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The Way of the Black Beast - A Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy (The Malja Chronicles Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Stuart Jaffe
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

***For a limited time, you can also get the second Malja book, The Way of the Sword and Gun, for free - check here to find out more: (just copy and paste into your browser)***

Start your adventures with Malja in this action-packed, post-apocalyptic fantasy!

In a parallel world destroyed by magic, one woman fights all odds to survive and find the answers behind her mysterious past.

Malja searches for the two magicians who stole her at birth, trained her to be a killing machine, and then tossed her away at ten. She wants to know why this happened and most importantly, who she really is.

But facing unrelenting challenges - crazed magicians, guitar-playing assassins, mutated beasts - she pushes through with a single-mindedness that may destroy all she holds dear.

Find out why Fictitious Chronicle called The Way of the Black Beast "incredible and impressive" and Workaday Reads called it "a great start to a series, and I can't wait to see where it goes next."

Interview with the Author

Q - So, what makes The Malja Chronicles special?

A - I’ve been a published writer for almost 20 years, and the most exciting time has been in the last few years. The doors have been blown wide open, allowing writers like me to mix and mash genre in ways that weren’t acceptable a decade ago. So, when I set out to write this series, I wanted to create something that hit upon what I like most in reading. Fantasy, science fiction, wild monsters, a kick-butt heroine, fast-paced style, all rolled into one! Basically, I didn’t let old genre conventions get in my way.

The Malja Chronicles books are a great mix of these genres and more. You won’t find the old fantasy tropes here. No, sire. You'll find the series starts off more in the post-apocalyptic end -- sort of a Xena meets Mad Max vein -- and then later moves into a multiverse which really open up the possibilities!

Overall, The Malja Chronicles is meant to keep you turning the pages - and I've made sure there's never a dull moment.

Q - What order should I read the books in?

A - I’ve written the series in two story arcs. Each book is a full story in itself, but if read in order, you’ll get the bigger story arc as well. In order, they are:

- The Way of the Black Beast
- The Way of the Sword and Gun
- The Way of the Brother Gods
- The Way of the Blade
- The Way of the Power
- The Way of the Soul (coming soon)

Q - So, why should readers give these books a try?

A - Because The Malja Chronicles is a fast, action-packed, thrill-ride adventure! Book 1 has reached the Top 10 on several lists while the series has a whole is my bestselling series.

Ultimately, readers who enjoy high action, cool magic, strange monsters, and new wonders will get a kick out of this series.

Q - Can readers get the whole series in one go?

A - For now, the first three books have been bundled together if people want to save a little moolah and grab all three in one swoop. Once I finish the last book (soon, I promise), I’ll put together a bundle with books 4 - 6. Check out my author page here at Amazon for more details, and a full list of my available titles.

And thanks for reading!

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Other books you're sure to enjoy:
The Malja Chronicles
The Way of the Black Beast (Book 1)
The Way of the Sword and Gun (Book 2) 
The Way of the Brother Gods (Book 3)
The Way of the Blade (Book 4)
The Way of the Power (Book 5)
The Way of the Soul (Book 6, coming in 2015)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1081 KB
  • Print Length: 314 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Stuart Jaffe; 2 edition (September 16, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NRXT6W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,020 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nicely created post-apocalyptic world June 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm not at all sure what to make of this book. On the one hand, it has a lot of elements that I normally find appealing: a post-apocalyptic setting, a kickass female protagonist, characters with a lot of history, an unpredictable world. But somehow, it didn't grab me, and I've been puzzling over why. There's nothing terrible about it, nothing that jumps out at me - it's well plotted, the characters have depth, the world is full of surprises (and I love to be surprised!), but for some odd reason it didn't resonate with me. Just a mood thing, I suppose.

One problem is that I often found it difficult to visualise the settings. Sometimes I would have to reread a section because I'd misunderstood where things were or what was going on. I'm still not very clear whether the setting is meant to be some real-world place, or if it's a created world. I kept seeing it in my mind as the southwestern US, but I could be completely wrong about that. Either way, the book failed to provide me with as much detail about the backdrop as I wanted, but another reader likely wouldn't find it a problem.

However, the world is filled with a whole heap of weirdness. The author has a stunning imagination to create so many odd beasties and devices and situations. There was almost too much creativity (and that's not a criticism that's often levelled at a fantasy work, let's be honest). But perhaps less of the bizarre and a bit more of the familiar would have helped me get into it. In some ways, the deluge of originality reminded me of my one attempt at a China Mièville book. It's not that I dislike weirdness, but I'm not too keen on the absolutely anything goes end of the spectrum.

The plot - well, what plot?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Hooked! November 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Raised by two evil, heartless magicians who think themselves gods, then cast out to fend for herself or succumb to the elements, Malja is a girl just trying to survive in a dangerous world that has been decimated by magic, and where violence is a necessary evil. Throughout her journey she keeps two things close to her: Viper, a straight edge, deadly extension of herself used to destroy anything that might bring harm, and Tommy, the adolescent youth/ magician who attached himself to her side after she saved him from his abusers.

Following the death of the man who saved her, took her in, and acted as a caring and devoted father, Malja is driven by the Black Beast within, seeking revenge. While facing off with a guitar case toting Bluesman, a trained and hired assassin who has managed to stay one step ahead of her, taking out her contacts before she can gain any information from them, Malja finds out that the very men she has been searching for, her "fathers" Jerik and Callib, may just be looking for her too. Following a lead gleaned from the assassin, she finds herself at the home of Nolan, a simple woman with a lot of knowledge. This is where her true journey begins. From there Malja is taken across the desolate and ravaged lands encountering people, creatures, and beings of all shapes, sizes, and colors (yes, I said colors). She is forced to take on others along the way, each contributing in their own way.

Being the warrior that she is, Malja spends a lot of her time denying her need for others, even her enjoyment of their company. She'd much rather go it alone, lessen the complications that come with watching out for the safety of others. Her denial even extends to Tommy who shows his desire to be loved by her, but also recognizes her limitations.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The way of...exciting! June 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I just finished it like a couple of hours ago and I loved it.
I'm just watching the match of Greece vs Germany, so review to follow ;)
Hmmm...the game was a bummer, so let's talk about the book, which certainly wasn't. :P

I always love female heroines. Which girl/woman doesn't like to shout: Yay Girl!Power"?
Not me. I always love it and maybe that makes me kind of a sexist (lol - although I do enjoy male heroes as well), but it is much easier to sympathize and identify with persons of your own gender.

Anyways, in this respect, "The Way of the Black Beast", did not disappoint.
Malja is a wonderfully complex and likeable character despite her nature - she is after all an assassin - or rather a pretty determined woman good at killing stuff.

Malja knows that till her tenth birthday she was cared for by the magician brothers, Callib and Jarik who were and are extremely powerful and intelligent. They taught her how to fight with a plethora of weapons, how to survive on her own and generally be tougher than any other child her age was or should ever be. Still,despite her best efforts, she could never satisfy them. She was always a source of disappointment for them, especially Callib and the knowledge of this was a real burden and source of heartache for her.
So, when Jarik left her for dead in the woods at ten years of age, to fend for herself, she was devastated, but also angry. Her heart filled with hatred and rage and the need for revenge, till Gregor, the only person she recognized as her father found her and taught her how to read, how to exorcise her demons or try to, and how to be not the person her fathers wanted her to be, but what she wants to be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy
Fantastic swords woman with a ragtag group of magic wielding misfits all thrown together toward a common goal. I really enjoyed this book!
Published 8 days ago by Shawn T.
4.0 out of 5 stars A journey with elements of the real world taken definitely elsewhere.
The writer skillfully reveals the scenes, origins and mission of a heroine born for combat and found instead, where magic talent is prized. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Heather Oliver
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the story line and characters
I enjoyed the story line and characters.

Four stars due to punctuation errors and toward the end the author lost track of one of his characters having only one hand. Read more
Published 1 month ago by readalot
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
This book is a good story with strong female characters. I enjoyed the book very much and am looking forward to reading more of Mr. Jaffe' s books. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars DB Chapman
Stuart does a fine job of moving the story along at a fast clip. Never a dull minute as Malja fights her way across a landscape of a destroyed world. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dave Chapman
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but not compelling
[Disclaimer: This was read and reviewed at the request of the author, who provided me with a free digital copy of the book in order for me to do so. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Adventure in an Intriguing World
Stuart Jaffe’s “The Way of the Black Beast” takes place in a setting I have not seen elsewhere – after the apocalypse on a fantasy world. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Eric Bakutis
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
One of the best books I ever read! Cannot wait to start the next tomorrow! Three books read, all great!
Published on May 22, 2013 by cmichelle
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising start to a series!
Full Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review in May, so as not to feel rushed or that I wouldn't be able to be objective I put this off to read when I wanted to read... Read more
Published on November 28, 2012 by Adriane R
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story, Too Much Information
'The Way of the Black Beast' is a post-apocalyptic fantasy. Malja is a warrior. She's a fighter, she's a loner and she's on a mission to find the two men who hurt her the most. Read more
Published on August 27, 2012 by Melissa Chesley
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More About the Author

Stuart Jaffe is the author of The Max Porter Paranormal-Mysteries, The Malja Chronicles, a post-apocalyptic fantasy series, The Bluesman pulp series, the Gillian Boone series, and much more. His short stories have been collected in 10 Bits of My Brain and 10 More Bits of My Brain. Numerous other short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies.

He is the co-host of The Eclectic Review -- a podcast about science, art, and well, everything.

For those who keep count, the latest animal listing is as follows: one dog, four cats, one albino corn snake, one Brazilian black tarantula, three aquatic turtles, assorted fish, seven chickens, and a horse. Thankfully, the chickens and the horse do not live inside the house.


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