The Iron Wolves: Book 1 of the Rage of Kings by Andy Remic

The Iron Wolves are a strange bunch. Somewhere between The Seven Samurai and the Dirlewanger Brigade. The grizzled General Dalgoran is possibly the greatest military mind ever and many years after the glorious victory of The Iron Wolves he must assemble his elite unit once more. Unfortunately unlike him the Iron Wolves were normal people with all the faults that brings. As usual Remic takes these faults and makes his characters contemptible. The real genius in his writing is how he manages to get the reader to empathize with loathsome and nasty characters. The Wolves are addicts, murderers, adulterers and torturers. There isn’t a hero among them. At least that’s what you’d think at first glance. A hero is as a hero does. At least that’s what Dalgoran seems to be hoping.

I usually have a pretty good idea what is going to happen in this kind of book but there are some great surprises in this book. It amazes me how an author that writes such brutal and straightforward stories can twist the neck of a plot so artfully. If you really don’t like cursing then this will not be the book for you. Rather than making up words this book uses words we’re all familiar with. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many instances of the word ‘quim’ in a publication. I love the way it sounds in this book. It adds some great colour to the dialogue.

There is a lot of conflict in this book. Most of it is down and nasty close combat but there are some deep emotional conflicts that ensure there is never a dull moment in this story. Andy Remic brings grit and realism to the fantasy genre in a fascinating and addictive way. This book is well worth a read and I’m already looking forward to the next part.

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