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In March of 2015, Mark Lawrence decided to use his own personal fame to get a bunch of book reviewers to look at a number of self-published fantasy books. During that process, books were chosen as finalists for a second round review with one book being chosen as a winner. I submitted my book, but I also wanted to give everyone who submitted a little additional bit of discovery for their books. So this is my summary of the books, along with the "honorable mentions", the books reviewers said were good but couldn't be their one choice for the second round.

Some of this information may be out of date, it is a volunteer effort but either I will update it or you can submit a pull request on the Github page and changes will be made and updated on this site. If you have questions about this page, please open a issue on the Github site. Otherwise, you can send me a tweet at @dmoonfire or send me an email at contact@moonfire.us.

Clicking on the titles will expand the box with more information. You can create a link to a specific page by entering the search terms after a hash. For example: http://spfbo.moonfire.us/#sand+and+blood.

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Also, some of the metadata was inferred (e.g., completely guessed) based on secondary information. It will probably be wrong. My apologies if I made a mistake, please send me an email and I will fix it as soon as possible.

Honorable Mentions

Not all the reviewers have explictly called out honorable mentions, which is one reason for this site. Below are the justifications for marking items as honorable mentions.

Beauty in Ruin's honorable mentions are chosen from books that were specifically called out.

Fantasy Book Review's honorable mentions came from this post. In specific, "Without further ado then - these are the 5 books that the Fantasy Book Review guys plan to read from cover to cover and pick their winner from:".


While the original contest uses only finalists and winner, I've expanded the entries into additional categories. Honorable Mentions were books that were singled out by the reviewers as being "almost good enough" to be the finalist. Referenced means that the book was none of the above categories but was mentioned in a review, either by simply saying it was on the list or mentioning it in some manner. Passed Over was a book that was none of the above but wasn't identified by any of the reviewers.


Soapbox time. The reason I've included nationality, gender, and race in the selection criteria is because there aren't that many non-cis-gendered white males writing books in general. I want to encourage it, but the hardest point is pointing out that the unbalance exists. So, you can filter on those conditions to see how they balance out across the submissions.

There are many times when I made assumptions about these categories. I'm probably wrong but I don't mean to offend. Please, if I am, just send me an email and I will fix it.