondering just where this story is going to go from here.   I, for one, can’t wait to find out and i’m certainly left looking forward eagerly to book 6?   Ooooh yeah!

And as soon as i finished this i engaged the ‘Infinite Improbability Drive’ in ‘The Pile’ and it chose ‘The Crescents’, which means that i now have to read the whole of ‘The Book of Deacon series’.   You see, even the ‘Infinite Improbability Drive’ really likes Joseph’s books — can’t get a better recommendation than that.

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Bella’s Journey – Joseph R. Lallo

Currently only available to Joseph’s Patreon supporters.   Sign up today and get some book’s, support our favourite independent writer and keep on keeping it real against the big corporate nasty publishing houses who want to control everything we read.   Independent writers are well worth supporting, me thinks.

Joseph’s Page

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Quest: An Anthology – Various

Sadly no longer available, which i think is a very big sad thing, because…

…this is the book that got me started on my Joseph R. Lallo fanboy cult membership path.   I admit that i only ever read that first story and was so captivated by it that i just jumped straight onto the rest of the Deacon books at the time and never got back to this book — only just realised i still had it in my Amazon account.

So, a great little find for me while tidying up my books, but still a little sad that no one else can get a copy anymore.

The Book of DeaconJoseph Lallo
The Emperor’s Edge — Lindsay Buroker
The God Decrees — Mark E. Cooper
Defender — Robert J. Crane
Draykon — Charlotte E. English
Fire & Ice — Patty Jansen
Lost City — Jeffrey Poole
Reversion: The Inevitable Horror — J Thorn

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