Saturday, March 1, 2014

Review of Blood and Iron (The Book of the Black Earth #1) by Jon Sprunk

Blood and IronBlood and Iron by Jon Sprunk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Writing 3.5/5
Imagination 3.5/5
Plot 4/5
Setting 4/5
Characters 3.5/5

My Overall Enjoyment 3.5/5

Goodreads description-
It starts with a shipwreck following a magical storm at sea. Horace, a soldier from the west, had joined the Great Crusade against the heathens of Akeshia after the deaths of his wife and son from plague. When he washes ashore, he finds himself at the mercy of the very people he was sent to kill, who speak a language and have a culture and customs he doesn't even begin to understand.
Not long after, Horace is pressed into service as a house slave. But this doesn't last. The Akeshians discover that Horace was a latent sorcerer, and he is catapulted from the chains of a slave to the halls of power in the queen's court. Together with Jirom, an ex-mercenary and gladiator, and Alyra, a spy in the court, he will seek a path to free himself and the empire's caste of slaves from a system where every man and woman must pay the price of blood or iron. Before the end, Horace will have paid dearly in both.

A solid first book in a new series set in an epic fantasy world, with a grimdark tone and tons of magic. Loaded with an extraordinary amount of plot twists and turns, I was genuinely surprised more times than in many other books of recent memory. The author was excellent at leading you down one path with a character and then throwing something believable yet totally unexpected into the mix.

Pretty quick pace and action filled in a sword and sorcery style, events move quickly and the book covers a lot of ground. The characters were fleshed out well, each had a unique voice, and I found myself interested in their lives. The stand out element of this book was the magic system. It is very heavy on magic so if you enjoy that, you should really like this book.

Recommended for fans of sword and sorcery, grimdark, and anyone who enjoys jumping into a unique fantasy world.

1 comment:

Nathan (@reviewbarn) said...

My thoughts on this one, completely meh. I enjoyed it enough, but a month later have almost completely forgotten it.