Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Vampire Down Blog Tour- Review: Crown Of Ash by Steven Montano

Genre: Sci Fi Fantasy
Series: Blood Skies
Author: Steven Montano

Blood Skies, Book 7


Who ever knew the end would come so soon?

In this final volume of the BLOOD SKIES series, Eric Cross and Danica Black find themselves facing impossible odds in the desolate ruins of the world they once knew.  Hunted by the mercenary forces of the newly formed East Claw Coalition and desperate to find the elusive White Mother, the two refugees will be pushed to the limits of their abilities and sanity as they struggle to survive.

Meanwhile, in the near future, the undead hunter called Reaver searches for the lost city of Bloodhollow, the place where humankind will make its final stand, while the undead of New Koth and the rebellious White Children make their push to end the reign of the Ebon Kingdoms once and for all.

As timelines collide and the spider weaves her web, the battle for the fate of the riven world will come to its violent conclusion in the depths of a forgotten city, where unlikely heroes will emerge and hidden evils will finally be revealed...

Available Friday June 27th in Ebook and Print format.


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Blood Skies, Book 1


In the time after The Black, human survivors of the Southern Claw Alliance clash with vampire legions of the Ebon Cities in a constant war for survival. Earth as we know it has been forever damaged by an arcane storm that fused our world with distant realms of madness and terror. Things that once existed only in our nightmares stalk the earth.

Now, humanity is threatened by one of its own.

Eric Cross, an enlisted warlock in the Southern Claw military, is part of an elite team of soldiers and mages in pursuit of a woman known as Red -- a witch whose stolen knowledge threatens the future of the human race. The members of Viper Squad will traverse haunted forests and blighted tundra in their search for the traitor, a journey that ultimately leads them to the necropolis of Koth.

There, in that haven of renegade undead, Cross will discover the dark origins of magic, and the true meaning of sacrifice...

Experience a dark and deadly new world in the debut novel of the "Blood Skies" series from author Steven Montano.

Book 1, Blood Skies is currently FREE on Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Goodreads

Blood Skies, Book 2


Something ancient has awoken. Primordial and wholly evil, a living shadow emerges from a prison made weak by the magical cataclysm called The Black. Now the Sleeper stalks the land in search of its old enemies, leaving a trail of madness and destruction in its wake. Eric Cross, a Southern Claw warlock, has been sent to find the Woman in the Ice, the only known means to stopping this evil. Aided by a grizzled ranger and a band of wardens and inmates from a sadistic prison, Cross' mission will bring him into conflict with an array of foes: the barbaric Gorgoloth, vampire shock troops out of the Ebon Cities, and a cadre of mercenary nihilists called the Black Circle. On a mission that will take him from a lost temple once ruled by insidious wolf sorcerers to the vicious gladiator games of the vampire city-state of Krul to the deadly ruins of an ice city, Cross will play a pivotal role in an ancient conflict whose outcome will determine the future of the world. Return to the world of Blood Skies in this exciting military fantasy adventure!

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Blood Skies, Book 3


The war continues…

Eric Cross and his team of elite mercenaries are the bane of the Ebon Cities. Armed with the cutting-edge arcane weaponry of the Southern Claw, Cross and his crew – Black, Kane, Ronan, Maur, Grissom and Ash – have become a veritable thorn in the side of the vampire armies.

Now the team is tasked with halting vampire activity near the remote city-state of Fane, where the Ebon Cities have teamed up with a former Revenger in search of a deadly weapon called Soulrazor.

To make matters worse, something sinister has happened to Cross, and the key to his salvation is somehow directly tied to the Ebon Cities’ new soldiers: a host of necrotic angels who bear traces of divine power.

Cross and his team must travel across a blighted wilderness and do battle with a vile array of enemies as they race not only to save the city of Thornn from total annihilation, but to rescue Cross’ very soul from an enemy more powerful than he could ever imagine…

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Blood Skies, Book 4


Eric Cross and his team have been to hell and back, but their journey isn’t over yet.

Marooned in the remote criminal city of Blacksand, the only way for the mercenaries to get home is to help a local crime boss protect his territories from the Ebon Cities.

To complicate matters, Danica Black is also being hunted by The Revengers, a powerful band of corrupt prison wardens, while Cross himself is trapped in the Whisperlands, a realm of darkness controlled by a cadre of evil mages known as the Shadow Lords.

The team will battle their way through corroding wastelands and deadly vampire outposts, but even their considerable skills might not be enough to save them from the cruel machinations of the Shadow Lord’s mysterious master, a malevolent creature who has manipulated their destinies right from the beginning…

Return to the world of The Black in Book 4 of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

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My 4.5* Review-

We rejoin Danica, Kane, Ronan and Maur who are in Blacksand, and trying to find a way to save Cross. Cross is trapped in he Whisperlands; a dark realm controlled by the Shadow Lords.

Crown Of Ash reveals a little more of Danica's history. Not only does Danica get to deal with everything that stands between the group and Cross, she also has The Revengers tracking her too. After being attacked by a Murderwraith she is forced into using her spirit, but this allows The Revengers to lock onto her and get ever closer.

Once again Steven Montano has unleashed a monster shit storm upon his characters! I do love how Steven isn't afraid to throw buckets of crap at his characters. 

Crown Of Ash definitely continues to with the outstanding standards that have been set by books 1-3. Steven's world building is continuing to grow and progress, it gets better, stronger and more detailed with each book.

I love the action scenes. These scenes are written in such a way that I can feel the violence flowing from the pages of the ebook, and I always get sucked into the middle of it alongside the characters. I find that just as I thought I was beginning to work things out, I would be thrown a twist that would blow all my ideas apart! The plot is awesome, it's captivating and full of surprises around every corner.

The characters have progressed and grown so much. As a team they are less like a group of people who didn't like each other but had to work together to survive; earlier in the series, and now they actually get along and seem to want to help each other, they trust and depend on each other and look out for one another; they may even be enjoying being together!

Crown Of Ash is a dark fantasy novel that is dripping with action and adventure, and some awesome creatures! I'm so glad that I'm reading this series and I can't wait to start book #5.

Blood Skies, Book 5


A new evil is born.

The Ebon Cities have created a deadly new breed of undead called the Witchborn, whose very existence spells doom for the entire continent. 

To make matters worse, a nihilist cult called the Black Circle has learned of the Witch’s Eye, the source of the Witchborn virus and an item capable of opening a portal to The Black.

Eric Cross’s scattered and war-weary team must find the Eye before it’s too late. With the aid of some unlikely allies, the mercenaries will fight their way across the wastelands and challenge the horrors at the edge of oblivion. 

And before the battle is won Cross and his team will make the ultimate sacrifice, and face one of their own…

Return to the world After The Black in Book 5 of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

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Blood Skies, Book 6


The barrier between worlds has been broken, and the invasion is about to begin.

Eric Cross, burdened by the loss of those who’ve died under his command, must lead his recently reunited mercenary team against the shadow wolf sorcerers known as the Maloj. Bound to dire artifact blades and charged with protecting the Kindred, Cross seeks help from the enigmatic White Mother, leader of the Southern Claw.

But sinister forces bring his vessel down in a strange and distant land, and soon Cross and his allies are beset by undead armies vying for control of the deadly region called the Chain of Shadows. Trapped in a desert waste where wielding magic is dangerous and nothing is as it seems, Cross’s team will pay the ultimate price in their battle to finally get home...

Return to the world After the Black in this pivotal 6th book of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

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About the Author-

Steven Montano was something terrifying in his previous life.  Now he’s an accountant, so not much has changed.

An avid hiker, reader, San Antonio Spurs fan, goofball husband and father of two, Steven writes novels (the seven volume Blood Skies series, the Skullborn Trilogy, something black…, and the upcoming thrillers Blood Angel Rising and Colder) and drinks a lot of wine when he isn’t busy pulling his hair out over payroll or trying to balance the company books.  

Visit the author’s website and check out the Vampire Down page on Goodreads!


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