Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Bookwyrm's Review of Blood and Iron by Jon Sprunk

Author: Jon Sprunk

Pages: 427 pages

Publisher: Pyr

Release Date: March 11, 2014

I was really looking forward to reading this, and I was not disappointed! Jon Sprunk has taken elements from multiple fantasy tropes (Holy crusade, gladiators, fish out of water discovers magic talent, foreign magic empire) and blends them into a compelling narrative that had me hooked from the first minute. This book most definitely falls into the subgenre of grimdark, popularized by writers like Glen Cook, George RR Martin and more recent authors such as Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence. This book, like the authors previous Shadow Series compares well with any of those authors.

The characters are well written, with realistic strengths and weaknesses that make them believable, not always something you see in a fantasy novel. The world building is good, with the conflict between the nations defined well, although I'm hoping to learn more about the surrounding nations in future books. There is real emotion invested in the characters, and you can sympathize with them. Even the villains are realistic, with nary a mustache twirler in the bunch.

Politics and intrigue abounds, and magic is the great equalizer. This one has lots of flashy magic too, which makes for exciting fight scenes. I can't recommend this highly enough. Any fans of Peter V. Brett, Anthony Ryan or Brian Stavely should enjoy this series. If your in to audio books, this one was done in Graphic Audio full cast format, which only ratchets up the tension and excitement. Go out and get a copy today!

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