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Paul S. Kemp

Paul S. KempPaul Kemp enjoys good beer, good wine, good company, and a fine scotch every now and again. He writes sword and sorcery and space opera and works very hard to make them a fun ride. While his mind is often in the fantastical fictional worlds, his body lives in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, with his wife Jennifer, his twin sons, his daughter, and their various and sundry pets. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the University of Michigan law school. When he’s not writing , he practices corporate law in Detroit. Yes, that does make him a tool of “the Man,” for which he shall bear everlasting shame. He hopes you enjoy his novels.


Shadowbred: A fun read with plenty of suspense

Shadowbred by Paul S. Kemp

First off, I'd like to clarify one thing. I don't really consider myself a Forgotten Realms reader (never mind my various Drizz't books or the Shadows of the Spider Queen novels) so I don't have a Master's degree in the setting. Having said that, Shadowbred was an interesting read and starts out with a prologue that hooked me.

As for the rest of Shadowbred, Paul S. Kemp manages to juggle multiple points of view from both heroes and villains. What I find compelling is that several prominent characters are either true anti-heroes (not surprising for other genres but definitely surprising for D&D) or genuine villains. It's good to be evil or simply practical and I haven't enjoyed myself like this since the Read More

Shadowstorm: Kemp makes the Forgotten Realms a real place

Shadowstorm by Paul S. Kemp

A storm is brewing in the country of Sembia. Erevis Cale must use the powers of Mask to stop it. Civil War is tearing apart the merchant kingdom, and Tamlin, the Hulorn of Selgaunt has made a deal with the last of the Netherese, the Shadovar. Into this turmoil comes the Shadowstorm.

Shadowstorm, Paul S. Kemp’s second book in The Twilight War, continues where Shadowbred left off. Erevis Cale, Drasik Riven, and Magadon continue their quest through the planes. Magadon wars within himself over his human and devil natures, and Erevis defies the very god who gives him power. Meanwhile, Tamlin, feckless son and poor leader, now oversees the defense of Selgaunt from the Overmistress’ forces with the aide of the Shade Rivalen.

Kemp has once again created a story filled with human characters surrounded by... Read More

Shadowrealm: Deeply philosophical for S&S

Shadowrealm by Paul S. Kemp
[Abelar] thought of Eldren, of Enden, recalled his father's words to him — the light is in you — and realized, with perfect clarity, that his father was right.
The light is in you. As a theme for Paul S. Kemp's Shadowrealm, the final novel in The Twilight War trilogy of Forgotten Realms novels, it might seem rather odd. After all, the story surrounds Erevis Cale, the First Chosen of the thief god Mask. Cale is a shadowman, able to twist and bend shadows to fulfill his will. His magic is not of the light, but of the darkness. Along with the Second of Mask, Riven, they are fighting an evil half-god by the name of Kesson Rel bent on destroying all of Toril with the Shadowstorm — while at the same time attempting to stop the takeover of all of Sembia by the Shadov... Read More

The Hammer and the Blade: Promising new sword & sorcery series

The Hammer and the Blade by Paul S. Kemp

Meet Egil and Nix, the latest sword & sorcery duo to attempt to soften my jaded heart. Can they do it? Well, they’ll never take the place of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, that’s for sure, but they’ve still got my attention and I’m willing to give them at least a second try.

Egil is a warrior priest — the only worshiper of the obscure god who manifests himself as a tattooed eye on the top of Egil’s bald head. Nix is a clever half-educated magician who got expelled from the mages’ conclave (he wants you to know that he didn’t drop out — he got kicked out). The two friends are grave robbers who make their fortune digging up treasure that’s been buried with rich people’s corpses. It’s a hazardous job because the tombs are protected by dangerous wards.

During their ... Read More

A Discourse in Steel: E&N aren’t the next F&GM, but they are still entertaining

A Discourse in Steel by Paul S. Kemp

A Discourse in Steel is the second novel in Paul S. Kemp’s EGIL AND NIX series about a couple of “retired” graverobbers who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. I thought the first book, The Hammer and the Blade, was a fun story that didn’t quite meet the standards of Fritz Leiber’s LANKHMAR series which is an obvious influence. I was happy to give Egil and Nix another chance to charm me, though.

This time the guys investigate Black Alley, a dark extra-dimensional space that shows up somewhere around their town every evening. Then they take on the Thieves’ Guild who is planning to kill one of the women that Egil and Nix saved in the previous book. These adventures take them to strange places where they meet strange people and other creatures. For most of the time they are... Read More

A Conversation in Blood: Will keep Kemp’s fans coming back for more

A Conversation in Blood by Paul S. Kemp

It’s hard to resist Egil and Nix, a hard-bitten wise-cracking roguish fantasy duo modeled after Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. They’re back in Paul S. Kemp’s third novel featuring the pair: A Conversation in Blood. It would help, but isn’t necessary, to have read the first two books, The Hammer and the Blade and A Discourse in Steel. Each story stands alone, though following the chronology is recommended for the best experience, I think.

In this story we meet a monster who calls himself the “afterbirth... Read More

SHORTS: Sanford, Palwick, Walton, Hill, Sullivan, Kemp

Here are a few shorter SFF works that we read this week that we wanted you to know about. Some great finds this week!

Blood Grains Speak Through Memories by Jason Sanford (March 2016, free at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, free ebook available on the author’s website)

Frere-Jones Roeder is the anchor of her land, charged with its protection and maintenance. The blood grains flow through her body, sharing memories of past anchors and giving her senses knowledge of all of the life and activity on her two-league plot of land, whether plant, animal or human. The blood grains are also part of all life on her land, and even fly through the air in the form of ... Read More