REVIEW: A Circle of Iron by Greg Benage
In all the lands of the Old Empire, no one knows more about killing wights than Caleb Thorn. The bounty-hunter has taken blood-drinkers in the timber camps, where loggers and alchemists harvest magic from the ancient trees. He’s hunted them in the villages that lie in the shadow of the Greenwell, and pursued them in the deep wood. Only Eldernost is off-limits, the fallen city where wights haunt the dark places like ghosts in the ruins.
But Eldernost is rich in magic, and the local lord’s wealth and power depend on his ability to protect the scavengers who plunder the city’s treasures in his service. Given a choice between the hangman’s noose and the ruins, Thorn is forced to venture into the city to confront the notorious wight raider known as Redmourn. Amidst the crumbling remnants of a lost age, Thorn must face the demons of his own troubled past if he is to find the strength to protect those he cares about most.
This novella had me hooked from the start. It is a very fast paced story set in the world of Eldernost. Greg Benage does an excellent job of setting up a very unique world without wasting lots of time getting into the story. The details of the world are nicely inserted into the story line giving you just what you need to follow along and enjoy the ride.
After reading the description I assumed this would just be lots of killing and plundering, however, there is a very rich story with several unexpected twists and turns (I’d love to tell you about them but I don’t want to give away the ending) built into and around all of the killing and plundering. The story itself is very descriptive yet still an easy read for just about anyone.
Caleb Thorn and his band of bounty hunters are a very likeable crew that I rooted for throughout the entire story and hoped that no misfortunes would befall them, and being an animal lover I cringed every time I thought the dog was in danger. Caleb and his crew were after wights (creatures who drink your blood) just for the bounty because it was easy enough for them to single one out and take it down, thus earning a fair living. Yet, when agreements changed and the scenario became more dangerous you learn more about the wights and that they are not just mindless creatures but ones with an intriguing backstory of their own.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait to read the next one when it comes out.
A Circle of Iron is available free in many different formats: http://www.eldernost.com/a-circle-of-iron.html
Book received from author in exchange for an honest review.