"With charity and love, may you be kind, in all you say and do and find."
The first series story arc AND the second story arc of the many-headed Hydra that is The Destiny of Dragons, are complete! All six are published to the various Amazon sites and the first five are now formatted for Smashwords!
I'm currently editing DOD7: The Book of Faith. It's release date has yet to be decided.
DESTINY OF DRAGONS GOODREADS REVIEWS SO FAR
Reviews uploaded to Amazon first have been omitted. Find them in the AMAZON REVIEWS section.
Read from May 19 to June 02, 2014
An EPIC tale focussing on the heirs to the thrown of Ay and their protector. Their flight from danger and attempts to consolidate their position as those around them seek to take advantage in their time of need.
When their uncle, the Emperor de-facto, is killed and the empire torn asunder by mysterious magical forces the heirs find themselves in a most precarious position. They are aided only by their protector the stalwart and ever diplomatic Kai and must deal with a cast of self serving nobles, mysterious bandits, enigmatic gypsies and mysterious monks. All in the cause of trying to survey and rebuild the empire.
The book is well written and the tale well told. There's a smattering of olden English words like thee, hale and betwixt, to some they may seem annoying to others part of the flavour of the book. Either way they never really get in the way of the story.
The characters are well defined and I found myself associating the Price with the King of France as portrayed in the recent BBC adaptation of the Musketeers.
The lands in the book are named after the signs of the zodiac and I found myself wanting to know more about them and their inhabitants. Speaking of which they are mix of races from werewolves, to dwarves and vampires and even spiders. Yet it is never made clear what race the heirs or Kai are so we assume them to be human.
There's a character called Skander who appears almost out of thin air and promises more than is written about him within the pages of the book. This left me a little unsure of his purpose and questioning why he was there at all.
There are a few little other plot mechanics that were not quite explained well enough that, along with Skander, made me give this book 4 not 5 stars.
However, I would still recommend you buy and read it, it is worth every penny/cent.
Read in December, 2012
“Resurrection” explodes with plot twists, based on unpredictable logic and scheming, you wonder how you failed to miss the clues. A key secret is revealed in the early chapters, in fact, the truth of which I’d thought would be withheld for the entire series. And what a secret! The Book of Resurrection? The Book of Revelations more like.
And there’s more, as established characters’ pasts are exposed and expanded upon, during a whole new and unexpected struggle for superiority, whilst new characters are introduced to threaten and thrill.
Since the last book 1 concede Len Valely can be heir to more than a barstool; by book 2 I would actually entrust him with an entire tavern. Kai’s saccharin nature, as well as the mystery of how he withstands such injuries, are justified since book 1 and I enjoy him betraying an entirely different nature, to challenge his role as the hero, even if his and Anna’s relationship proves pure magic. Ulrich von Siddal is fast becoming my firm favourite though, as such a bundle of contradictions, his “enemy” Morgan extracting the very best and worst from him. It makes a change to have some incredibly strong female characters, as I wouldn’t mess with any of the Fitzallens. Gnarls and Soren are also appealing, so strong and yet so vulnerable. They have much more to give to the series yet. I even like the gargoyle Balthazar, although I don’t know why. It must be the strength of the writing.
Readers who might’ve found the fantasy lacking in the first book’s build up can’t be disappointed with this, with some less than natural disasters, spirits, sorcery and some significant dragons, which will no doubt dictate the series’ future. The saga continues to weave through all new and beautiful, as well as dangerous lands, (wish it would visit my star sign Taurus) which for all I know could be brought to a fiery end, considering the almost brilliantly thought-out sense of impossibility that can occur.
My only issue is perhaps the length; this is a big book! But I wouldn't know what you'd remove from it and it's definitely value for money.
The author certainly upholds all the daring and boldness of the epic Book of Wrath, and I can’t wait to devour the next book!
This is an original and clever first novel. I am already hooked on the characters who are believably flawed and well concieved. The world of Ay is obviously clearly and fully imagined in great detail in the authors mind and is therefore very convincing, as are the different peoples. Destiny of Dragons kind of sneaks up on you unawares and sucks you in leaving you wanting more. Quite impressive. Perhaps my only criticism is that I'll have to wait for the next book!
DESTINY OF DRAGONS AMAZON REVIEWS SO FAR
5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic start to a series that I now can't wait to read more of. December 27, 2014
Such a Great book. Billie-Jo is an amazing writer and story teller, she brings the story and characters to life is such a great way. I highly recommend her work, 5 star all the way =)...
5.0 out of 5 starsThe conclusion of the first arc of Billie Jo Williams awesome fantasy series! November 29, 2014
By Reed James
Book of Redemption is full of twist and turns, delving into the past of Kai/Sirroco. This story hurtles to its conclusion that leaves you eager to find out what happens next!
5.0 out of 5 starsA must read!! 18 Oct 2014
I'm really really enjoying this series! The twists and turns keep everything busy. A must read.
5.0 out of 5 starsAbsolutely brilliant - definitely one for fantasy lovers, 21 Sep 2014
I absolutely loved this book! I fell in love with Kai and couldn't wait to read of his next dutiful deed. I would urge anyone that loves fantasy to read this book and series. It really is for anyone and everyone. I can't wait to read the rest of the series... Off to download book 2.
5.0 out of 5 starspurity when it comes to this book i would love to experience more of her talent, September 1, 2014
billie -jo has the most extraordnary imagination and this books a lot of purity when it comes to this book i would love to experience more of her talent - ravenskraft
5.0 out of 5 starsBook 1, 3 Aug 2014
Got this after finding out it was written by an old school friend, couldnt put it down till I had finished it. Had to keep reminding myself it wasnt written by a "professional" writer. Just brilliant and I really recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Start to a Fantasy series, July 22, 2014
By Reed James
The Book of Wrath is a great start to an epic fantasy series. The Ay Empire is decadent and corrupt, teetering on the edge of collapse. Excess and brutality mar the Empire and only the dominace of the Vallely Dynasty keeps the various kingdoms in check. So what happens when the Dark Destruction falls on the capital, sending Len, the Heir to the Empire, his sister Anna, and their wounded protector Kai fleeing into the wilderness. Now its up to vain, arrogant Len to somehow stop the catastrophe and claim the throne while Kai struggles to keep the Imperial Heirs safe not only from their enemies, but from themselves.
Billie-Jo tells a great story and while her writing is rough at times, it shows great promise. I can't wait to see how she develops as a writer as well as what twists and turns are coming up in Destiny of Dragons
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 6 Jun 2013
Not usually the type of novel I go for, however once I began the first paragraph I was hooked, I raced through this in 2 days and have downloaded the sequel. Recommended highly!
4.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force of the imagination April 17, 2014
By John Frazier
I am not going to give a detailed analysis of this excellent book. I am only going to say that while readers enjoy the quality of an author's imagination, they rarely mention it. I am not only going to mention it; I am going to praise it. Read it. It's a treat.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn absolute must read!!! 4 Mar 2013
I have recently read 'Destiny Of Dragons' and thought it was brilliant!! this book kept me engrossed for days i was gripped from the beginning,the writers imagination is magnificent and i cannot wait to read the next book
I highly recommend this book and author!!
5.0 out of 5 starsAmazing, 8 Dec 2012
Amazing book written by a great author! X I will defiantly buy more books from the same author, and recommend them to my family and friends xxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive Read, 19 Aug 2012
Having just completed this book and being a self confessed book addict, I was pleasantly suprised to come across a refreshing fantasy novel with characters I could visualise and empathise with. The descriptive text and imaginative realms were a refreshing novel experience with twists and turns so that the unexpected was always just that. I am intrigued by the possibilities of what will be in the next book and wait with impatient breath.
4.0 out of 5 stars A GRISTLY DELIGHT July 14, 2012
The author's lyrical and rhythmic writing style will pull you in, but it's her character development (at times wanting . . . but in such a way as to pique your curiosity) that will KEEP you in!
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging characters + Vivid settings + imaginative story = makes this a great read! 13 July 2012
Adventurous and good fun to read, this is one of the best indie books on Amazon, certainly one of the best edited, especially considering that's been achieved by the author herself. I love the cool, simple but effective cover. The pitch made me want to read on and I love the way the book opens. The Emperor's Man walks into the bar and commands instant respect, so nobody would dare cause trouble. Wish I could do that.
After a superb opening it just gets better. I really like the story set up and it leaps right into the action. Its very well written, yet easy to follow with an excellent pace. Its very imaginative writing, with a suspenseful plot that keeps you turning pages. Descriptions are well developed and explained. The author does an excellent job at describing this new, expansive, realistic world and there's also a hell of a cast of characters, embedded in sharp imagery with myriad details that make their environments feel real. Not often do I read a fantasy book where the world the characters live in seem as thought out and well developed as the characters themselves.
The distinct characters show the promise of further and more interesting development as the story goes on, so they practically jump off the page. I enjoyed the entertaining dialogue exchanges, which didn't slow down reading. Kai's adventures kept me engaged, this somewhat common man, working for the Emperor, but possessed with deep compassion unlike any of his peers. It's easy to like him, as well as root for him to succeed, all important for the hero. I do feel sorry for him with the idiot neer do well of a prince to look after. I don't see that rotter Len could possibly be heir to anything more than a barstool, even after his changes. Reminds me of our ruling class. Anna is quite amazing, all important in a heroine.
There's plenty of conflict to keep the story moving forward, which in turn will keep the reader moving forward as well. This is only book 1, the introductory book of the series, so it sets the entire series up nicely for the fantasy to grow. I already like the gypsies and the werewolf. Oh and the angel!
I do have a dilemma with it though...what happens next? I am reading this one all the way to the end.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy! 21 May 2012
I couldn't put the book down. The chapters left me in great suspense and I had to continue to read, I really cannot wait for the second book!!!!! Please publish soon!
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story, can't wait for the second book! 19 May 2012
The destiny of dragons takes you to another world. It's well written and paced and allows you to share the story with your favourite characters. I couldn't put the book down and can't wait for the second book. It's great to find a new author to be inspired by. Looking forward for the next book by Billie-Jo-Wiliams!
Reviews uploaded to Amazon or Goodreads first have been omitted. Find them in the AMAZON or GOODREADS REVIEWS sections.
The Destiny of Dragons: Book One - The Book of Wrath on Curiosity Of A Social Misfit, Review by Patrick Scattergood
I'm always dubious when I pick up a new fantasy book because, just recently, they all seem to be cliched and unimaginative, which for a book in the fantasy genre is idiotic at best.
That is most definitely not the case here.
Billie-Jo Williams is a writer with a massively imaginative mind and, here, has created a rich and varied world so full of life that it's hard to realise that the places here don't actually exist. It's the same with the characters, they are so well written that they honestly feel like real people and that you, the reader, are just watching them go about their lives albeit in a fantastical realm.
One of the things that struck me the most about Williams' writing is how original her style is. There's a darkly cynical feel to her writing that sometimes gives way to being quite nihilistic in places. That's not to say that the book isn't enjoyable, it really is. It's just that the dark, cynical edge to it makes it incredibly unique in a genre so used to just coasting along and banging out the same old cliches over and over again. While dark, the story itself has two things bubbling under the surface. One is a feeling of dread, like a massive world changing event is about to happen but there is nothing that anyone can do about it. Yet the other thing is that somehow, through it all, there seems to be a feeling of hope running alongside it. Not many writers can juggle that sort of string throughout their story but Williams' does it with the skill and slight of a hand of a old veteran of the fantasy scene.
Character wise, this book stands head and shoulders above the plethora of fantasy books that are so readily available thanks to the world of electronic publishing opening up avenues for new and old writers. The characters here feel like they are right in front of you and living and breathing. I also liked the near complete lack of cliches here as well. Yes there is a prince in the story and yes he is to inherit the kingdom. Is he the perfect hero who'll save us all? Hell no. He is a completely selfless and quite frankly useless alcoholic who, one more than one moment, barely escapes with his head attached to his shoulders. I really liked that for once the prince wasn't a handsome, dashing, do everything right kind of a guy.
The best character by far however is Kai Carnabis, charged with basically protecting the ruler and his family, yet there is much more to the character than that. I don't really want to go in to too much detail as there are tons of twists and turns that really surprised me, as a reader, and I don't want to spoil it for any of you guys and girls out there. That said, there is one problem with Carnabis. Williams' spends too much time saying how good this guy is when I think it would have been a little more affective if there had been a bit more mystery to the character and his abilities.
One of the complaints I've read about this book is that the author spends too much time describing things and not showing them. I actually liked that approach and I don't think that she has done that half as much as people have made out. If a fantasy book is battle after battle after battle then I get bored in all honesty. I want time for the characters to develop. If they have a history or a past, you don't need to show them in the battles or fights that have made them in to who they are. Sometimes just a nod to the past is enough if done well and Williams' has most definitely done that well here. Very well in fact.
All in all, if you are a fantasy fan then I think you honestly will like it. She has a bit of a Mercedes Lackey feel to her writing only it's a bit more bitter and cynical. The worlds here are fantastical and well thought out and the characters are well rounded and exciting. What more could you want from a fantasy novel?
Bring on book two!
SOME READERS DON'T REVIEW, BUT THEY CERTAINLY FEEDBACK!
"I wish you had hard copies of these - they'd make brilliant Xmas presents x" Facebook Follower
"Everyone should take the time to read these books! I don't think I've cried, loved and hated each character so much!!! You think you know a character........ Haha! Well done Billie - you have truly knocked me down and lifted me up!!!" Facebook Follower
"That line is dragon-licious! This book is now in my reading list.
"I'm still hooked on destiny of Dragons! Huge books so taking me a week a book which is good :-) xxx" Facebook Follower
"Still reading-a long way to go yet. Be still my heart as fate continues to hammer my very soul!" Facebook Follower
"DOD2 is demonstrating how easily we are duped by those in whom we place our trust, but love can be the spoiler of the best of subterfuge" Facebook Follower
"I urge anyone that loves a good fantasy fiction book to download the first in the series (DOD1) book of Wrath...It really is fabtastic." Facebook Follower
"I have fell in and out of love and back again with nearly all the characters and only on book 2!" Facebook Follower
"Kai is of course my favourite character. And following him is a rollercoaster of feelings!" Facebook Follower
"Just downloaded the 2nd book, I know what my (Saturday) night & Sunday is spent doing!!!" Pinterest Follower
"Just finished The Destiny of Dragons, book 1 by Billie Jo Williams - I'm in love!!" Facebook Follower
"I am just thrown in by the characters & their personal changes - I have even come to like the prince!!" Facebook Follower
"I'm loving it!!!! I have fell in love with Kai <3 xxxxx" Facebook Follower
"Your book nearly got thrown at the wall but its ok, you've redeemed urself! I don't think I would have forgiven you for such a death." Facebook Follower
"Just 1 clicked...& I told my hubby to stay at the golf course all day tomorrow so I could read this in peace." Pinterest Follower
"They (the books) are exciting, intense & though she may deny it, they are profound." Facebook Follower
"I'm really enjoying the first book!" Facebook Follower
"(The Destiny of Dragons) has had a lasting impact...I learned from you that I can find as much truth in fantasy fiction as I can in non-fiction & enjoy it." Facebook Follower
"EXCELLENT WORK!!!!!" Facebook Follower
"If ever there was a method for writing in 3D, Billie Jo Williams has mastered it." Twitter Follower
"I really like Kai because he embodies the qualities & ideals so often found in the Tao Te Ching." Facebook Follower
"I love your characters, Billie-Jo. Even the ones we love to hate. You do a wonderful job of developing them & revealing them." Facebook Follower
"Not normally a fantasy fiction reader (but) the DOD series is exceptionally well written, characters are well developed & realistic." Facebook Follower
"I have to visit the place of inspiration for the 1st great fantasy novel I have ever read." Facebook Follower
"I'm having fun reading the first in the series. Thank you for sharing that beautiful mind with the rest of us." Facebook Follower
"You have an exceptional wealth of knowledge and understanding of the pit falls of power, the corruption of power..." Facebook Follower
"Just a note about your Destiny of Dragons: Book of Wrath. I am enjoying it immensely!" Facebook Follower
“Thank you for creating Kai Canarbis!” Twitter Follower