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Howard Andrew Jones

Author of The Desert of Souls

44+ Works 828 Members 35 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Series

Works by Howard Andrew Jones

The Desert of Souls (2011) 268 copies
For the Killing of Kings (2019) 93 copies
The Bones of the Old Ones (2012) 65 copies
Plague of Shadows (2011) 65 copies
Stalking the Beast (2013) 42 copies
Beyond the Pool of Stars (2015) 41 copies
The Waters of Eternity (2011) 28 copies
Lord of a Shattered Land (2023) 26 copies
Tales From The Magician's Skull, No. 1 (2019) — Editor — 11 copies
Tales From The Magician's Skull, No. 4 (2020) — Editor — 10 copies
Tales From The Magician's Skull, No. 3 (2019) — Editor — 9 copies

Associated Works

The Long Tomorrow (1955) — Introduction, some editions — 844 copies
Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters (2014) — Contributor — 52 copies
Warriors of the Steppes: The Complete Cossack Adventures, Volume 2 (2006) — Editor, some editions — 48 copies
Ghost in the Cogs (2015) — Contributor — 21 copies
Guilds & Glaives (2018) — Contributor — 18 copies
Galactic Stew (2020) — Contributor — 12 copies
When Worlds Collide (2021) — Author — 9 copies
Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 132 (May 2021) (2021) — Contributor — 3 copies

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Members

Reviews

Unfortunately, The Desert of Souls, by Howard Andrew Jones is told in the first person. Asim, our protagonist, is Captain of guards to a wealthy magistrate in a sword and sorcery caliphate. This magistrate is an intimate of the Caliph. You might expect such a powerful person to employee a guard Captain who is strong, mature, skilled, and perhaps cunning; or a least a bright... OK, maybe just perceptive. Nope, Asim, while not a simpleton, seems a bit young, at 24, and a bit dull-witted to manage his important post. I’m afraid that I have very little tolerance for a dumb protagonist, particularly when told in a first person narrative. Periodically, I find myself wanting to tap him on the shoulder and say "Duh-uh!" I think the author missed an opportunity in not telling the story from the view point of, Sabirah, the magistrate’s niece and ward, who is deemed so clever that she is permitted to pursue her education rather than be married off for political gain. A clearly daring girl, her exploits are only mentioned to explain her presence as a stowaway on Asim’s mission to retrieve two stolen magical items. Even so, I gave this book a chance and read through to the midst of chapter 9. This "Arabian Nights" setting is a welcome departure for me from the Urban-paranormal-romance deluging the fantasy genre at the moment and the author's writing is quite engaging. It’s even likely that Asim may develop a clue by the end of his adventures. However, I lost all patience and gave up at page 126, after yet another a pivotal turn in the plot was driven by the protagonist simply making another inappropriately dumb move. (Which situation amounts to: “We’re in trouble. The scholar who got us out of trouble before has a plan; let’s follow it!” “Plan? We don’t need no stinking plan!” With the epic examples of Scheherazade and Sinbad the Sailor, (whose caliphate worlds of magic and adventure the author tries to emulate), would that Jones had followed these examples more closely and chosen a reasonably clever protagonist. To this book’s credit it may well cause me to re-read One Thousand and One Nights or Judith Tarr’s Alamut (preceded by the The Hound and the Falcon series), for a reminder of what Arabian sword & sorcery looks like when it’s done right.… (more)
 
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djambruso | 15 other reviews | Feb 23, 2024 |
This second volume of the chronicles of Hanuvar, with short episodes of plots, dark magic, and battles, knit together with explanatory notes, as though written by a historian and editor of some ancient texts. Hanuvar is too clever at solving mysteries, too indestructible in battle, and too noble to be a convincing character. The stories always have a dread magical element, and usually a maiden in danger. The action moves along, but I find the dialogue and explanatory writing sometimes less than elegant. I became tired of the series, after 607 pages of text on the Kindle… (more)
 
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neurodrew | Jan 19, 2024 |
The author was very committed to using the voice and style of someone from eighth-century Baghdad translated into nineteenth-century English. Many authors slip into inconsistencies or anachronisms when they attempt such a feat, but Jones succeeded as far as I can tell.
 
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soulforged | 15 other reviews | Jan 7, 2024 |
The aftermath of the Punic wars retold in a fantasy world
Hanuvar is modeled on Hannibal, and this novel imagines him in the aftermath of the fall of Carthage, seeking to free his enslaved and scattered people from the Dervans. Each chapter could be read as a short story, as Hanuvar and his playwright companion Sosilos encounter black magic, demons, and evil Dervan generals. The narrative moves along with Hanuvar, as he crosses an Alpine mountain chain, to enter the Dervan empire. The Dervans are Roman legionnaires in all but the exact name, with centurions, optios, a first spear, and tribunes. This was a good escape.… (more)
 
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neurodrew | Dec 28, 2023 |

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Statistics

Works
44
Also by
9
Members
828
Popularity
#30,825
Rating
½ 3.6
Reviews
35
ISBNs
52
Favorited
2

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