Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Charles Gramlich of The Swords and Planet League highlights Dyscrasia Fiction

Author Charles Gramlich just posted a Dyscrasia Fiction highlight in the Facebook Group: The Swords & Planet League on Feb 17, 2024

Link to post (click here)

One of the most unique voices working in Sword & Sorcery today is S. E. Lindberg. I met Seth a few years back and we’ve corresponded frequently as well as running into each other at such sites as Black Gate and Goodreads. Lindberg has put together a unique setting for what he calls “Dyscrasia Fiction.” Dyscrasia means “a bad mixture of liquids,” which is related to the Greek concept of the four “humors” of Blood, Phlegm, Black Bile, and Yellow Bile. In Dyscrasia fiction, these humors are sources of magical power and often soul and body corrupting influences.

The three novels available now are Lords of Dyscrasia (2011), Spawn of Dyscrasia (2014), and Helen’s Daimones (2017). Although Helen’s Daimones was the most recently published, Lindberg suggests new readers start with it since it sets the tone for the other books. Wherever you start, though, you’ll find a combination of beautiful language and powerful imagination. These works are hallucinogenic, dream-like, full of wraiths and apparitions—and sometimes horrors. Ideas and images pile one on top of another with an intensity that is far from common in fantasy literature. I admire the author’s ability to maintain that intensity throughout his works; his world-building never stumbles, and the result is a unique fantasy vision that rises to the level of art.
A word about the covers for these books. The first was created by Lindberg himself, who also has other artistic skills in addition to writing. Spawn of Dyscrasia has an amazing cover by Ken Kelly, and Helen’s Daimones has a great cover by Daniel Landerman.
There are also a number of short stories tied to the Dyscrasia setting. For more information, check out Seth’s webpage at: or his facebook page

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

B.J. Swann Reviews Helen's Daimones

Author B.J. Swann Reviews Helen's Daimones (link from Goodreads)

BJ Swann writes splendid bizarre adventure (Aeon of Chaos series, featured on Black Gate), so it is an honor he delved into Dyscrasia Fiction. He also reviewed Lord of Dyscrasia and Spawn of Dyscrasia, and the set offers a comprehensive review of the series (which sill evolves).

Here's his review:

"A worthy sequel to a work of epic weirdness.

It’s hard to articulate what it feels like to visit the world of Dyscrasia fiction. It’s weird in the extreme but also eerily familiar. The visuals are especially striking. Here we have grotesque and apocalyptic images interwoven with visions of ethereal beauty. The constant gothic themes of decadence and fathomless antiquity serve only to enhance the reader’s sensations of awe. The world of Dyscrasia fiction also has it’s own peculiar laws, its own sorcerous rules, which possess the irresistible emotional logic of folklore and fairy tale.

There were a lot of vivid moments in this book that felt intensely cinematic and really stuck in my head. The two young heroines, Helen and Sharon, wandering through an apocalyptic wasteland, coming face to face with a hideous dyscrasia-ridden mutant building a nest of dead bodies and filth...the tragic Lady Sabina, preserved in a state of hideous and beautiful undeath, her womb a honeycomb of horrors...and of course, the vision of fiery sprites coming alive from a pyre of children’s dreams and nightmares. Lindberg’s intensely visual style creates a hallucinatory reading experience.

There are some notable differences between HELEN’S DAIMONES and LORDS OF DYSCRASIA, the first book in the series. LORDS was epic in scope, detailing the course of an apocalyptic conflict. HELEN’S has a more intimate focus, dealing with the foundation of a settlement now that the Ill Age has ostensibly ended. The two new central characters, Helen and Sharon, are sympathetic and relatable, and their simple humanity provides an excellent anchor point amongst all the weirdness of their world. My only real criticism of LORDS was that its weirdness sometimes made it alienating, but HELEN’S has the human touch throughout, and is always grounded in the emotions and needs of its protagonists. On a similar note, there also seems to be a superior balance in place between the wealth of visuals on offer and the internal realities of the characters. Because of this, HELEN’S feels more grounded and less abstract, whilst still being as relentlessly weird as the original. This feels like an impressive achievement. Structurally the book is somewhat meandering and episodic, which is by no means a bad thing. Perhaps the only downside is that HELEN’S lacks the epic, apocalyptic conclusion of its older sibling. Indeed there is no real conclusion, only the setup for the third book in the series, which I will naturally be reading very soon."

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Spawn of Dyscrasia review by BJ Swann

This review made my week. Like bizarre, horrific fantasy? The Dyscrasia series may be for you. Thanks to B.J. Swann for the kind words!

BTW, the series is continuing, currently in the form of short stories being published across various eZines and anthologies.

Here's a blurb:

"Lords of Dyscrasia offered an epic tale of apocalyptic dimensions steeped in extreme strangeness. Helen’s Daimones dialled back the scope, providing a more intimate story with more relatable characters. Spawn of Dyscrasia balances these two extremes, alternating between the earth-shattering battles of inhuman sorcerers and the earthier perspectives of mortal protagonists. The result feels perfectly balanced, as does the cast of characters. We get to see Lord Lysis, the transcendent undead demi-god, unleash his freakish might against a new eldritch enemy. At the same time, we also get to witness the trials of the very human Helen as she struggles to find a place for herself in a diseased world ruled by weird magic and plagued by monsters. We also get to see a lot more of Echo, one of the more mysterious but weirdly compelling characters in the series. The result is a tightly-woven tale offering a compelling mix of intrigue, horror, weirdness, and genuine human drama.
The weirdness, as usual, is pretty much off the scale. We get to see diseased orchards where the hearts of golems grow from fleshy trees. The psychic mating rituals of regal insectoid hybrid monsters. Skulls blown apart by animate blood known as Lapis Elixir. And just wait till you see what a Behemal Centimani is! The weirdness here is so intense it makes most books I’ve read in the Bizarro genre feel like realist lit fic in comparison."

Sunday, May 16, 2021

BJ Swann reviews Lords of Dyscrasia


Book Review: Lords of Dyscrasia by S.E. Lindberg (originally posted on Aeon of Chaos)

LORDS OF DYSCRASIA is a starkly original fantasy epic steeped in horror and weirdness.

The thing I love most about the fantasy genre is its limitless potential. The thing I hate most about the fantasy genre is how little this potential is actually used. Let’s face it, most fantasy authors are simply copyists, slavishly aping either Howard, Tolkein, or more recently Martin. Most fantasy worlds are generic and uninspired, and seem merely to have been cobbled together from the refuse of someone’s high school D&D campaign. Sorting through this dross in search of something truly original often feels exhausting, depressing, even infuriating. Nonetheless, the search pays off when you find something like LORDS OF DYSCRASIA.

LORDS OF DYSCRASIA is truly unique and deeply, deeply weird. Reading it means being immersed in a different reality, one with all the exquisite newness and strange deja vu you might find in a dream. The narrator does little to handhold you through the weirdness either, and parts of the story are beautifully elliptical. The imagery is baroque, eldritch, and horrifying. Here we find the magic wombs of divine and undying insectoid matriarchs used as forges infernal; sentient fogs from which mutilated bodies dangle like gems on a crystal chandelier; crowds of worshippers whose pierced bodies are linked by bloody strands of musically vibrating thread. The rich imagery is everywhere present, as is an atmosphere of deep and uncompromising horror. There is a coldness to the tale, a menacing inhumanity that denies the reader even the most fleeting sense of comfort in its depths. To add to this effect, many of the protagonists are inhuman, and even the mortal ones move through strange states of undeath and deific possession. Nevertheless, their motives are always deeply human, even archetypal – the need for knowledge, the desire for revenge, the urge to be united with a loved one. These classic motives make even the weirdest characters relatable, and link them into an intricate tale of mythical dimensions, filled with treachery, irony, and ominous coincidence. Dread gods manipulate mortal fates, creating a family saga to rival that of the Volsungs or the Atreidae.

If I have any criticisms of LORDS OF DYSCRASIA, it is that the narrative can be so esoteric, so weird, so relentlessly rich in its otherworldly visuals, that it can at times feel alienating. Then again, this is perhaps part of the book’s unique charm and personality. One more definite criticism: there are too many adverbs for my liking, though that is of course a matter of style. Overall I loved the book, and I can even see myself reading it again so I can pour over all the rich descriptions of weird monsters and undead abominations. The visual nature of LORDS OF DYSCRASIA would make it an excellent candidate for adaptation into a graphic medium, especially a comic or video game.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series and I urge anyone who likes truly weird and innovative fantasy to give it a try.

B.J. Swann writes punk as fuck fiction with elements of fantasy, extreme horror, erotica, and anything else he wants to throw in there. The Aeon of Chaos is his fictional setting, a hyperreality of fairytale madness where anything can happen.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Last Wish -- Being Helpful

Holy cow, every now and then there comes across a fun confluence of events.
In this case, the recent 2019 Netflix series The Witcher increased interest in the Sword & Sorcery series. Of course, I moderate the S&S group on Goodreads (all are welcome to join), and we do a lot of reviews to help future readers. Turns out my 2016 review of The Last Wish is the highest helpful rank, at >300 helpful clicks.  

Cool beans. It was ~2yrs ago when I captured a few rewarding feedback instances from my reviews (Good Feelings about HATE post). 

So... Toss a coin to your Witcher!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Joe Bonadonna - Helen's Daimones review - A New Brand of Horror

"Just as HP Lovecraft created his own special brand of horror, Lindberg has conjured up a nightmare landscape that is truly unique. But Lindberg has gone far beyond the almost total narrative of a Lovecraft tale, because he populates his world with characters — with people who interact with each other, share moments of humor and drama and terror. Lindberg tells his story through the eyes and voices of his characters." - Joe Bonadonna

on December 13, 2017

“Literally, dyscrasia means “a bad mixture of liquids” (it is not a magical land.) Historically, dyscrasia referred to any imbalance of the four medicinal humors professed by the ancient Greeks to sustain life (phlegm, blood, black & yellow bile.)” — S.E. Lindberg

“Helen’s Daimones” is a novel director Tim Burton would have a field day turning into a film. The visuals alone would be amazing, and the story quite mind-blowing. This is a wonderful novel, written with vivid imagination and boundless creativity. I’ve heard it called “Grimdark fiction” by a number of people, but it goes far beyond that, and it’s certainly better than any Grimdark stories I’ve ever read. This is not a novel of swords, sorcery, demons, and wizards. This is not your typical epic fantasy, either. Sure, “Helen’s Daimones” contains elements of dark fantasy, as well as elements of science-fiction. But this is a horror story, all the way, where the main characters, a pair of orphaned girls named Helen and Sharon, are haunted and chased by numinous diseases. Lindberg’s world is populated by ghosts, mutants and hybrids (both human and insect), magically-animated rag dolls, necrophagous wasps, fetal gargoyles, and many other bizarre lifeforms. This is not a typical horror novel about vampires, werewolves and zombies. This is something new and original. Just as HP Lovecraft created his own special brand of horror, Lindberg has conjured up a nightmare landscape that is truly unique. But Lindberg has gone far beyond the almost total narrative of a Lovecraft tale, because he populates his world with characters — with people who interact with each other, share moments of humor and drama and terror. Lindberg tells his story through the eyes and voices of his characters.

While some characters are human, like Helen, Sharon and their parents, many characters are not quite human. Take Lord Endeken Lysis, for instance: he’s the Skeletal Warrior of Chromlechon. He communicates telepathically with the golem physician, Doctor Grave, and together they plan to repair humanity. Then there’s Echo, the Gray Foundling, a human-insectoid hybrid, a puppet master who entertains the hundreds of orphans under Lysis’ protection. The beauty of Lindberg’s world is that many of the grotesques possess noble souls, reminding me of Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and “The Man Who Laughs.” This is a surreal novel, a 21st century gothic novel brought to life by Lindberg’s elegant prose and colorful descriptions. It also brought to mind Mervyn Peak’s “Gormenghast Trilogy,” and the science fiction tales of featuring Cordwainer Smith’s Underpeople and the Instrumentality of Mankind. Lindberg has a totally original voice and a most unique concept, and I give “Helen’s Daimones” five stars because of what it is, how well it worked for me, and how it greatly differs from so many other dark fantasy and horror novels.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Black Gate reviews Helen's Daimones

 Feeling honored. Some quotes from review:
"Helen is one of the stranger heroes to feature in swords & sorcery. Is she delusional, mad, gifted? I was never quite sure — she is only a little girl — but I was never able to take my eyes off her. With a cast as strange as this novel has, Helen remains the focus throughout. Even when she’s off stage, the question of what she is doing always seems to rise to the fore."
"Too much of what’s called grimdark is little more than sex and gore splashed over a standard epic fantasy story. True horror — and at its heart, Helen’s Daimones is a horror story — unsettles, disorients, and makes you feel like the world will fall out from under your feet at any moment. Lindberg’s novel does all those things."
"There are strange territories in the wilds of swords & sorcery that have been visited successfully by only a handful of writers. They are places where, aside from some actual swords and sorcery, few of the common trappings of the genre are found. Magic may be phatasmagorical, the world — both physically and culturally — has no echoes of our own, and the hero is more likely to be a golem, a resurrected nobleman, or a little girl than an axe-swinging warrior.
Some of C.L. Moore’s Jirel stories and most of Clark Ashton Smith’s oeuvre mapped portions of these realms. In Throne of Bones, Brian McNaughton brought back a detailed study of one nation. Michael Shea and Darrell Schweitzer mapped whole continents. They’re dangerous places, permeated by darkness and decay, and the scent of death is rarely absent from the thick, curdled air.
S.E. Lindberg’s short novel, Helen’s Daimones (2017), is one such tale of this diseased stretch of the world of swords & sorcery. I can’t say this book quite attains the same heights as Shea’s Nifft the Lean or Schweitzer’s The Mask of the Sorcerer, but much of the time it comes tantalizingly close."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Seeking Revenge - Blackgate Reviews Lords of Dyscrasia

Some snippets from Black Gate's post on Sunday, May 24th, 2015 | Posted by author Joe Bonadonna, entitled Seeking Revenge Against the Shades of the Dead: S.E. Lindberg’s Lords of Dyscrasia:
"S.E. Lindberg is an original voice in fantasy. His prose is lush and colorful, and his style leans toward that of classic literature, without being stilted, self-conscious or pretentious....
...this is a complex and well-written novel, very difficult to describe. The settings and the atmosphere are rich in color and texture, and story’s pace is almost relentless: it rushes along like a bullet train, with very few stops along the way. Although Lysis Endeken is the main character, it is the weird and wonderful Doctor Grave who really rises above all others.
...a wondrous reading experience. I believe this is Lindberg’s first novel, and it’s an impressive one. He knows what he’s doing, and I have a feeling that he’s grown as a writer, and has mastered the art of pace, dialogue and character since this book was published four years ago.
...Lindberg is the real deal, a gifted writer with a strong command of language, and a soaring talent that stretches beyond the verbal: he illustrates his novel with his own wild and weird and excellent drawings. If you like action-packed dark fantasy with bizarre settings, an original premise and clever twist, then add this one to your Must Read List."

Seeking Revenge Against the Shades of the Dead: S.E. Lindberg’s Lords of Dyscrasia

Friday, July 3, 2015

Blackgate raves about Heroika: Dragon Eaters

Blackgate raves about Heroika: Dragon Eaters!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 | Posted by Fletcher Vredenburgh
"I’m happy to report that with all that buildup, it’s a terrific bunch of stories... 
The stories, and there are seventeen of them, are presented chronologically — well, the ones set in the real world anyway. Those set in more fantastical settings are fit in among the medieval ones. In the earliest tales dragons stand toe-to-toe with the gods. Slowly, they lose that stature and become mere monsters. Deadly, true, but no longer forces of raw, elemental chaos. Eventually they’re regarded only as mythical. In the future, scientific explanations have to be found for their existence.... 
I’m excited to see so many stories, so many of them quite good, together in on place. I’m a fan of anthologies and there aren’t enough of them for my tastes. We've all read that fantasy readers only want long novels and that not enough people buy anthologies. Janet Morris has done a great job and is to be commended for taking a chance and getting this out before the public."

17 dragons, hunted by separate authors across as many centuries.  Here's what Fletcher says about my contribution:

“Legacy of the Great Dragon” by S.E. Lindberg moves forward into ancient Egypt, as Thoth, physician of the gods, helps Horus to find power to avenge the death of his father, Osiris, at the hands of Set. This is a wild piece, with a cosmically huge dragon and gods fighting inside of it. 

Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters edited by Janet Morris

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Beauty in Ruins reviews Spawn of Dyscrasia

"In a post-apocalyptic sort of fantasy world where the 'good' guys are undead necromancers and hybrid monsters, the remaining humans must make difficult choices to ensure that there's a future for any of them... It's all very well-constructed, with an interesting system of magic to drive the plot forward, but it's hardly what one would call your typical heroic, uplifting fantasy. In fact, it's as much a horror novel as it is a fantasy novel, but it's in that clash of genres that Lindberg distinguishes himself."
Beauty in Ruins provides comprehensive book reviews on speculative fiction, and just dissected Spawn of Dyscrasia. I highly recommend following the Beauty in Ruins website.  Below is copy of most of the review:

"I didn't think it was possible, but this is an even darker fantasy than the novel that opened the saga. It's a story full of death and decay, of pain and pressure. In a post-apocalyptic sort of fantasy world where the 'good' guys are undead necromancers and hybrid monsters, the remaining humans must make difficult choices to ensure that there's a future for any of them.

Just to give you an idea of what you're getting into here, the story opens with a dying young woman, her body and soul slowly being consumed by the necromancer she serves. Her own ghost picks a replacement from out of the crowd, damning one of her oldest friends to the same sort of helpless, hopeless, inevitable doom. That friend, Helen, dutifully accepts the charge laid upon her and prepares to embark upon a future of sacrificing herself to save Lord Echo, the necromancer, in an effort to preserve her people.

Like the first volume, this is a very dark, very bleak, very sort of hopeless future, one in which the monsters have already won. It's all very well-constructed, with an interesting system of magic to drive the plot forward, but it's hardly what one would call your typical heroic, uplifting fantasy. In fact, it's as much a horror novel as it is a fantasy novel, but it's in that clash of genres that Lindberg distinguishes himself. This reads very much like an epic fantasy novel in terms of language and imagery, but one dealing with a dark, gruesome, horrific sort of subject matter. It's a gorgeous, textured, intricately layered story where every word counts, and where no phrase is wasted. Make no mistake, it makes for heavy reading, but you feel the weight of every word.

While I would have liked to see Helen play more of a heroic role, rather than serve as damsel in distress or sidekick, this is not really a world where humans have a significant role to play. It is a world filled with hybrid monsters and ruled by god-like beings, a world in which power is infected by an insidious sort of disease. Having said that, she's an admirable character, for all the flaws of her situation, and she does have her moments, especially as we approach the climax.

Overall, I found the pacing and flow much stronger, compared to Lords of Dyscrasia. It's a clearer, more consistent tale, one with those narrative bridges that I felt were lacking in the first book. As sequels or follow-ups go, Spawn of Dyscrasia is one of those rare novels that tops its predecessor in almost every way, which definitely bodes well for future installments. If you're open to something new, and have the patience to really pay attention to the narrative as much as the plot, then by all means pay Lindberg's world a visit - you'll be impressed at what he's able to accomplish in so few carefully chosen words, and you'll certainly appreciate the visit."
- Bob Milne 2014

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lords of Dyscrasia: Darkly bold and literate fantasy

Recent 5-star review of Lords of Dyscrasia on Amazon!  

5.0 out of 5 stars Lords of Dyscrasia: Darkly bold and literate fantasy -1st in a seriesOctober 9, 2014
This review is from: Lords of Dyscrasia (Kindle Edition)

S.E. Lindberg leads us on an amazing adventure into character and danger with his first in a series, "Lords of Dyscrasia." Lindberg's work is dark, violent; sometimes beautiful, sometimes lyrical; always thoughtfully written. For an emerging writer, Lindberg takes many chances, and almost always succeeds. He is a more thoughtful writer than many, exploring the psyches of humans and their gods. Lindberg is a chemist, and in this story disease corrupts the the characters and their faith in themselves and one another. I loved it, but I am hesitant to characterize it. Is Lords of Dyscrasia it high fantasy, heroic fantasy? You decide.

A dyscrasia is a term the ancient Greeks used to describe imbalance of the four humors needed for life. In Lords of Dyscrasia, these medicinal or physical humors manifest as muses for artisans, dispensers of magical power, and the manifestations of disease. Lindberg twists this sophisticated ancient construct into an unexpected shape, as is his wont.

Lindberg is a bold and literate guide to a uniquely-imagined world, with a deep love for fantasy conventions and equally for surprises. When the soul of a dying queen becomes infused into the blood of a human artisan, the soul of the queen passes through his blood and into his offspring, preserving the bloodline... I'll say no more about Ante and the adventures swirling around him.

As I said, Lindberg takes chances; he's full of energy that infuses this book with passion. The raw power of story, when mixed with a literate intelligence and a taste for beauty, make this writer one to read early and follow on his quest for perfection. I can't wait to see what Lindberg does next, in Spawn of Dyscrasia... although I think I have an inkling....

Thursday, September 11, 2014

5-stars: Author Charles Gramlich reviews Spawn of Dyscrasia

5/5-Stars for Spawn of Dyscrasia

Author Charles Gramlich posted the first Amazon review of Spawn of Dyscrasia (just released last month). He has a keen ability for writing and teaching adventure fiction.  I've enjoyed his poetic dark fantasy, and am I'm flattered by and grateful for his comments. Charles Gramlich's review is posted on his Razored Zen BlogAmazon, and Barnes - Noble and Goodreads

"This is an entertaining fantasy novel that—I would argue—rises to the level of art... There are plenty of gore-rich scenes, enough to do a horror novel proud. But the language is so vivid and rich that you can just revel in it..."Gramlich Sept-2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lords of Dyscrasia Continues to Scare Readers

Rebecca from reviews Lords of Dyscrasia (review link) (Feb 2014):

"Lords of Dyscrasia reads like a descent into a mania induced visionary night terror. Superficially presented under the 'Sword and Sorcery' umbrella fans of the genre will be taken on a gloriously twisted ride. Whilst the main narrative is one of traditionally breathless action, the underlying psychological back-drop weaves it's way into the reader's imagination. It is a novel that will stay with you, whether you like it or not.

 The landscape created for you to endure along with the characters is one of acrid putridity and horrendous suffering. You have been warned. However, there is a transcendent quality to the writing which is rare. There is imagery here that borders on the ecstatically religious. This is juxtaposed with an old-fashioned yarn so joyously told that at several moments I had to grin with the sheer gusto of it all.

I'd recommend this to fantasy and horror fans who are interested in extremes of behaviour and the subconscious. There is a lot of blood, guts and gore here also. When I say a lot, I mean oodles. The reader is plunged into a world created with flesh and rancid fluids. I was reminded of Clive Barker, and even the body horror of David Cronenberg.
Lords of Dyscrasia is worth taking a risk on. There is a lot more going on here than shock and awe. Several images are extremely memorable and I feel I will revisit this book in the future. All in all, hugely intriguing and revelatory."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bookend Chronicles: Lords Of Dyscrasia review

Bookend Chronicles consistently weaves thoughtful context with excerpts to provide helpful reviews.  It just posted its comprehensive review of Bookend Chronicles: Lords Of Dyscrasia (Link).  I copy/paste the text below since it should help potential readers decide if they want to tour the Underworld: 
For years, the movie industry has inundated us with some of the most graphic, disturbing, horror-laden tales of terror on the silver screen. It would be quite a rare occasion for a story to cause a deep stir in a desensitized mind. But once in a while, a story is constructed that motivates the mind and gets the wheels once again turning in anticipation.
Such is the Lords Of Dyscrasia by S.E. Lindberg.
Lindberg depicts an intensely savage and volatile world within the pages of Dyscrasia. It is a persistent plague that invades the blood and changes the human genome forever. Doctor Grave desperately seeks to save the long bloodline of his sick queen.
"The lifeless embryos exhibit the disease explicitly. The stillborn mutants present eldritch traits, all unique and terrible. Beaks and downy feathers adorn the avian ones. Translucent, soft-shell exoskeletons wrap the invertebrate insectan type, which are always infected with worms."
The disease has sunken into every crevice of daily life. It is no longer an aberrant anomaly, it has become an accepted form of life. Yet there is an unspoken hope that still exists.
"Anyone who could conquer this disease, which is rooted in the fabric of the Land, must be likewise terrible. Perhaps there will be a hero, a warrior who will vanquish dyscrasia, only to usher unforeseen horrors into this world—horrors that will make us all suffer so much we will wish dyscrasia to return…"
Endenken, the leader of a dying culture, wrestles with his own personal demons. Expected to abide by the traditional rules of his people, he must make difficult decisions in a world strife with the disease. His decision will mark the beginning of an end.
"Their blood was sacred. They had few left to carry it. And it was Endenken’s turn to inherit the burden... And the masked grotesqueries swarmed him now, their human frames transfigured by ornate markings and hollow eldritch skeletons."
The gruesome tale continues and illuminates the struggle within the bonds of humanity. An edict of the soul resounds throughout the pages of this nightmarish other-world with spots of dark humor. Lindberg has created an alternate reality that forces the reader to expand the limitations of their imagination.
We must further open our own minds and perhaps even edify our own traditional definitions of religion, belief, and faith.
The illustrations contained are morbid works of art, continuing to tell an epic that is both compelling and fascinating. Even the cover provides a sense of expectancy.
S.E. Lindberg lives near Cincinnati, Ohio. He works as a microscopist, and has spent two decades practicing chemistry.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reader Reviews for Lords of Dyscrasia - 2012

2011 reader reviews were captured in a previous post, while the Review Tab (link) attempts to share all reviews. This post consolidates reviews for 2012 (so far) being posted on many disparate websites. The highlights are lines that I considered being particularly helpful.


  • DC 4 of 5 stars false Read in August, 2012,   Recommended for: lovers of gore, dark fantasy enthusiasts 
"Just be mindful to sacrifice your dark emotions whence you arrive. Your soul will pale. The hue of your memories will desaturate. You will be cleansed. Protected."
This is a story of a man who worked to free himself from a lineage of bondage. He starts with simply denying the Rite of Inheritance of his forefathers, and soon finds himself undead and clothed in the skin of his enemies. For this is the land of the Lords of Dyscrasia, a land where blood and ichor color the landscape.
Reanimation, specters and murderers are ever-present here, as are the traces of insectan elders and terrible harpies. They battle for the supremacy of their masters, fueled by contempt and guilty memories. They fill your senses with sanguine touches, and they haunt your soul with unforgiving murmurs. I would definitely say that this is unique. I haven't read a lot of this genre, of speculative/horror/gore, but I must say that I had quite an enjoyable ramble as I walked through a world where I could sink my feet in bloodied pools or rotten corpses.
While this is not a book for the sick of heart, it is a fairly great story told by quite a technical hand. You have to be rather good at context clues (but it wouldn't be a problem if you're paying enough attention), but the details are consistent, surprising, shocking. I had some problems with the storytelling (rather confusing at times), but I'm sure that some details may be bypassed while still enjoying the story. The unraveling of the plot itself, however, was pretty good. The little details were significant too, which surprised me as I went along.
(Oh, and just to add: I absolutely loved Dey's parts. I liked this young artist of a man, with his sketches and searches for pigment. Bonus points for Dey!) If you have no qualms reading dark fantasy (and feeling as if you've bathed in blood), pick up this book and enjoy. Come, the Lords of Dyscrasia are beckoning, calling you to claim your nightmares. 
  • 's review Aug 24, 12 4 of 5 stars false  If you like horror, fantasy and mythology, this is your book! I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline. It was a little slow – and at times a little confusing – toward the beginning, but the story picked up by the second chapter and delivered everything I wanted in a horror story: decapitation, disembowelment, cannibalism, castration (my personal favorite), rape, incest, mythological Gods, insects, birds…the list goes on. It was very disturbing, but that’s what I like. I want a story that shocks the conscious and this story delivered! Bravo, Mr. Lindberg, for a job well done! The story was unusual and your artwork was phenomenal. I look forward to reading your future novels. 
  • 's review Feb 24, 12  4 of 5 stars false This book has some curious ideas and strong characterization. The main characters go through many trials and the will of their souls are challanged on every page. The loss that the main characters go through is heartbreakening and yet they carry on. The last 30 pages were harder to read through and I almost gave up but I skipped over a couple of pages so that I would not miss the ending. If Lindberg could shorten the book a little then the story would be tighter and feel less sometimes like a long journey but a great adventure.  This is also the first book I have read on the Nook Color.

Beauty in Ruins - Blog 

Review by Bob MilneFriday, January 20, 2012

I don't generally read a lot of small-press or self-published books, but when one snags my attention, I'm more than willing to give it a shot. Lords of Dyscrasia is one of those books where everything fell into place - the cover caught my eye; the review blurb comparing it to "the works of Poe and Lovecraft" made me curious; and the concept of infected bloodlines, diseased souls, and necromancy assured it a spot on my shelf.

Stylistically, this was a very interesting read, with a mix of high fantasy, pulp adventure, and visceral horror that worked as well as I could have hoped. Elements of it did indeed remind me, at different times, of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, but I also detected the flavour of Robert E. Howard, and even some early Books of Blood era Clive Barker.  The storyline here is interesting, and the investment in the mythology is quite impressive. It's definitely one of the more unique concepts I've come across in a long while, taking a very Cthulhu-like approach to an otherwise standard fantasy trope of interracial breeding and the mingling of mortal & immortal races. The world-building doesn't quite live up to the mythology, but only because we don't get explore enough of it.

This is a very intense, very frantic, very driven read that leaps from scene to scene. The action and the tension is relentless, which has a definite appeal for some readers, but I felt it suffered somewhat because of it. I think one more pass at the story to build some narrative bridges between the scenes, and to pad out the intensity with some subtler moments of reflection could have really served the book well. It's not very often that I put down a book wishing it had been just a bit longer, but her I would have welcome some fluff to round things out.  That said, what's on the page works very well. Doctor Grave is a fantastic character, secretive and manipulative, but driven by an honest purpose. His ethereal assistant is definitely a nice touch, and the ways in which she is used outside the Doctor's environment were a very pleasant surprise. Lysis, unfortunately, came across as a bit one-dimensional for me. I would have like to see some more vulnerability in him, some lighter emotions, but I suspect that lack is due more to the unrelenting intensity of his quest than to any failings on the part of the book.

Other reviewers have said this is a very dark book, and they're right. This is pulp fantasy for the horror fan (not the other way around), and it is wonderfully grotesque. There's a very clinical detachment from much of the horror, which actually serves to elevate the monstrosities to a higher level. Like I said earlier, this reminds me of Books of Blood era Clive Barker on the page, or original Hellraiser era Clive Barker on the screen, and I delighted in that visceral element.  By no means a perfect book, but one that manages to offer something new, and which does an admirable job of bringing it all together. I look forward to seeing what Lindberg produces next, and would even be up for a reread were he to expand the text here . . . an author's preferred edition, if you will.

Amazon Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings about this one, June 13, 2012; By K. Sozaeva "Obsessive bibliophile"
Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of this text from the LibraryThing Members Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review.

Dyscrasia is a terrible disease in this book - one affecting mainly pregnant women who, if they survive their pregnancy, give birth to mutated creatures half-way between human and elder. The elders are either avian or insectile and they themselves are becoming extinct, leaving only a few, lesser members behind. The cult of people who worship the elders are called Picti, and Lord Endenken is the last of the Lysis clan, the only ones who can handle the power that is transmitted through their blood, only able to mate with those of the same blood or the dyscrasia takes them. It's quite a dilemma, and Endenken wants nothing to do with it - he wants to make his own way.

Lindberg has a real way with words - the language washes over the reader, completely immersing one within the world being created. But this is a very dark world that has been created - while many scenes occur in the daylight, everything I see in my mind is dark - there is no light anywhere. Also the scope is very large - there are scenes, of course, but overall it feels like everything is taking place at a distance. Analyzing my reaction, I think the reason I felt this way is that there are no "good" sides; everyone is really sort of evil, and there is no hero - or antihero - for which to root. Endenken is the main focus of the story, and he started with good intentions, but he's really not a nice man at all. Without someone to root for, I was left feeling sort of unmoored in the story. Dey was the only one I really felt any sympathy toward, and I much preferred Cypria and her quest for freedom over Haemarr.

All the art in this book - cover image and illustrations - are also done by the author. Amazing the amount of talent in one person! Also, amazing how much he overuses exclamation points... Every sentence that could possibly be emphatic ends with an exclamation point! I didn't notice it at first, but eventually I started to see that there was indeed exclamation point abuse occurring. There was also a lot of very awkward and ungrammatical phrasing throughout the book, although since this was an ARC, that might have been corrected before the final publication.

So, I have mixed feelings about this book. The language is lovely and it is beautifully written in many ways, but there is an excess of exclamation points and awkward/ungrammatical phrasing. There is no real hero/antihero for whom to cheer - or at least there were none for whom I felt any connection - and the scope is so large it is sometimes hard to keep track of it. I am sure there are some fans of high fantasy, especially dark fantasy, who will quite enjoy this tale, but it really wasn't for me.

 )twlite | Apr 4, 2012 | 
I won this book from a Library Thing giveaway

This book is a Fantasy/Horror novel. It's very vivid and has many dark and graphic scenes, so it's not for everyone. That being said, this book is a very intense, but moves along fairly quickly. It will keep you turning pages all the way through.

There is a blood disease that is plaguing the elder of the Underworld. Doctor Grave tries to save them by placing the soul of dying Queen into the blood of Lord Ante Lysis. The soul then passes to his descendants until Doctor Grave can resurrect her again. Edenken Lysis journeys to the Underworld to try to get rid of the plague from his soul. He must fight his own battles though, his past and the Doctor's minions.

It's very fast past and very vivid. This book is very gory, but if you like that, it's a great read and you will highly enjoy it. I haven't read a book quite like this one before, so it was a surprise. The characters are great and well rounded. They aren't just good and bad but a mix of both that makes them much more interesting. I don't normally read this graffic of a novel. There are a lot of very evil subjects in the book that may be very difficult to read, so please by warned. This book wasn't my "type" of novel, but it was well written by the Author and could be a very good read for someone who doesn't mind the gore and some of the stuff they do. Although this book wasn't my kind of thing, I gave it 4 stars because the book was well written and may be to the next persons liking.