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ARC Review: Dogma of the Five Kingdoms (Book 2 of A Five Kingdoms of Cordizal Series)

Dogma of the Five Kingdoms by Charles K. Jordan In Dogma of the Five Kingdoms , Book 2 of his Five Kingdoms of Cordizal series, Charles K. Jordan again plunges us straightaway into the events unfolding on the continent of Cordizal. Though the war between the Five Kingdoms and the undead Scourge continues, the focus in Book 2 is on the unfolding scheme of the mysterious figure Ta'Lin and his followers. As the book unfolds we see Ta'Lin working to resurrect powerful magik from the past. His scheme threatens to bring an end to the Five Kingdoms themselves, and may lead to a fate worse than death for their citizens. Book 2 picks up right where Book 1 left off. (My review of the first book is here .) While there is the occasional bit of backstory provided, most of the action proceeds apace. The Kingdoms of the Grang, the Nawahl, the Ramons, Arzans and Xandrans, and the ongoing war, are taken as a given. Some of the happenings in Book 1 are alluded to, but not delved into or repeate

September Book Review Summary


Fall is starting to set in here in northern Michigan where I live. It's been a very dry summer and for some reason that seems to mean the red leaves are showing up first - it's usually the trees whose leaves turn yellow that lead the way.

I've managed to get ten books read this past month. That includes five nonfiction books, one book that I guess is nonfiction but contains made up dialog and scenes to move the story along, a fantasy book, two sci-fi books and a novel.

  • Favorite book this month: 
    • Riding the Edge: A Love Song to Deborah, though I think No Gods, No Monsters is not very far behind...
  • Indie titles: 
    • Requiem for an Astronaut
    • What Seems True
    • US-China Tech War
  • Audiobooks 
    • Riding the Edge
    • Winter World
    • The Hardhat Riot
  • ebooks 
    • No Gods, No Monsters
    • True Raiders
    • Last Call
    • Wildland
    • Requiem for an Astronaut
    • What Seems True
    • US-China Tech War
  • Physical Books 
    • None this month! 😮
  • ARCs - 6 
    • Everything except Requiem for an Astronaut, The Hardhat Riot, Winter World  and Last Call 

Summary reviews of each of my September reads are below. The links lead to my full reviews. All of my full reviews include links to the author, the publisher, and to bookseller pages for each book. There are no affiliate links in my reviews.

Five Stars ⭐⭐⭐

Forty-one years after he and Deborah's bike ride across Europe and the Middle East, Michael has recalled and shared it with us all in this book. He's done an absolutely amazing job in a very well written book. Michael kept a journal of their trip referring back to it to reconstruct the physical, spiritual and psychological journey he and Deborah went through.  I did not expect to like this book as much as I did.

Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cadwell Turnbull's book is beautifully written and keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next - and to figure out what the heck is going on. There are multiple storylines, multiple types of monsters, multiple universes, and many, many characters. It can be overwhelming and at times seems like a big ball of confusion. In the end though, Turnbull has gotten us to the point where we understand much of what has happened, leaving just enough that's unexplained for the next book in this new series.

Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

David Paul Kuhn's 2020 book The Hardhat Riot is filled with detail about the events of the day of the 1970 riot, as well as analysis of what led up to it, and what impact it had on American politics. Kuhn's book provides a context for the riot and it's place in American politics that helps shed light on political trends that resonate to this day. 

Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A fascinating and illuminating look at the political fury of Americans in the first decades of the 21st century. This book builds slowly but powerfully as Osnos reviews the different strands of American life - the deepening divide of economic inequality, unequal access to medical care, racial injustice, drugs and gun violence - that have torn at ordinary Americans over the last 20 years and built up into the fury of the Trump years.

Three Stars ⭐⭐⭐

Over the period from the spring of 1991 to mid-summer in 1993, the dismembered bodies of four men were discovered neatly double bagged in garbage cans at rest stops in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. All four men were gay, the victims of a serial killer who gained the nickname of The Last Call Killer. Elon Green tells the story of these men and their murderer, his eventual capture and his conviction.

Two Stars ⭐⭐

I am sure that there is a worthwhile book to be had from the 1909 expedition in search of the Ark of the Covenant, led by Montague Parker, the younger brother of the English Earl of Morley. But for me, Brad Ricca's True Raiders is not it. I was originally really intrigued by the premise of this book and looked forward to reading it. But in the end I cannot really recommend it.

Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A sci-fi novella from UK based indie publishing house NewCon Press. The story is set in a future world where mankind's adaptation of alien warp drive technology has led to unexpected results. Some of those results are assumed - barely mentioned, they become part of the broken landscape of East City and the surrounds where the book takes place. But one result - the mysterious and ongoing appearances of a lost test astronaut floating down from above - is the book's haunting backbone.

Three Stars ⭐⭐⭐

In the near future of Winter World Earth faces a climate crisis, but it's not global warming, it's just the opposite - a new ice age is upon us. Scientists send probes into space to take readings of solar radiation. They discover that a mysterious unnatural object is moving toward the sun and blocking it's energy from Earth. Thus begins the race to understand what the object is, who or what sent it here, and what humanity can do to end the "Long Winter" that has set in.

Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

In 1980 Billy Graham, the first black supervisor at a Texas refinery, is found murdered behind an abandoned drive-in theater. Dan Esperson, corporate lawyer for the refinery, is pulled into the investigation of the murder as suspicion falls on a refinery worker and his wife, the HR administrative assistant. This novel succeeds as a character study with a touch of noir and a strong sense of place.

Three Stars ⭐⭐⭐

Xiang describes the Chinese semiconductor industry from the 1950s to today. The picture she paints is not one many American readers may be expecting. At least in the case of this industry, all of the Chinese government's will and money have not made their native semiconductor companies leaders of the world. I found US-China Tech War an informative industry insider's perspective on the current US / China relationship, and where it may go from here.