ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Clash of Iron
Author: Angus Watson
Series: Iron Age #2
Published: April 14th 2015 by Orbit
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Iron Age warriors Dug and Lowa captured Maidun castle and freed its slaves. But now they must defend it.
A Roman invasion is coming from Gaul, but rather than uniting to defend their home, the British tribes go to battle with each other -- and see Maidun as an easy target.
Meanwhile, Lowa's spies infiltrate Gaul, discovering the Romans have recruited British druids. And Maidunite Ragnall finds his loyalties torn when he meets Rome's charismatic general, Julius Caesar.
War is coming. Who will pay its price?
Stating that Britain in the Iron Ages was not quite the best place to be would be a gross understatement. The threat of the fast growing Roman empire and the brutally legendary Caesar was imminent and worried even the greatest of warriors.
As queen of Maidun, Lowa is now responsible for getting her people through these tumultuous times. Lowa not only faces having to handle the foreign threats across the ocean but she has also enough to be wary about in her homeland. Warring tribes and power-hungry leaders are ever present and the lines between allies and foes are growing increasingly blurry.
Angus Watson wowed me last year with his brilliant historical fantasy debut, Age of Iron. History, fantasy, action, humor and magic, woven together made for an unforgettable novel. However, Clash of Iron surpassed all expectations to become one hell of a sequel.
If you thought Age of Iron was bloody gruesome, think again. If you thought Age of Iron had just the right amount of wry, dark humor, think again. If you thought Age of Iron was a sneaky, little bastard who wheedled his way into your heart, think again.
Because everything Age of Iron did to your poor heart? Clash of Iron does it better.
Renewing my acquaintance with Dug, Lowa, Spring in Clash of Iron was truly delightful. My favorite perfectly flawed heroes/heroines were back and they were better than ever. The additional POVs of Chamanca and Rangall were insightful and I couldn't help but be awed at how Watson connects these individual fragments to build an effortlessly seamless story. Both Ragnall and Chamanca played a significant role in this installment and it intriguing to see their respective characters unravel throughout the story. Watson's gift for creating unforgettable characters is truly commendable: You will adore them, root for them and despise them but you would never forget them.
Just as in Age of Iron, I was pleased by the way women were portrayed as equals rather than damsels in distress. More focus on empowered women in historical fiction and fantasy is a much needed initiative in these genres.
If you wish for pretty prose look the other way because Watson's blunt writing style was just perfect for this alternative historical fantasy read. The vivid descriptions meant that I could clearly envision every swing of Dug's war hammer and every smile on Spring's face. Betrayal, intrigue, magic, friendship, love and greed is brought to life within the pages of Clash of Iron.
Clash of Iron is a dark and gritty and historical epic fantasy novel that packs a punch. A punch that you'll remember for years to come.
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OVER TO YOU:
Have you read Age of Iron? What are your thoughts on this series?
What are your favorite historical fantasy novels?