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Kelly McCullough

Kelly McCulloughKelly McCullough was a Writers of the Future winner in 2000 and his short stories and poems have appeared in Weird Tales, Absolute Magnitude, Tales of the Unanticipated, The DNA Helix, Cosmic SF, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Vol. XVII, Tales from the Black Dog, and other publications. Here’s Kelly McCullough’s website.


Webmage: Fun Science Fantasy!

Webmage by Kelly McCullough

It’s time  for another round of Beth vs. The Urban Fantasy Genre. Today’s contender is WebMage by Kelly McCullough. Mind, the quote on the cover has it right: Science fantasy is really a better term for it. But Webmage can and does fit into the urban fantasy genre as well. Only there’s a distinctive lack of vampires, werewolves, and love dodecagons. In fact, WebMage is kind of like the illegitimate lovechild of The Dresden Files, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and some computer geek. And I mean that in a good way.

WebMage stars Ravirn (or Ravi, a... Read More

Broken Blade: A fun little fantasy novel

Broken Blade by Kelly McCullough

Broken Blade, the first book in Kelly McCullough's FALLEN BLADE series is a fun little fantasy novel. I picked it up as something to fill in space between “serious” series. In that role, Broken Blade exceeded my expectations because it was refreshingly simple and interesting all in one.

In the City of Tien we are introduced to Aral. As member of a cult of assassins, called Blades, Aral was a rising star with great promise and great skills. Sadly, Aral's Goddess, Namara, is killed by other religious zealots and his order hunted down as outlaws. Aral is left bereft of the fellowship of his fellow Blades and the unwavering conviction of serving Namara. He falls into the depths of despair and becomes a simple sword-for-hire.

The story follows Aral as he accepts the mission to help right a wrong and ... Read More

Bared Blade: Light fast-paced adventure

Bared Blade by Kelly McCullough

Bared Blade is the second book in the FALLEN BLADE series. Kelly McCullough continues the story of Aral Kingslayer, survivor of the destruction of the Goddess Namara turned petty thief and spy.

Aral is still struggling with the revelation that other members of his cult survived the fall of his goddess. His experiences in Broken Blade have started to give him an inkling that there may be more to look forward to than alcoholic oblivion. The relationship between Aral and his familiar/partner Triss has been an interesting twist on typical sword and sorcery tropes.

When a couple of oddly matched women are suddenly attacked in front of Aral, he chooses to get involved. The women have powers and skills far beyond the ordinary, which changes everything immediately. As further evidence of Aral’s re-orientation away from self-destruction via Kyle’s whiskey, Ara... Read More

Crossed Blades: Some really wonderful story telling

Crossed Blades by Kelly McCullough

Kelly McCullough’s FALLEN BLADE saga is a fun and fast moving fantasy series. I love a series that can incorporate humor along with the requisite action, magic and evil bad guys who need to be defeated. McCullough keeps things mockingly amusing by never letting the hero’s head get too big.

Crossed Blades tells the story of Aral, one time Blade of Namara before her fall. Since the death of his goddess, Aral’s life has been sad and dark, but the arrival of certain people and events are forcing him to drag himself out of the low life he has sunk to. With his new quasi-apprentice Faran keeping him on his toes, Aral is not yet ready to run into Jax, another former Blade of Namara, and his ex-fiancé. But Jax needs help. She has been through hard times and people who she is responsible for are in danger. Despite the risks and their unpleasant history, she has come to Tien looking for Ara... Read More

Blade Reforged: Fun cloak and dagger fantasy

Blade Reforged by Kelly McCullough 

Kelly McCullough’s FALLEN BLADE series has been a lot of fun to read. For fans of cloak and dagger fantasy, it’s been a welcome, easy to read morsel. You really don’t need to pay close attention because the story is about humor, a little danger, long lost romance and loyalty to ideals that have been lost. It’s not complex, but it’s good.

Blade Reforged follows Aral Kingslayer through his final transformation back from dissolute, amoral thug-for-hire to someone who at least resembles the rising star of the Order of Namara before her death at the hands of the Son of Heaven. His reformation, as the events of the past books have chronicled, has been very gradual. From relative indifference to the world around him, to caring about a former Novice from his Order, to defeating a former mentor and Master of his Order because he has gone over to the enemy, Aral has become a bet... Read More

Drawn Blades: Solid fifth book

Drawn Blades by Kelly McCullough

Drawn Blades is the fifth book in Kelly McCullough’s FALLEN BLADE series. This review will contain spoilers for the previous books.

Aral Kingslayer has finally emerged from his mental paralysis after the death of his Goddess, Namara. It has taken eight years, a lot of alcohol and the death of some friends for Aral to reach this point. With a new-found set of ideals, Aral is ready to start making a difference.

Siri Mythkiller was the First Blade of the order of Namara before its fall. Her talents in the arts of the assassin were top shelf, but her ability in magic had taken her to pinnacles others could match. After she is assigned the task to kill a powerful quasi God who has been imprisoned for many years, she finds herself gradually being possessed more and more by The Smoldering Flame. When Siri reaches out from distant Sylvani to ask f... Read More