- Series: Iron Age (Book 3)
- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Orbit (September 29, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316399817
- ISBN-13: 978-0316399814
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reign of Iron (Iron Age) Paperback – September 29, 2015
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"Watson's tale is gore soaked and profanity laden -- full of visceral combat and earthy humor, and laced with subtle magic."―Publishers Weekly on Age of Iron
About the Author
Angus Watson is an author and journalist living in London. He's written hundreds of features for many newspapers including the Times, Financial Times and the Telegraph, and the latter even sent him to look for Bigfoot. As a fan of both historical fiction and epic fantasy, Angus came up with the idea of writing a fantasy set in the Iron Age when exploring British hillforts for the Telegraph, and developed the story while walking Britain's ancient paths for further articles.
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Top Customer Reviews
This isn't the most character-centered book of the series. There are a lot of POV characters but most of them are not so developed. Chamanca, Spring, Lowa, and Felix are pretty similar to how they were in past books. (For what it's worth, I did enjoy Lowa's developing relationship with her son and also the fact that Felix was limited in how he could use his powers by Caesar. If not for the limitation provided by Caesar, Felix would've been too one-dimensional for me. He has like every negative trait imaginable.) You could argue that Atlas, an African fighting on the side of the British, sees more development here. You learn a bit about his past and he has a few plotlines of his own. And you could also argue that Ragnall, a druid who has thrown in his lot with the Romans, continues his journey to become a "heel" type of character. He has moments where he is sympathetic but, by and large, he becomes a total jerk, pretty much the exact opposite of how he was in book 1. The seeds of this decline were sown earlier, however, so the transformation is not unexpected. (There are a few other minor POV characters as well. They are easy to keep straight.)
The world was already pretty well-established in the previous volumes. We are in Iron Age Britain, Gaul, and Rome. The author has taken some liberties (like creating longbows), but I feel like the history is basically the star here. I rather like the focus on Caesar's diaries and how large portions of his accounts are likely fabricated (and why). (I am not really a history buff. I am sure someone with more knowledge could point out flaws in that aspect of the story. The author acknowledges his inventions in an author's note at the end of the book.)
The writing style is similar to in past books. There is lots of blood, gore, and violence, some of it quite graphic. There are fewer imaginative curses (probably a function of a certain death at the end of book 2). There is less exposition than in book 1, which is a good thing. Action is well-written and easy to follow and the pace of the second half of the book picks up quite a lot compared to the first half. Not all of the good guys make it to the end, so you really do feel a sense of danger for the characters.
The plot is a good back-and-forth of a weaker force defending against an invasion. There are little triumphs sprinkled throughout, so the mood is not totally bleak and depressing (though it is pretty dark). You get even more nervous for the good guys as you get behind-the-scenes glimpses of the Roman army. Once again, I think the ending is clever. Some might call it deus ex machina, but I don't. I think it actually makes sense and is not inconsistent with the stories of books 1 and 2. Two characters have to come together for the ending to happen and entirely human emotions keep one of them from ever getting near the other throughout the bulk of the book. You realize this was carefully planned after you have finished the book (and I began to anticipate the ending twist a little while before it happened).
My favorite book in this series is still the first one, but I think I would recommend the series, overall. It takes part in a setting and at a point in history that is not often (or ever?) visited by fantasy authors, which is refreshing. The characters are complex and well-developed (though a lot of the development takes place in earlier volumes) and their struggles seem dire and real (at least as real as fantasy struggles can be). And I do think this particular book is a fitting end.
My husband and I both very much liked Watson's trilogy. Very much along the lines as Joe Abercrombie with its very dark edge of mixing historical elements along with magical elements to make a character-driven story with modern-thinking and speaking ass-kicking characters and plot just jump out of the page. Angus Watson has his own unique voice, and it reminded us strongly of the old-timer pulps that wrote back in the 30's through the 70's, from Conan the Barbarian to The Gray Mouser type fantasy action pulp era adventure stars.
Have to say that author Watson is neither dull or boring in his 500+-pages novel, and that is saying something! We gave the first two books to a male friend who is also loving these books, so that is yet another stamp of approval.
I think it was in Watson's first book, in the back, where the author wrote something along the lines of what his next novel was going to be. Something along the lines of a caveman type setting, along with dinosaurs. Hope this is true! Not enough of those type of books in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. We think he would do something akin to that very well.
Ho aspettato troppo tempo per leggere l'ultimo volume della serie e poi non mi sono ritrovata tra storia, personaggi e soprattutto l'assenza del mio personaggio preferito. Quindi non posso dire che non mi sia piaciuto, ma certo non mi sono goduto questo ultimo libro che ho letto soltanto perché, come tutti i lettori seriali sono anche masochista, e quindi mi sentivo obbligata anche se non avevo voglia.