The Iron Wolves
Author: Andy Remic
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release Date: 29th Dec 2013
Reviewer: Andy Angel
It has been 30 years since The Iron Wolves won victory at the Pass of Splintered Bones and killed the Sorcerer Morkagoth and now a new threat faces the realm in the shape of Orlana the Changer!!
At first glance I thought this was going to be another “by the numbers” fantasy tale, and, to be honest, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The premise is simple enough – evil threatens the land, send for the heroes who won the day last time around, but it’s not going to be that easy! After saving the kingdom previously The Iron Wolves were well rewarded but all now seem to have fallen on harder times, some falling further than others. Their leader, General Dalgoran, thinks reuniting them will be the answer but whether they will be able to work together is a big question.
On the whole this was an enjoyable tale, although a lot more violent and horrific than I am used to reading in this genre. This is the nastiness of war, the violence of battle. The heroes are not your typical hero types. These are people who fight and kill because it is who they are and what they do, they are soldiers and mercenaries. As I started out I did not think I would be a fan but by the time I got to the end I found I actually cared about what happened to them. As is right with this kind of tale not everyone makes it to the end and when death arrives it is well done but not lightly done.
On the downside for me, and it is only a small quibble – The Splice. These are the books ‘monsters’. When first encountered these were a good idea – take an animal (usually a horse but also bears and lions were used), take a human and, quite literally, smash them together to make a deformed, distorted hybrid. A fantastic idea and a horrifying result but after reading about the making of the creatures for the third or fourth time they became a bit ho – hum. Thankfully this stopped fairly early on and they realized their full potential later on.
So, a bloody, violent, vicious fantasy romp. If you like your fantasy full of elves, unicorns etc this may not be your thing but if you like getting up to your ears in blood, gore and nastiness you’re in for a treat.
On a final note, the very last scene in this book was not at all what I expected, and even now, five days after finishing it still hasn’t left my thoughts. I am certainly looking forward to the next book.