Snakewood

Snakewood go inside Kindle Reviewed at Bookwraiths Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through cunning alchemical brews and cold steel Whoever met

Snakewood go inside Kindle Reviewed at Bookwraiths.Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through cunning, alchemical brews, and cold steel. Whoever met their price won.Now, their glory days behind them, scattered to the wind, and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated one by one.A lifetime of enemies has its own price.Now that description made Snakewood one of my most anticipated reads of 2016. I mean, how could a grimdark fan not love the idea of a story about past their prime mercenaries dealing with unknown enemies who are trying to slaughter them for past wrongs. At least, I couldn’t help myself, so I was overjoyed when I received an advanced reading copy of this one.And, as promised, this story opens with the surviving members of “Kailen’s Twenty” (a legendary band of mercenaries) discovering they are being hunted down one by one. Why they are being killed is both a mystery to them and to the reader, but one which the author attempts to slowly reveal by adding “historical” chapters regarding the group’s past endeavors — as relayed by different people.Through this interchange between past and present, the survivors of Kailen’s Twenty come into focus. A reader able to see how they once were and how the years have taken a toll on the testosterone-filled, calculated mercs of the past. Each of them is now scarred, battered, and riddled with faults. Honestly, they are not good people by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, they are real people who have lived a lifetime of war; the end result of that life of fighting, killing, and drugging is a bunch of brokendown, vicious has-beens (well, most of them anyway) who probably deserve to die and die horribly.The story which organically grows around this less-than-stellar group is basically one of revenge. All the questions, action-packed fight scenes, and battles revolving around who is killing everyone and why. The mystery finally coming to a head at the end of the novel.Unfortunately, while Snakewood had a great premise, the story just does not deliver for numerous reasons. Let me explain.One, the first third of the novel was horribly confusing and difficult to comprehend. Immediately, a reader is thrown into the thick of the action without any introduction as to who they are following, why these people are important, or what is actually going on. And the sheer volume of different characters, time periods, and situations never seems to stop changing, as the author constantly shifts the focus of the narrative. All of it combining to make the first third of this novel nearly impossible to follow along with.Two, these characters are very difficult to empathize with. Everyone portrayed here is really, really grim. I personally have no problem with an author having tough, realistic characters with flaws. However, too many times in Snakewood, the people are only shown as abhorrent. There really doesn’t seem to be anything else to them except for their flaws. No silver lining. No hidden honor. Nothing but cruelty and viciousness. Plus, there was never enough explanation or justification of their behavior to satisfy me. And when there was, it was too little too late or way past the point of mattering because the character had already passed from the stage.Three, the device of “historical” flashbacks to rehash events from different points of view did nothing but bore me. Personally, I didn’t want the narrative flow to stop in order to go read about another individual’s take on the same situation or event. Sure, it added new wrinkles to the story, but the benefit did not outweigh the costs in my opinion.Fourth, I totally understand why the author decided to make the sections “written” by the individuals themselves reflect that persons dialect, grammatical skill, and so forth, but the authenticity factor really did not help the story at all. Honestly, reading a section where the narrator can hardly string sentences together in a coherent manner didn’t help me get into the story as much as it caused me to just either skim or skip their section.To be fair however, even with its faults, I have to admit Adrian Selby integrated several really cool ideas into the book. The world building was one; this fantasy world featuring lots of differing people and countries; each with its own unique set of issues and strengths vying for power in a world in turmoil. But my favorite feature of Snakewood was the use of “plants” and specifically the brews made from them. The super-human, spectacular abilities given to the combatants here by their different “fightbrews” was really intriguing; the realistic look at the withdrawals they had afterwards was fairly refreshing; and the ordinary use of poisons and such during combat was a very nice touch to liven up the combat in a low level magical world.As sad as it is for me to type, Snakewood was a novel which just missed the mark. It had an amazing premise, some really cool ideas regarding combat, and even some interesting world building touches, but the story dragged overall, was difficult to become engaged in, and did not have any characters to empathize with. For those reasons, I can only recommend it to die-hard grimdark fans who really enjoy a challenging and grim read.I received this book from Orbit and Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank both of them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.. A LIFETIME OF ENEMIES HAS ITS OWN PRICE Mercenaries who gave no quarter, they shook the pillars of the world through cunning, chemical brews, and cold steel Whoever met their price won Now, their glory days are behind them Scattered to the wind and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated One by one A groundbreaking debut fantasyA LIFETIME OF ENEMIES HAS ITS OWN PRICE Mercenaries who gave no quarter, they shook the pillars of the world through cunning, chemical brews, and cold steel Whoever met their price won Now, their glory days are behind them Scattered to the wind and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated One by one A groundbreaking debut fantasy of betrayal, mystery, and bloody revenge that s been shortlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2017.. Popular Kindle Snakewood Kailen's Twenty was a legendary group of mercenaries. They were so capable that whoever hired them won. Many years after they disbanded the members of the Twenty are being hunted down.Promises of mystery, intrigue, and betrayal along with magic made Snakewood sound really interesting. Unfortunately those aspects weren't displayed in a compelling fashion. The story starts off with a scholar recounting various stories written with significantly different pacing. The choice to tell the story this way broke up any flow the story established. I personally feel this type of storytelling just hinders the success of first books in a series. The recounting of various stories and varied time periods is far more appropriate for a sequel, world book, or basically any story where the world is already established.The story also bombarded the reader with terminology specific to the story with no explanation of what any of it means. The characters in Snakewood all utilize plants for a variety of purposes. A myriad of poisons are produced using the plants as everyone seems content to poison their adversaries. The characters also use a special drink called fightbrew to empower their fighters to battle. These brews take a toll on the users as their skin changes color from repeated use of the brew. I can imagine this being interesting with some early explanation, but the way things are explained just makes it all frustrating.My biggest issue is that the general storytelling kept me from liking any of the characters. I can get past significant issues if I'm interested in the characters involved in the story, but when that's absent I quickly become disengaged.In the end I have to say Snakewood wasn't for me.1 out of 5 starsI received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

About Author

  1. I studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at university before going on to do a variety of jobs including teaching and running my own business before I got into videogames as a Producer for most of my career since.Snakewood is my debut and is the first novel I ve written I live in the southeast of England, though I grew up in Barry, South Wales.

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Snakewood Comment

  1. Reviewed at Bookwraiths.Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through cunning, alchemical brews, and cold steel Whoever met their price won.Now, their glory days behind them, scattered to the wind, and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated one by one.A lifetime of enemies has its own price.Now that description made Snakewood one of my most anticipated reads of 2016 I mean, how could a grimdark fan not love the idea of a story a [...]


  2. Kailen s Twenty was a legendary group of mercenaries They were so capable that whoever hired them won Many years after they disbanded the members of the Twenty are being hunted down.Promises of mystery, intrigue, and betrayal along with magic made Snakewood sound really interesting Unfortunately those aspects weren t displayed in a compelling fashion The story starts off with a scholar recounting various stories written with significantly different pacing The choice to tell the story this way br [...]


  3. I ve been hearing quite a bit of buzz about this debut Grim Grim Grim Dark Dark Dark Seriously, this makes most fantasy described as grimdark look like a sunny and cheery laugh riot This book is bitter and brutal and nasty Also, kind of disturbing, for those who care about things like bodily integrity.My first impression of the book was that it was really, strikingly original The group of mercenaries we meet here are dependent on cocktails of toxic drugs and antidotes for those drugs which they [...]


  4. 3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum bibliosanctum 2016 03 14 bIt has been ten years since the mercenary group known as Kailen s Twenty broke up and went their separate ways But now, some of its members are rallying to their leader again, drawn together by an assassin who has been methodically hunting each and every one of them down Always, a black coin is found somewhere on the murdered corpse a symbol of betrayal.As Gant and Shale race to warn the others, neither of them have an idea of why a kil [...]


  5. This is a book that s going to challenge you and push you Grimdark hardcore fans will lap this up, but if you re looking for a light hearted romp, this isn t it.I m going to cut directly to the chase on this and explain why this novel is worth your time Snakewood does what many attempt, and almost nobody manages to achieve Selby has written about mercenaries who behave like actual historical mercenaries Not one character in the whole book has a false 21st century morality stamped onto them The t [...]


  6. The Good This is intelligent in so many ways, from the narrative a collection of first person accounts describing connected events to the setting, which is Tolkienesque in its authenticity The world featured in Snakewood is very low fantasy, with the type of alchemical magic system featured in the old Asterix comics Druids and all.The Bad It s just all a bit grimy betrayal and festering wounds and mud, and there surely hasn t been a book with this many junkies since Trainspotting Also, the multi [...]


  7. Wow what an intense book I need to let it sink in a bit before I write a review.6 2 2018 It s been two days and this book is still on my mind Here are my thoughts on it.This book is something different, I struggled a bit through the first 100 pages or so but was intrigued enough to push through The start just drops you in the middle without any explanation whatsoever on what s what and who s who Which was a bit confusing to say the least But keep reading It will all become clear and this book is [...]


  8. A LIFETIME OF ENEMIES HAS ITS OWN PRICEMercenaries who gave no quarter, they shook the pillars of the world through cunning, chemical brews, and cold steel.Whoever met their price won.Now, their glory days are behind them Scattered to the wind and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated.One by one.A groundbreaking debut fantasy of betrayal, mystery, and bloody revenge Okay, I wanted to begin by saying that I really struggled with this book at first It s not at al [...]


  9. copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review Snakewood is Adrian Selby s debut novel despite some rough patches, it s a vividly imaginative work There s some memorable, complex characters, a sprawling, elaborate world, and a plot that feels something like The Count of Monte Cristo, but with rather a lot murder In short, this is good stuff, even if it could use a little smoothing out.The narrative structure of the book switches between four main points of view, with incidental notes added by a f [...]


  10. Snakewood is one of those books that will have plenty of fans and plenty of haters too When an author tries to do something unique or far reaching it will either impress you or turn you off.The magic system in Snakewood means that there is a great deal of mind body altering substances potions in use The potions act as a kind of steroid and improve your strength fighting ability in various ways it does take a while for the variety available to become clear With this in mind, the strange abstract [...]


  11. Received in a giveaway.Technically this is 2.5, better than alright but not as good as good , I ve rounded up as the author is from my home town.The blurb states that Gant was a mercenary and my expectation, given that he was to tell the story, was that he would be the narrator This isn t so There are four main POVs, he is one His portion is written ungramatically which grated on me not least for its inconsistencies.There are various gangs all acting on events that happened many years previously [...]


  12. Ok, so I suppose everyone gets that this book is a bit different, a bit challenging, a bit marmite I wasn t sure myself, but was curious enough to give it a try and I m so glad I did The book is told in an unusual style, with a complex chronology, is full of hard to love characters, is grim and dark for sure, has a unique and complex magic system that s not exactly magic , and doesn t take much time to explain much with a few notable exceptions For me, it all added up to making this one of the m [...]


  13. After spending days struggling through this and using various tactics to try and plough my way to the finish line, I finally had to give Snakewood up for a loss around the 16% mark.I feel like somewhere in here is a great story There were moments when I did enjoy Snakewood, especially with particular characters holding the reigns However, for me the biggest detractor was definitely the style of writing the author chose to employ I found the whole thing so overwhelmingly impenetrable that I often [...]


  14. Thanks to Hachette audio for providing the audiobook in exchange for an honest review Joe Jameson is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators in the biz Age of Assassins Blood of Assassins by RJ Barker, and The Greatcoats Series by Sebastien de Castell and if you enjoy audiobooks, I suggest you check him out mer ce nar y m rs ner adjective derogatory1 of a person or their behavior primarily concerned with making money at the expense of ethics.Kailen s Twenty, a group of career mercenaries, [...]


  15. The book blurb Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through their cunning, their closely guarded alchemical brews and stone cold steel Whoever met their price won Now, their glory days behind them and their genius leader in hiding, the warriors known as the Twenty are being hunted down and eliminated one by one A lifetime of enemies has its own price.I recieved a free e ARC of this book to review through NetGalley.I ve found this review quite hard to write as I [...]


  16. Full review at thequeenofblades I m not surprised that there are so many DNF reviews for this book, it s really hard to get into But it does got better, and better still I suspect that many will find it just too much effort For me, it was an enjoyable read, but I did not love it The conclusion as satisfying, but we are left with questions I hope we will get to see of the world Selby has created, just maybe not through the same first hand account When your main character is writing the story it [...]


  17. 3.5 of 4 starslynns books 2016 03 21 snaSnakewood is a difficult book to review and for that reason I ve sat on this for a few days to see how my feelings developed and gather my thoughts To be honest this was one of my most anticipated books of the year I love the description and the cover and was so excited to pick it up Now, up front, I can say that I didn t love this but, I didn t hate it either and I think it s definitely a book that improves as you read It just takes a little while to sett [...]


  18. Adrian Selby s debut novel is a world sweeping tale of mercenaries and revenge that is also deeply personal and inextricably tied up with its characters It s also the Trainspotting of modern fantasy literature And that, for the most part, is a good thing.Fans of conventional hack n slash grimdark will find themselves puzzled Like Anna Smith Spark s Court of Broken Knives, Snakewood plays with language, uses it as a weapon as well as a tool Gant and Kailen and the other viewpoint characters don t [...]


  19. After a very confusing start I thought the final third of this book was very solid I will be interested to see where Selby goes next Full review to come 3.5 out of 5.


  20. I really don t understand the hype with this book It jumps around so much between POVs and timelines that you never really get to connect with any characters Some of the POVs are written to convey the way the person speaks, or writes, and it just made it really difficult and annoying to read especially for a grammar nerd It could ve been much shorter I think I found myself skimming through pages for relevant info when I could have just skipped whole chapters Frankly, I m surprised I finished it [...]


  21. I would like to thank Orbit Books NetGalley for an e ARC of this book to review Though I received this e book for free, that has no impact upon the honesty of my review Teaser Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through cunning, alchemical brews, and cold steel Whoever met their price won.Now, their glory days behind them, scattered to the wind, and their genius leader in hiding, they are being hunted down and eliminated one by one A lifetime of enemies has it [...]


  22. Snakewood Adrian Selby 2016, Orbit, 432 p ginas NITROLEITURAS fantasia fantasiabrutal fantasialiter ria Nota 4 em 5SNAKEWOOD de Adrian Selby uma fantasia brutal ou grimdark fantasy que busca expandir os limites do g nero e aposta em uma forma mais fragment ria e liter ria de narrativa.O mundo descrito em SNAKEWOOD impressionante, e o que mais me chamou aten o nesse livro O cen rio segue a linha de fantasia brutal, de um mundo povoado por humanos, por m, esse um mundo repleto de plantas venenosas [...]


  23. I really enjoyed this tale of a band of mercenaries who have now gone their separate ways, but are drawn together again when they start being killed off one by one The cast of characters is large which at times meant I had to remind myself who was who , and the world the author has created is easy to imagine I especially liked how the author worked a type of plant magic into the story, where plants, or concoctions and infusions of plants, give characters enhanced abilities And, true to well writ [...]


  24. Ok, I am a bit torn, first of all, Snakewood has a extremely cool idea for a fantasy world, and then wrap it in one of the most difficult, obtuse ways to tell your story, in another words.t good.I read reviews for this before hand, so I knew that it jumped perspectives and viewpoints so IF you go into the book with that in mind, it takes a bit of the edge off, but if you DON T, you will drop it quick That is a shame because there is hints of cool all throughout and I am intrigued once you get pa [...]


  25. The short version stylistic choices will be difficult for some readers On the plus side, there s a confident unique world from a new writer.fedpeaches 2016 0



  26. I received an arc from Netgalley in return for an honest review.Snakewood is about a band of mercenaries called Kailen s Twenty that broke up 15 years previous that are being hunted by someone that is leaving behind the mark of a betrayer in their hand The tale of the death of the members of Kailen s Twenty is being recorded after the fact by a scholar named Goran The story is a revenge tale that is dark and very violent.The synopsis has a lot of potential but the story jumped around a lot betwe [...]


  27. Their is a lot to like in this book Lots of action and a very interesting world filled with potions and poisons All these things were very original However, the plots jumps a round quite a bit and new characters are thrown at the reader in an ever increasing number This makes it difficult to enjoy the interesting world created by the author With a little polish and coherent thought the author has a bright future.


  28. While this book didn t click for me, I could recognize that there was something interesting and unique in it I just couldn t seem to grab the thread of it possibly because of the shifting points of view and the non linear timeline It reminded me of another highly regarded book that I didn t enjoy, The Black Company, where I also felt it was just a me issue and not a this book is poorly written derivative boring Full disclosure I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a revie [...]


  29. Review from Tenacious Reader tenaciousreader 2016 0Oh, this is not an easy review to write Ultimately, this is a book I wanted to love, or at least like, but truthfully I struggled with it I will say, I enjoyed all the words as they were written, I felt the prose was incredibly well done So while reading any given page I felt like I was enjoying the book at that particular moment But when I would look at the big picture, and the story over all, that was not the case If I stopped reading, I was p [...]


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