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Steel, Blood, & Fire: When Fantasy Meets Dark

Steel, Blood, & Fire: When Fantasy Meets Dark
Steel, Blood & Fire Book Cover Steel, Blood & Fire
(Immortal Treachery #1)
Allan Batchelder
Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Kindle Edition
2013
548

On the march, around the campfire, and in the taverns, they tell incredible stories about Tarmun Vykers – how he’s never been cut in battle, how he once defeated hundreds of men by himself, how he exterminated an entire people over an insult.

These stories make Vykers seem like a god; he is a man, an arrogant, ruthless and bloodthirsty man. And he may be the only thing standing between the human race and utter annihilation at the hands of the mad sorcerer whose name is also his only goal: the End of All Things.

Against this backdrop, smaller, lesser folks struggle to fulfill their own destinies, folks like Long Pete, the former gigolo and jack-of-all trades, and Spirk Nessno, the enigmatic, over enthusiastic simpleton. Struggling, too, is the Mender, Aoife, burdened with a secret so dark she is driven to do the unimaginable. Can Tarmun Vykers save them all, or will he simply hasten their demise?

Are you a fan of Grimdark, Joe Abercrombie, Steven Erikson, Glen Cook or George R. R. Martin? You will love this book.

 

 

Dark Fantasy of Steel, Blood, & Fire

 

One of my favorite genres to read is definitely fantasy. When you devote yourself to a certain genre, it is no wonder that, at one point, you will start to notice how some figures, tropes, and even plots repeat in many fantasy books. As I started to read Steel, Blood, & Fire by Allan Batchelder, I was as excited as I was skeptical, thinking that I would be reading yet another way–too–similar work of fantasy fiction. I was so wrong.

Steel, Blood, & Fire is an epic fantasy novel which greatly deals with immortality, the nature of courage, and war. Let’s not forget the novel’s wonderfully incorporated world of magic. The opening pages get you intrigued almost right from the start.

The thing I enjoyed the most is that the story is told from the perspective of a number of characters, like Vykers (the protagonist), Aoife, Long Pete (a gigolo and soldier), and Anders or “End-Of-All-Things” (the antagonist). While this kind of storytelling is captivating, it can be hard to pull it off, since many authors fail to give distinctive “voices” to characters. This is yet another problem that Batchelder solves beautifully.

In Steel, Blood, & Fire, each character has their own unique voice and personality. The author takes great care in building, not only the main characters, but the side characters as well. Dialogues are realistic, entertaining, dramatic, and make you feel like you are there, spying on characters’ conversations.

In epic fantasy novels, you usually find the stereotypical narrative of the “good” side confronting the “bad” side. Batchelder manages to give it a nice twist and shows us how the protagonist can be villainous, just as the antagonist can have an intriguing backstory.

I was constantly curious to discover whether the characters will pursue their goals to the end, which side they will choose, and whether they’ll win or lose the battle. The reader will definitely enjoy how Batchelder keeps you on your toes all the time, which makes it difficult to predict the outcome.

The most enchanting thing about Steel, Blood, & Fire is certainly Batchelder’s writing. He creates beautiful sentences, poetic but at the same time engaging and yet so understandable. This characteristic is not so easy to find in contemporary indie novels, but Batchelder masters it. He has an individual voice and it distinguishes this author from the rest.

If you are looking for an epic fantasy novel, you should put Steel, Blood, & Fire on your reading list right now. The novel truly has it all: a mystical land, mysterious characters, an unpredictable plot, and funny yet dramatic dialogues. Batchelder’s Steel, Blood, & Fire will make you read it all in one sitting, and will leave you eager to find out what happens in the second book.

Katarina Kovcin, Noxwrite Editor-in-Chief

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Opinions

  1. Post comment

    I feel like the fantasy genre is becoming really popular lately, especially with the rising popularity of Game of Thrones. I don’t think I’ve ever read a fantasy novel before, but I’ve seen a lot of movies based off them. It sounds like Batchelder did a great job creating a world that will draw readers in! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Post comment

    I’m a big fan of historical fiction, and I think that sometimes fantasy and historical fiction can have some similarities. I love a good book, regardless of the genre, that can pull me in. I consider it quite the feat when an author can get you to understand (and maybe even root for) a character that isn’t enjoyable– that seems difficult and the mark of a very good writer.

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  3. Post comment

    My favorite genres are fantasy, historical fiction, and sometimes spy plots! I will put Steel, Blood, & Fire on my list of books and look forward to getting lost in the story.

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    Oh, I bet my husband would like this book. He writes fantasy short stories with a sci-fi twist, so this might be right up his alley. I’ll have to let him know about Steel, Blood, & Fire.

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  5. Post comment

    This looks like an amazing read. I am a huge fan of fantasy books and series so I think this would be right up my alley. I was just looking for a new series too so this would be perfect. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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  6. Post comment

    I admit I have not picked up a good book in ages. I do love television like this though so I am sure I would love the book! I really need to get back to reading again. I miss books!

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  7. Post comment

    My favorite genre is fantasy as well. The synopsis intrigued me a little bit, but your review has made me want to add it to my Goodreads list. I especially love stories that aren’t fully “black and white”. I love how some authors (like Gregory Maguire) turn the concepts of good and evil on their heads. There is light and darkness in everyone, I think. So it makes sense to me that some good guys are sketchy while some bad guys have redeeming qualities.

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  8. Post comment

    Looks awesome! I am a fan of Dark Fantasy, but I do love Fantasy as a genre as well. I have been reading Christian Brown’s series Feast of Fates and I have to say it’s been my favorite series. I love the struggle he presents between the good and the evil and how he shows how blurred those lines can be. christianadrianbrown.com for his bio and book info. Well worth the read!

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