Scott Brick

The Killing God - the end of the Great God's War series

Posted by Lore on Thu, 01/05/2023 - 00:23
The Killing God Book Cover

The invading forces have finally arrived on the shores of the kingdom of Belleger, and yet the nature of this enemy remains mostly unknown. Two books of build up leave us knowing only one thing about this army, and that is their ultimate destination: the Last Repository. The enemy plans to destroy the final storehouse of all books and knowledge and unfortunately for King Bifalt, Belleger is on the way. This means he must fight a war that shouldn't really involve him. He hates sorcery and having to expend the lives of his people to protect the sorcerers of the Repository galls him. To make matters even worse, Queen Estie has travelled to the Repository in order to unlock her own gift for sorcery, which means that she too is lost to him. At least now that the invaders are here, Bifalt will finally be able to see who they are and what he is up against. To his surprise, what he learns is that the enemy is not who he thought it would be and many of them have actually been embedded in Belleger all along...

The War Within - book two of The Great God's War

Posted by Lore on Sat, 06/11/2022 - 04:04
The War Within Book Cover

Twenty years of peace have lasted for Belleger and Amika after both countries were manipulated into an uneasy alliance by the magisters of the Last Repository. King Bifalt of Belleger and Queen Estie of Amika both navigate their uncomfortable marriage in very different ways and they each do what they can to prepare for the coming war. An ancient enemy, far more powerful than either of their kingdoms, is coming for The Last Repository and it must pass through their realms to get there. King Bifalt focuses his energy on the coming external threat but Queen Estie finds she must divert her attention to issues within Amika that put their alliance at risk. Her father may have abdicated the throne to her, but now it seems that he is up to something. If she doesn't stop him, both kingdoms will surely be lost. Unfortunately, her father is a powerful sorcerer who wields the decimate of lightning and she has no magic of her own with which to counter him. Yet, she must find a way.

Seventh Decimate - a slow start to a new Donaldson series

Posted by Lore on Sat, 05/28/2022 - 02:41
The Seventh Decimate Book Cover

There are six known decimates that are wielded by Sorcerers in both Belleger and Amika, two countries who have been warring with each other for generations. The battles between them have become so bloody that the engagements are known as "hells". Sorcerers on both sides use the six decimates (Fire, Wind, Pestilence, Earthquake, Drought, and Lightning) in these hells, but it is Amika that has the advantage because they have the better sorcerers. Belleger survives by using rifles to out-range the sorcerers; however, they can never gain the upper hand because building reliable rifles is a slow and time consuming process for them. The battles rage on until, in the blink of an eye, all sorcerers in Belleger lose their ability to wield magic. The king quickly becomes desperate because he knows Belleger lacks enough rifles to fend off an Amikan attack without magic, so he opts for a cliché Hail Mary. He sends his son, Prince Bifalt, out on a quest to find a mythical book in an unknown location in order to restore sorcery and save his people. Because, why not?

A Man Rides Through - the conclusion of Mordant's Need

Posted by Lore on Fri, 10/09/2020 - 08:14
A Man Rides Through Book Cover

Let's quickly recap the setup done in the first book: The kingdom of Mordant on the verge of crumbling and Castle Orison is surrounded by the Alend army. Of course the massive hole in the wall doesn't really help matters much, especially since it is a self inflicted wound created after the Congery's ill advised attempt to summon a champion to help them defend Mordant. Said champion was translated from a futuristic world and upon arrival he promptly used his laser rifle to blast his way out through the castle wall and take off leaving behind a gap that can't be quickly repaired. At that point Mordant's King found that he was left with few supporters as almost everyone has chosen to ally themselves elsewhere, even his own daughters. That's no surprise as the Cadwal army is also marching towards Orison and it will likely arrive while the existing siege is going on so there is no reason to hope for a good outcome. Yet despite all of that setup from the first book this one still manages to get off to a slow start by finding a way to do even more. Sigh.

The Mirror of Her Dreams - the first half of Mordant's Need

Posted by Lore on Fri, 10/02/2020 - 14:28
The Mirror of Her Dreams Book Cover

Mordant is a kingdom where mirrors function as magical devices capable of viewing other worlds and the Imagers that craft them have the power to translate both the objects and people they see in those mirrors into their own world. Imagers spend years expertly crafting their mirrors to achieve many powerful abilities, both good and evil, but one thing they always avoid making is a flat mirror. That is because anyone who sees their own reflection in a flat mirror, or attempts a translation in one, loses their mind. Imagers are also capable of performing auguries by shattering a mirror into pieces. The resulting shards of the mirror reveal glimpses of the future, although the resulting images are often subject to multiple interpretations. The Congery of Mordant has performed just such an augury and from the resulting images the Masters have concluded that a champion must be translated to save their kingdom from destruction. They have also seen that Apt Geraden, an expendable apprentice of little promise, should be the one to perform that translation. When Geraden enters the mirror to perform the translation he returns not with the expected champion but rather with Terisa Morgan, who he plucked right out of her Manhattan apartment building.

This Day All Gods Die - the finale of the Gap Cycle

Posted by Lore on Fri, 01/20/2017 - 10:24
This Day All Gods Die Book Cover

Exigencies and despair are two of Stephen R. Donaldson's favorite words and there is no shortage of either in this final entry of the Gap Cycle. The fifth book of the series is the largest of the bunch, and despite some of the typical un-needed bloat found in any Donaldson book, it builds up to a worthy conclusion. Holt Fasner has put the Earth itself in jeopardy with his attempt to unlock Amnion secrets that will allow him to live forever and Warden Dios turns out to be just as culpable for the extreme actions he takes in an attempt to stop him.  Both have abused their power in unforgivable ways and those who have been the recipients of that abuse, mainly Angus and Morn, finally arrive back at Earth just in time for a public reckoning.

Chaos and Order - Gap Cycle #4 raises the stakes

Posted by Lore on Fri, 12/16/2016 - 17:43
Chaos and Order Book Cover

This one starts slowly as the Machiavellian schemes of Holt Fasner and Warden Dios are flushed out in great detail. However, when the story finally transitions back to the main characters aboard the ship Trumpet things really pick up speed. Fasner and Dios are locked in a battle of plots and schemes that puts the very government of Earth, and their own lives, in great peril. With a new bill being proposed that would move the UMCP (the human police) out from under Holt Fasner and over to the government itself, Fasner is willing to go to any length to stop such an action, including terrorist actions against the government. At the same time, the two of them are also manipulating events as they relate to Trumpet who is on the run from the Amnioni with multiple other ships in pursuit.

A Dark and Hungry God Arises - desperate times in Gap Cycle #3

Posted by Lore on Fri, 11/18/2016 - 11:23
A Dark and Hungry God Arises Book Cover

Never forget that when Stephen R. Donaldson is the man doing the writing that there is no end to the misery that the universe will dump onto the main characters. It is no surprise when fate (aka Donaldson) conspires to back all three of his main protagonists into a corner at the same location in Forbidden Space, a little outpost known as Billingate.  This illegal outpost, where human pirates and Amnion conduct dark dealings, becomes the backdrop for the convergence of Angus, Nick, and Morn and all the vitriol they carry for each other. It is not mere coincidence that this happens because two of the most powerful men in existence, Holt Fasner, head of the United Mining Company, and Warden Dios, head of the UMCP, are plotting against each other and using Morn, Angus, and Nick as unwilling pawns in their struggle. 

Forbidden Knowledge - it's all victims and villains in Gap Cycle #2

Posted by Lore on Fri, 10/28/2016 - 07:42
Forbidden Knowledge Book Cover

​​​​​​​In the afterword of book 1, author Stephen R. Donaldson commented that he wrote the novella because he wanted to take the classic character triangle of hero, victim, and villain and have his characters switch roles as the story progressed. For book 2, apparently he decided that everyone should be both a victim and a villain and to hell with anyone being a hero. This book picks up right after the events of The Real Story and continues to follow all three lead characters: Morn Hyland, Nick Succorso, and Angus Thermopylae. Angus is in custody for a crime he didn't commit and undergoing torture at the hands of the UMCP. Morn has essentially gone from being a captive on Angus' ship to being a captive on Nick's ship but this time she possesses the control for her zone implant, which she must keep secret at all costs. And finally, Nick Succorso shows his true colors and begins to unveil his evil plans for profiting from Morn's situation.

The Real Story - The Gap Into Conflict

Posted by Lore on Fri, 09/23/2016 - 10:35
The Real Story Book Cover

The Real Story starts with the patrons of Mallory's Bar & Sleep experiencing something that doesn't make sense. Angus Thermopylae walks into the bar with a beautiful woman at his side. Angus is an evil man and a suspected pirate/smuggler with a reputation for being a loner. The young attractive woman at his side is Morn Hyland, a law enforcement officer who should want nothing to do with someone like Angus. It is obvious to many of the patrons that she is a captive of some sort but she doesn't seem to be acting like one. Enter the dashing Nick Succorso, who confronts Angus and appears to rescue Morn away from him. The patrons of Mallory's then speculate on what they just witnessed and it is clear to many that this is a classic case of a hero (Nick) rescuing a victim (Morn) from an evil villain (Angus.) While that is indeed true, it is also not "The Real Story."