About Ryan Mueller

I'm an author of epic fantasy. I like to take the classic themes of epic and high fantasy and add a few modern twists. My influences include Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and many others. I'm also an author of middle grade and young adult fantasy. My influences here include J.K. Rowling, Brandon Mull, and Rick Riordan. Magic features heavily in my stories, and I prefer to have my main characters on the good side of the morality spectrum. That's not to say they don't have flaws, just that I'm a little weary of the Grimdark movement in fantasy. My stories can get dark at times, but I still inject optimism and human decency into them. I may also try science fiction at some point. Pretty much, I love anything under the speculative fiction umbrella (for any age category).

Book Review: Valley of Embers by Steven Kelliher

The first thing that stands out to me about this book is the author’s writing style. Kelliher has a slightly more poetic style than I’m used to seeing in fantasy, using a great deal of figurative language. Apart from that, the prose is also very readable. The book was also paced very well, keeping me turning pages because something interesting was almost always happening.

The battle sequences in the last twenty percent of the book were also a joy to read. They gave me that frantic feeling I love getting during the climax of a book. The revelations at the very end also have my excited to read the rest of the series.

But I do have a few criticisms. While the pacing was great for keeping the story going, I felt at times that the characters didn’t get as much time to develop as I would have liked. I liked most of them well enough, but I didn’t feel as much of an emotional connection as I would have liked. That connection grew as the story went on, so I’m hoping it continues in the following books.

On the editing front, I did notice a few typos, but nothing that’s a dealbreaker as far as I’m concerned.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Book Review: Dragon Bones by D.K. Holmberg

This was a very entertaining story from an author I’m growing to like more and more, and that’s a great thing because Holmberg is an insanely prolific author.

In this one, the main character is Fes. At the start, it seems like Fes is the stereotypical street thief archetype, and that’s not a bad thing. As the story progresses, we find out that Fes has some special talents that allow him to find artifacts from the long-vanished dragons. Again, this is hardly groundbreaking material, but Holmberg manages to write an entertaining tale around these common tropes.

Soon Fes finds himself caught up in a quest to recover a very powerful dragon relic. He ends up teaming up with Alison, a woman with whom he has a lot of history, and this makes for some great character interactions.

And that’s where I think this book does well. In terms of the plot and world, there’s nothing that jumps out at you as wildly original, but I didn’t care because I cared about the characters. At the beginning Fes is more of an anti-hero only in it for the money. As the story progresses, however, you see more and more of his character, and he develops into someone who’s in it for something more than just the money. By the end, I found myself rooting for Fes and his comrades.

This book is also set against the interesting backdrop of a civil war of sorts within the empire. We don’t get the full picture from either side in this story, but it does set up a conflict with great potential for the rest of the series.

Overall, this is the kind of simple but entertaining fantasy I enjoy reading. Holmberg is quickly becoming one of my favorite “comfort read” authors. It’s the kind of fantasy I like: inspired by the classics, but with enough modern twists to make it feel fresh. I see a lot of potential in this series.

Rating: 8.5/10

I will also add that I’m currently on the fourth book now, and the series keeps getting better with each book.

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Sale Alert: Empire of Chains, The Shadowed Land, and Sunweaver

I currently have deals running on three of my books. Empire of Chains is free, The Shadowed Land is available for only $0.99 instead of $3.99, and Sunweaver is available for $0.99 instead of $2.99.

You can get them by following this link: https://www.amazon.com/Ryan-W.-Mueller/e/B071YXBZRW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

You can also click on the cover images in the right-hand sidebar.

 

Book Review: Soldier Son by D.K. Holmberg

I’m going to try to get more active on this blog again. I’m also trying to read more books this year. I figured I could put the two together and put some book reviews up on the the blog.

Today, I’m reviewing Soldier Son, Book 1 of the Soldier Son trilogy by D.K. Holmberg. Holmberg is one of the bigger names today in indie fantasy, and he’s an insanely prolific author. Seriously, I envy his ability to publish enjoyable books so frequently.

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Without further ado, here’s the review: (No, I didn’t intend for that to rhyme. It just happened.)

I picked this up because I’ve really enjoyed Holmberg’s Cloud Warrior saga. I’ve read most of the way through that series and wanted to try one of his other series.

Overall, I’d say this was a good read. It’s about on the same level as the first Cloud Warrior Saga book, which I enjoyed, but not as much as the later books in the series.

Everything I’ve read so far of Holmberg’s focuses on a single point-of-view character. This allows for a shorter novel and a more focused read, but as a reader of epic fantasy, I sometimes find myself wishing I could see the world from others’ viewpoints.

In this one, it took me a while to warm up to Endric, the main character. At the beginning, he seems like a petulant child even though he’s old enough to become a military officer. This was an intentional choice by Holmberg, though, intended to showcase Endric’s character development throughout the novel. And he does develop. I won’t give away too much because I like to keep my reviews spoiler-free.

Because of the narrow focus, I found that the worldbuilding came out gradually. I also enjoyed finding out answers to mysteries as the story progressed. This approach works well for me as a reader because there’s nothing I hate more than the beginning of a book being weighed down by worldbuilding infodumps. Thankfully, those were kept to a minimum here.

Toward the end, there was a fair amount of action. It wasn’t an explosion of action like in his Cloud Warrior books, but it was still enjoyable. Overall, the book was a little lighter on action than I’d expected for a military-focused book, and that’s part of the reason I didn’t quite love it.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy fantasy read, this book fits the bill perfectly. It’s not great by any means, but it’s the kind of popcorn fantasy I like reading to relax before bed.

Rating: 8/10

The Winds of Time is out!

It has finally happened. I’ve finally finished the series I first started working on way back in 2005, when I was 15 years old. The Winds of Time is finally out. I may have wanted to get it published during the summer, but better late than never, I guess.

Now that the series is complete, I’m working on cover art for a box set, which will give you the entire series at a discounted rate.

I’m excited to get to editing the next book in Sunweaver now. With how long it took me to get The Winds of Time ready, that series has been sadly neglected.

It’s all part of the learning process, I guess. I’m figuring out most of this stuff as I go.

An Update

Just thought I’d pop in here to let everyone know that I am getting close on The Winds of Time. Ideally, I’d like to get it out sometime this month, but school is getting very busy, so I may not meet that goal. Just know that it will come out, and sometime in the relatively near future.

After that, I’ll release a “box set” version as well. That will come at a discounted price compared to buying the books separately. Either way, the entire series is also in Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it for free.

And here’s the cover, which I really like:

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