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5.0 out of 5 starsOne of my favorite fantasy books every written.
Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2020
This is a great book! The author, a military historian, created a great mash-up of the Vietnam War meets a fantasy world. He does great work in detailing the world and building clear parallels while not overdoing it. I really liked all the characters, each for different reasons and they are develop over the course of the book. The main plot and subplots are all interesting and engaging. I definitely didn't see one of the twists coming at the end of the book. I really hope the author writes another novel similar to this.
5.0 out of 5 starsa beautifully developed well written new sci fi/fantasy war novel.
Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2014
There is a close knit squad of soldiers. All are important characters, well developed by this accomplished writer. Some are quite likable, others less so, but all drawn with skill. When one of them dies, the hole left behind is dealt with in a very accurate and realistic manner by those remaining. All this is done in a fantasy war novel with dragons and other similar accoutrement. The dragons themselves, with their riders and attendants are... well, they're just great reading for all of us who enjoy the escape that a well imagined world can bring. But it's not just the soldiers who are living characters. Even the visiting press has personality. semi embedded comes to mind. One hopes the pun was intentional. The action moves well. The references to life outside the services, while they add depth to the main characters, also give us a glimpses of a country and a civilization with layers and frictions that follow these men and women into war. I guess you can tell I really liked and enjoyed this book. I think it is a disservice to an artfully drawn world and a well written book to summarize it as a Vietnam war analogy. While that is clearly present, the book is so much more than that. And while it is military sci fi /fantasy, it has much better depth than the vast majority of that field. I strongly recommend this beautifully developed new sci fi/fantasy war novel. Buy it. Read it.
5.0 out of 5 starsOutstanding! Vietnam with Dragons and now and arrows!
Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2015
Wow Totally caught me off guard and sucked me. It happened so fast I wasn't almost done by the time I realized I needed a breather. I won't tell you the story. I hate reviews that do that. What I will tell you is this is good stuff. Although the world building isn't deep and you don't have any true character background, it doesn't matter. That would almost be filler, or fluff. This story is in the here and now and by gosh don't blink or you'll miss something!!! I laughed I cried I persevered and was rewarded with something new in fantasy.....and oh was it worth it. Bravo.....next?
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2014
This is a good, well written book. The plot is well developed and the characters are fleshed out. I think in my case, it suffers from some high expectations, based on the reviews. To me, when I started reading it, I felt as if I was missing something. It felt to me like this was the 2nd book in a series, or that it was missing a couple chapters up front. I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading this, as it is enjoyable and it has an excellent ending, but I don't believe that it's worth the 5 star reviews I have read.
Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2016
Many reviewers before me have stated that this is a fantasy take on an asymmetric war, a.k.a. Vietnam. That's an interesting proposition so I was intrigued and bought this book. That was a mistake. This is not a spin, this is a literal translation of Vietnam into fantasy terms. Since this is impossible, the reader ends up with a handful of nonsense, such as using crossbows in the middle of the jungle (consider humidity, reload speeds, foliage, etc.), utilizing Dragons as Air Force and thaums (i.e., magicians and magic) to substitute radio communications as well as the enemy digging foxholes and tunnels to avoid artillery fire. 30 pages in, I already hated the book. But I pressed on and read it to the end. I passionately wanted to give this book a 1 star review, but the character of Rickets is actually well written and for that reason only I give this book 2 stars. I still recommend avoiding this, unless you don't mind the issues I listed above.
5.0 out of 5 starsChris Evans uses his historical knowledge of the Vietnam war to good effect without it overwhelming the whole idea
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 23, 2016
An interesting departure from the normal fantasy novel. Chris Evans uses his historical knowledge of the Vietnam war to good effect without it overwhelming the whole idea. Dragons as helicopters, crossbows instead of machine guns. I wasn't expecting it to work however it does and very well read it in virtually one sitting I think that says it all
This is a great exploration of the fall of Pax Americana. There is something about people coming to terms with previously unknown facets of their humanity in pointless post-modern wars that keeps me reading.