Monday, 3 February 2014

Book Review: The Iron Wolves by Andy Remic

Andy Remic's last fantasy trilogy was often touted as an homage to David Gemmell and it is fair to say, the comparisons were easily drawn. However, with The Iron Wolves he has taken it to the next level.

The story revolves around a group of veteran warriors (all heroes from wars fought over twenty years ago) who are drawn out of retirement to face a new evil that has arisen. Now if that doesn't sound like Gemmell, add in the fact that all of these warriors are flawed physiologically and have led less that saintly lives since their former glory has faded from memory and I think you will see that the comparisons are easily drawn. To top it all off an important part of the evil that has arisen is the use of creatures called the Splice, which are a magically fused combination of men and either horses, wolves or occasionally lions. Now if that isn't reminicent of Gemmell's Joinings, nothing is...

Ok, so from the tone of this so far it may sound like I am about to completely rip the book to shreds, but I'm not. It is well known that Gemmell was a big influence on Remic. So it is only natural that his fantasy novels fit in to a similar sub-genre of writing  (could this be a modern take on Sword and Sorcery, rather than the bland high fantasy that has been turned out in recent years). Obviously now that David Gemmell is no longer with us, fans of his work have to seek their fix elsewhere and with this new series Remic has made a worthy attempt to pick up the baton.

Around three quarters of the way through the book I did have a bit of trouble empathizing with any of the main characters, and in places it did feel a bit like Gemmell written while inhaling some rather dubious substances, but generally speaking, as we can't get any more David Gemmell fiction this is a worthy substitute.

I must say I am looking forward to the second book!

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