Blood and Iron: The Book of the Black Earth, Part 1

Jon Sprunk. Pyr, $18 trade paper (430p) ISBN 978-1-61614-893-5
Sprunk (the Shadow Saga) opens an epic fantasy series with this awkward cross between Harry Potter and Spartacus. Horace is a ship’s carpenter in the Arnossi navy, captured in the enemy land of Akeshia after a shipwreck. He’s as surprised as his captors when he manifests magical powers. After that, everything becomes far too easy for Horace. His power is formidable, despite his relative lack of training, and women fight over him. Queen Byleth and Lord Mulcibar are so darn nice that Horace readily forgives them for capturing and enslaving him (“Despite the chains, he liked this man, who didn’t treat him like an animal”). He even throws away his chance at freedom to save the queen’s life. Sprunk’s world is fascinating and original, reminiscent of ancient Sumeria and Babylon, but the story doesn’t begin to do it justice. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/13/2014
Release date: 03/11/2014
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-61614-894-2
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