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Age of Iron

Narrated by: Sean Barrett
Series: Iron Age Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,253 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Legends aren't born. They're made.

Dug Sealskinner is a down-on-his-luck mercenary traveling south to join up with King Zadar's army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people.

First Spring, a child he finds scavenging on the battlefield, and then Lowa, one of Zadar's most fearsome warriors, who has vowed revenge on the king for her sister's execution.

Now Dug's on the wrong side of the thousands-strong army he hoped to join - and worse, Zadar has bloodthirsty druid magic on his side. All Dug has is his war hammer, one small child, and one unpredictable, highly-trained warrior with a lust for revenge that might get them all killed....

©2014 Angus Watson (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Liked it. Wanted to like it More.

I will be on the lookout for the next in this series. The book is good, but its potential is great. Those that make the Joe Abercrombie association are not far off. Like Abercrombie's, this book is a character-driven novel with abject violence and exploration of the extremes of good and bad in people. The character description is reason enough to read this book. Watson adds spice by toying with a quasi historical fiction of iron age Britain.

Two places where this book is less than excellent are the pacing of the plot and the description of the setting. The plot doesn't really follow a tempo, and really just collapses into a coherent shape at the end. It feels like the author in the last quarter of the book, crumpled up the paper and wound up with an origami crane. Also, Watson really could have gotten more mileage out of his recreation of Iron Age Britain, he could have better imagined what people ate, wore and built. With the holes in the historical record, he could have really taken the science, engineering, home economics and society for a real spin. I feel like he played it too conservative.

I think the reader is dead on for the characters, but he didn't blow my mind which is what I reserve a 5 for. Its a tough bar to clear though. He did a respectable job.

I think there is tons of potential to this series. Worth a credit.

52 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Inconsistent, but okay

There’s this weird disconnect between certain elements in the story. On one hand, there’s the gritty, bloody events showing the merciless reality of living in pre-Rome Britain. On the other, there are these scenes and situations throughout that seem like they belong in a cartoon. It’s jarring. I can’t tell if I’m listening to historical fiction or to the play-by-play of a Disney movie.

The characters’ behavior seems really inconsistent, too. They’re experienced, battle-hardened warriors, yet they inexplicably do things like getting so focused on the enemy in front of them that they completely forget about the one behind them. I don’t know, I think maybe the author tried to give his characters flaws, but ended up overdoing in the wrong areas.

It’s not that it’s an awful book, but it’s not one of the greats.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • Windermere, FL, United States
  • 09-19-14

Joe Ambercrombie style

Any additional comments?

If you like Joe Ambercrombie style work - great characters, rough and raw, bad language, but always great twists with a very good narrator - you'll like this book. :-)

55 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gritty and funny, ASOIF fans stop here

From the start, the character of Dug grabbed me. Very real feel. Spring, the young girl, reminds me a lot of Arya Stark, only more witty. Sometimes the similes got a little over done, but nevertheless very imaginative. You feel the tension when you're supposed to and laugh when the author wants you to. The main character's back story was woven into the plot bit by bit, keeping you interested in Dug's past without distracting from the main thrust of the plot.

It's gruesome and lots of harsh language and scenes. I grimaced at some of the torture scenes. Not for the young.

The narrator was perfect. Being a yank, I love hearing fantasy in British accents. For a first novel, this was a very good entry. Glad I gave it a chance.

54 of 59 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Ok. This was well written. Very nicely done

Meet Dug. He's me. He's you. He's everone own inner guy. He's how you think about yourself, and how how you think other think about you. He's worse than he hopes and better than he fears. He's smart and wise, yet experience has taught him that maybe not samrt and wise enough.

This book is subtle. Is raw. It's really, really quite good. Not awe inspiring story and character perfection. Dug is not Logan Ninefingers. Dug is Logan's cousin that was smart enough to stay out of the Ambercombie's main storyline. Dug is driven by very real human things. His inner monologue is real. Dug is someone that you have met. He's someone you understand. And his story is excellently told.

Angus Watson, you have set the bar high for yourself. There is room for improvement. But this is a story and a character that is very memorable.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Unflinching dark fantasy that feels real.

Several parts of this series will stick with you.
Angus Watson is not sorry.
I don't write many reviews but this book made a big impression on me and it deserves one so here's me outside my comfort zone.
The historical aspect and accuracy to the period combined with plausible characters who are all too human and relatable had me captivated. When there is violence it is visceral, it feels up close and personal, shocking and savage which creates the sense that the main characters are never safe. The romance is awkward and again very realistic. (maybe that's just me) My emotions ran the Gambit from laughing out loud to deeply touched to utterly appalled to nodding in agreement.
The reader is unconventional but so is the story, I got used to it and by the end of the series I was impressed by the quality of the reader and production.
I'm always looking for fantasy that will give me memory burn and this one delivered.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

New Author Located!

I now have a new author on my "watch" list. I really enjoyed how this book was written. It reminded me of a cross between Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin. It started out feeling a bit scattered, but then all those pieces started coming together and it was a joy to behold. A good mix of action, a little romance, adventure, magic, history, and humor.

Sean Barrett is a marvel at narration! I couldn't think of a better voice to be given to these characters and this story. He's credited with well over 100 narrated books on Audible, so he is no doubt narration royalty :)

I bought this book and just sat on it for a few months because even though I was sold on it, I wasn't quite sold on it. I just love pleasant surprises and this was certainly one. I can't wait for the next Angus Watson book!!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Meh

Slow. Great characters and plot, but slow in plot movement and action. I find that many fans of the fantasy genre don't just tolerate this, but embrace it. If you love to lose yourself in a beautifully crafted world with interesting and engaging characters, this is for you. If you want a fast paced exciting story with interesting and engaging characters that keeps you on the edge of your seat, you're in the wrong place. I wont be reading the second book.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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BRAVEHEART MEETS ABERCROMBIE

If you think you *might* be interested in this book, stop reading reviews and download this trilogy.

It has characters with personality, read by a good narrator. It has well written dialogue that made me laugh out loud, feel like crying, and feel like throwing the book in anger. It has plenty of bloody violence (but not too much). It has vivid, believable landscapes, described well enough that I felt like I was there with the characters (but not so much description that I had to skip). It has just enough magic that no-one is sure there really is any magic.

This is the British Isles during the iron age, prior and during the Roman invasion. It is believable historical fiction with just a hint of magic.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

I LOVE 'History' (among many other things), especially this time period in history. When you get into 'real' history deeply enough, you come across A LOT of times where you read an account of something, and think, "WHAT?!?! That's ALL?!?! No No No No! SOMETHING else OBVIOUSLY happened here! How could you spend YEARS getting some place, then doing 'something' huge, then spend YEARS going back home, gathering up a BIGGER army, going BACK again... and then stick a note in your diary that basically says: 'Nothing really happening here, So I just suddenly decided to leave'.(?????)"

Yeah.. Right...

I think Mr. Watson's story about one of these times might actually be as good as whatever 'really' happened between the Romans and the Brits. I just know I've spent a LOT of time and money wandering around the MANY sites where the 'Fiume Rubicone' flowed as it changed it's banks and beds over 2000 years... and Caesar's (SPARSE) account of Britain just doesn't feel ANYTHING LIKE the 'Caesar' *I* have come to know... Waton's story about Britain feels more like something Caesar would have written, than what Caesar actually wrote!

Well Done!!!!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful