Friday, September 12, 2014

Warriors, Druids and the Iron Age

Author: Angus Watson
PublisherOrbit
Release Date: September 9th 2014 
Source: Publisher
Synopsis:

Bloodthirsty druids and battle-hardened Iron Age warriors collide in the biggest epic fantasy debut release of 2014.

LEGENDS AREN'T BORN. THEY'RE FORGED.

Dug Sealskinner is a down-on-his-luck mercenary travelling south to join up with King Zadar's army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people. 

First, Spring, a child he finds scavenging on the battlefield, and then Lowa, one of Zadar's most fearsome warriors, who's vowed revenge on the king for her sister's execution. 

Now Dug's on the wrong side of that thousands-strong army he hoped to join ­- and worse, Zadar has bloodthirsty druid magic on his side. All Dug has is his war hammer, one rescued child and one unpredictable, highly-trained warrior with a lust for revenge that's going to get them all killed . . .

It's a glorious day to die.

Review: Age of Iron - Angus Watson

Shockingly, I've come across very few books that are set in Britain during the Iron Age. Watson's Age of Iron paved the way for my debut into this sub-genre and I can safely say that it was a delightful experience.

What little is known about this time period is mostly learnt from the POV of Julius Casear. Watson makes a bold move by creating an epic story that is based on the could-have-beens of this era. And the touch of fantasy? Brilliant.

One of the novel's strongest points is the characters. The story begins with Dug, part seasoned warrior and part world weary mercenary who is hoping for a comfortable life in Zadar's army. Lowa, a female archer in Zadar's army is a force to be reckoned with. And then we have Spring, a mysterious, young girl who is on the run-she was an intriguing characters who was wise beyond her years.

What I loved about the characters is that they were not typical heroes/heroines, they were painted in shades of grey and well developed. It was the undeniable realness of these characters that had me hooked from page one. There is no doubt that Dug, Lowa and Spring are an unlikely trio with distinctly different personalities. It was an absolute pleasure to read about each of their internal struggles and interactions with each other especially, the platonic relationship between Dug and Spring.

I was a bit wary because fantasy novels sometimes, tend to go overboard with information dumping. Thankfully, this was not the case in Age of Iron! Age of Iron falls on the lighter side of the historical fantasy genre so it was very easy to get into the novel. Even though Watson introduces a multiple characters with switches in POVs, there was no jarring effect so it was relatively easy to keep up with. 

Although I stated that Age of Iron was on the lighter side of historical fantasy, please note that this is not for someone who shies away from violence and gore. There is a lot of dark humor and considering the time period, it's expected. I didn't mind the dark side because I felt that it made the story more authentic.

Where most fantasy novel in this time period tend to be male focused, Age of Iron portrays women as equals and this I LOVED.

Watson's writing style is not poetic however, his blunt style suits this novel. The action scenes were well paced and the dialogues were entertaining. 

Age of Iron brilliantly weaves the elements of history, fantasy, action and humor in this gripping novel. This is a solid must read for epic fantasy fans. I simply cannot wait to meet Dug, Lowa and Spring in the next installment.

My Rating
Have you read Age of Iron? Does it seem like the kind of novel you'd enjoy?

Have you come across any other must read Iron Age novels? Leave your recommendations in the comments section below! :)

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Need a second opinion?

Don't forget to check out My Secret Book ObsessionThe Nocturnal Library and Nyx Book Reviews for more Age of Iron reviews.

4 comments :

  1. Oh gosh. I need this. I absolutely definitely do. *nods* It's adult though, right? Which I don't usually read, but I read an adult zombie book and LOVED it and it's made me more keen to try adult fantasies. Although they're usually huge, right?! Eehe. Scary. >_< STILL. I'll see if my library has it at least. I'm really keen for some meaty fantasies.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, adult and huge. :P
      Glad to hear that your debut to adult was great and you should give this one a go for sure, Cait! :)

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  2. Lovely review! I read this book too and really enjoyed it. I totally agree on the main characters being unlikely heroes. They're so very different from the usual stock characters in fiction. Can't wait for the next book :D

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