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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

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Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

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The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

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Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

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REVIEW | The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart  is one of the most original books I've read all year in terms of style and it is a debut to boot. It also sports one of the best covers of the year with M.C. Escher like art from István Orosz. The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbarts reminds me a lot of Christopher Moore's recent Fool, only not as nice.  Jesse Bullington twists folktales to places they have never gone before with the strength and bravado of an author much more seasoned. Forget about the Brothers Grimm.  Long live the Brothers Grossbart! They kick ass, get their asses kicked, and kill demons and monsters of all sorts in their fumbly, vomit encrusted ways.

This disturbingly funny tale is placed in Europe during the tumultuous 1300s  when the height of the black death and fear of witches was at the tip of everyone's tongues and where magic of the worst and darkest kind is practiced. Centered on the more than aptly named Grossbarts are Hegel and Manfried.  Their story goes to unexpected depths with the most unremorseful characters found anywhere. The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart is dark, evil, vile, and repugnant yet somehow endearing with the narrative.  The Grossbarts through all the murder, debauchery, and vomit somehow see themselves as pious. You just have to follow the boys through on their journey to Gyptland where all the treasures they so richly do not deserve are housed.  The ending is very satisfying as was the final conflict.

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Gorssbart won't' be for everyone, especially those that want and need a hero of sorts in their tales.  Yet the Grossbarts do things that would be considered courageous by most, just their reasons for doing them are more out of selfishness or self-preservation. That said even the most despicable things done and said are tempered with a humor that permeates. Hereafter the name Grossbart shall mean the most vile type of being on earth ever to have lived.  I give The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart 9 out of 10 hats. Bullington is an author to watch.  He has signed for a second book in this world titled The Enterprise of Death, although it is placed a couple hundred years forward. I'll definitely have to check it out.

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RECOMMENDATIONS | Best Books of 2009 (That I've read)
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
The Alchemaster's Apprentice by Walter Moers