Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Mark Lawrence’s self-published fantasy book challenge results

Hey, do you remember this self-published fantasy novel challenge from last year? Mark Lawrence arranged for ten bloggers to each try a bunch of self-pubbed titles, 300 in total, and sort out their favorites, then sort out their favorites of those and so on.

Well, the results came out recently; you can view the results here.

The participating bloggers included Bookworm Blues, Elitist Book Reviews, Fantasy Faction, Fantasy Book Critic, Lynn’s Books, The Fictional Hangout, Beauty in Ruins, Bibliotropic, The Speculative Book Review, and Fantasy Book Review. All the blogs are linked at the top of the results table, and most of their reviews for the winning titles are linked as well.

Each blogger rated a title from one to ten. The overall top-rated title averaged out with an 8.0, with individual scores ranging from 6.5 to 9.0 — this was The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids.

The work that got overall second place was Bloodrush by Ben Galley, a fantasy with a western setting that I actually purchased last year but (of course) haven’t had time to read yet. Well, I’m glad to see it scored rather high. Its individual scores ranged from 6.0 to 9.0 and I see it was the overall favorite of four different bloggers — no other title was the top-rated book for more than two bloggers.

The single title that seems to have sparked the most extreme disagreement looks like What Remains of Heroes, by David Benem which was rated a 4.0 by two bloggers and an 8.5 by four bloggers. Wow. Let’s see, all right — some readers are perceiving it as dark fantasy, some as grimdark. I can see why the ratings are so violently variable.

There’s also a title, Priest by Matthew Colville that ranged from 3.0 to 8.5, but all the rest of its scores are middle-of-the-road, from 6.0 to 7.5.

Anyway, there are ten winners listed in the table; the others are The Weight of a Crown by Tavish Kaeden, City of Burning Shadows by Barbara Webb, Sins of a Sovereignty by Plague Jack (really, that’s how the author is listed; can you think of a better way to say Don’t Take Me Seriously As An Author than to use a handle like that?), Shattered Sands by WG Saraband, Under a Colder Sun by Greg James, and A Soul for Trouble by Crista McHugh. I think that’s all of them.

As I say the reviews are mostly linked from the results page, so click through if you’ve got a minute and would like to take a closer look.

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