It’s time for Round Five of FanLit’s participation in Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO) in which 300 self-published fantasy authors contributed their work to be reviewed by 10 fantasy review blogs.

Moving on again!

In the last round we took a look at The Heirs of Lydin, Salvation’s Dawn, The Flight, The Fuller’s Apprentice, and Shadowed Strength. Of these, we liked Joe Jackson’s Salvation’s Dawn best and we also thought The Fuller’s Apprentice would appeal to youngsters, but still we prefer the winner of our previous rounds, Kaitlyn Davis’ The Shadow Soul. This book is NOT unbeatable, though. The Shadow Soul is currently FREE at Amazon. Those of you who correctly guessed The Shadow Soul on that Round Four post will be entered into the drawing to win the giveaway.

We’re on to our final round! The Shadow Soul will go up against the remaining five books we’ve been assigned. We’re asking YOU to choose the book that you think will win our competition and go on to compete against the other nine bloggers’ chosen books. You can choose one of the books below (all you’ll have to go on, unless you click the link and buy these books, is the cover art and blurb) OR you can choose the winner of our first four rounds, The Shadow Soul. Which book will be our winner?

The Journeyman by Michael Peck — “Paul Reid died in the snow at seventeen. The day of his death, he told a lie—and for the rest of his life, he wondered if that was what killed him.”

And so begins the battle for the afterlife, known as The Commons. It’s been taken over by a corporate raider who uses the energy of its souls to maintain his brutal control. The result is an imaginary landscape of a broken America—stuck in time and overrun by the heroes, monsters, dreams, and nightmares of the imprisoned dead.

Three people board a bus to nowhere: a New York street kid, an Iraq War veteran, and her five-year-old special-needs son. After a horrific accident, they are the last, best hope for The Commons to free itself. Along for the ride are a shotgun-toting goth girl, a six-foot-six mummy, a mute Shaolin monk with anger-management issues, and the only guide left to lead them.

Three Journeys: separate but joined. One mission: to save forever. But first they have to save themselves.

The Keeper and the Rulership by Emily Martha Sorenson — In a world where both magic and mathematics are forbidden, Raneh is growing magic and she can’t seem to stop. She’ll face the death penalty if anybody catches her, so she hides it in the weeds of her family’s land, pretending to be a typical eighteen-year-old heir. And it works.

Until the Ruler comes to visit.

Now, with the purpose of the Ruler’s visit a mystery and not only her safety but her family’s reputation in danger, she has to find a way to do the impossible: Stop growing magic.

Europa, Awakenings by P.R. Garcia — When the Oonocks sank their golden city of Atlantis beneath the ocean, only the words of Plato gave testimony of its existence. Now learn a new thought of who the Atlantians were and why they had to sink their city that eventful night. Find out why 6000 years ago, the a race known as the Oonocks left their beautiful lilac, waters of Jupiter’s ice moon Europa to begin a new life on Earth. Discover the real Atlantians.

Europa is a nineteen year old human female who has never heard of the Oonocks. And although she’s heard of the legend of Atlantis, she’s never giving the story much thought.

Europa: Awakenings begins with Queen Medaron’s departure to the world above, to the land of air and land. She is with child and no Oonock child has survived past the age of ten for almost a thousand years. So King Enok and Queen Medaron make the difficult decision that their daughter, Europa, will be born on land as a human, never to know the truth of who she is. In utter despair and sorrow, King Enok watches his only love leave, for a life without him. Because of a war-wound he received from JeffRa at the battle of the Third City, he can no longer live in an air-environment ad must remain below, far from his family…. Read the rest at Amazon.

Twiceborn by Marina Finlayson — Kate O’Connor’s trying to move on from a tragic past, but there’s a big difference between wanting to forget and having someone rip the memories right out of your head. When Kate returns from an unusual courier job with no memory of where she’s just been, alarm bells start ringing. But the weirdness gets seriously out of hand when a werewolf shows up in her kitchen and tries to kill her. It turns out there’s a whole hidden world of shifters out there—and most of them want Kate dead. Shame she can’t remember why.

Werewolves are only the beginning of Kate’s troubles. The shifter world is ruled by the dragon queens, and Kate’s managed to land right in the middle of a supernatural war of succession. As the queen’s daughters fight to the death, Kate forms an unlikely alliance with her attacker. To have any hope of surviving she must uncover the explosive secret hidden in her memory—but first she has to live through the night.

Windcatcher by A.J. Norfield — Far away from home, under the command of his brother, Raylan and his squad must retrieve an ancient relic stolen from their kingdom’s trading partner—the Tiankong Empire.

Traveling deep into unknown enemy territory to complete their mission, Raylan learns that the ancient relic holds unexpected life; a creature buried in legends, one not seen in their world for more than two hundred years.

With their enemies closing in, Raylan and his friends search, desperately, for a safe way home. Danger lurks around every corner: Warriors larger than any man, predators stalking them through the night and soldiers determined to hunt them down. Leaving them all little choice, except to keep moving as they plot—and fight—their way back to those awaiting their return.

So, readers, which novel will move on to our next round? Remember that it could be the winner of our previous rounds (The Shadow Soul) or one of these new books. One of the readers who guesses correctly gets a Kindle copy of the book OR a Kindle copy of the overall SPFBO winner OR you can choose a book from our stacks.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.