Read steel blood fire by Allan Batchelder Online


On the march, around the campfire, and in the taverns, they tell incredible stories about Tarmun Vykers – how he’s never been cut in battle, how he once defeated hundreds of men by himself, how he exterminated an entire people over an insult. These stories make Vykers seem like a god; he is a man, an arrogant, ruthless and bloodthirsty man. And he may be the only thing staOn the march, around the campfire, and in the taverns, they tell incredible stories about Tarmun Vykers – how he’s never been cut in battle, how he once defeated hundreds of men by himself, how he exterminated an entire people over an insult. These stories make Vykers seem like a god; he is a man, an arrogant, ruthless and bloodthirsty man. And he may be the only thing standing between the human race and utter annihilation at the hands of the mad sorcerer whose name is also his only goal: the End of All Things. Against this backdrop, smaller, lesser folks struggle to fulfill their own destinies, folks like Long Pete, the former gigolo and jack-of-all trades, and Spirk Nessno, the enigmatic, over enthusiastic simpleton. Struggling, too, is the Mender, Aoife, burdened with a secret so dark she is driven to do the unimaginable. Can Tarmun Vykers save them all, or will he simply hasten their demise?Are you a fan of Grimdark, Joe Abercrombie, Steven Erikson, Glen Cook or George R. R. Martin? You will this book!The author does not recommend this book for anyone under the age of seventeen, due to violence and mature language and themes....

Title : steel blood fire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 25066398
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 548 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

steel blood fire Reviews

  • Bookwraiths
    2019-03-10 08:38

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.My rating is 3.5 stars.Steel, Blood & Fire is a dark, gritty, and brutal fantasy novel in the grimdark sub-genre. People are tortured, raped, and killed in the George R.R. Martin style. The setting is medieval, portrayed in a realistic way with splendid touches of historical authenticity, and there is even quite a bit of magic, magical creatures, and god-like beings making appearances to spice up the ho-hum world. What sets Steel, Blood & Fire above many dark fantasy offerings, however, is Allan Batchelder deft ability to use this grimdark setting to weave an entertaining, fast-paced narrative which keeps you desperately turning the pages to see how things turn out.Told through multiple point-of-view characters, the story seamlessly weaves back and forth between several individuals. The most important of these people are Tarmun Vykers aka the Reaper, Arune, and Long Pete. All of these individuals experiencing the turmoils of their time in a different way, allowing readers to see unique views of events through very different eyes, but each caught up in the same horrible circumstances, specifically the crusade of a man known only as The-End-of-All-Things, who is determined to destroy everything on the world, wipe it clean of every form of life. This monster leading a huge army which follows him not for riches or glory but out of abject fear of his sorcerous power and his utter ruthlessness. The path this evil one and his horde carve through our protagonists’ world easy to discern due to the trail of corpses and total destruction that stretch behind them.From the above plot description, it is not difficult to surmise that Steel, Blood & Fire is a brutal novel at times. The narrative almost literally drips blood and revels in the dark side of humanity at certain points. Horrible deeds are done over and over again to innocent people. Thankfully, though, Allan Batchelder never allows those nihilistic tenants of grimdark to overwhelm what is, at its heart, a character driven story about an unlikely villain-turned-would-be-savior, a troubled healer, and a gigolo-turned-warrior. Vykers, Aruna, and Long gradually developing from one-dimensional people at the the beginning of this tale into fully realized individuals by the conclusion; people who have went through hell, learned many things, and come out the other side better human beings — we hope.As for the writing itself, it was equal to anything being put out by traditionally published grimdark writers. In fact, Allan Batchelder surpasses many a dark fantasy writer, especially in his ability to tell an entertaining story with a fluid plot and non-stop character development. Certainly, I could complain about Vykers transformation from villain to hero being a bit too easy, Arune’s plot “telling” instead of showing too often, or the villain’s evilness being a bit too one dimensional, but the simple fact is none of those flaws in the book distracted me overmuch from what was an engaging, grimdark romp.Steel, Blood, & Fire is an impressive work of dark fantasy which is both epic and horribly realistic, one I do not hesitate to recommend to other fans of the grimdark genre. Allan Batchelder now a writer I will be following and will be purchasing his continued writings in this series. And, so, for whatever it is worth, I’d strongly recommend others give this novel as try as well.I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.

  • Chris Cleasby
    2019-03-02 08:48

    Forgot to review initially as i went straight on to the second book. This seems to be below the radar but deserves a wider audience and i had my doubts at the start- gave up and started again. You get dropped into the thick of things and its quite pacey from the off, which i wasn't sure about myself. However, after starting again i really took to the book- The world building is probably the slowest part in this book as we have an evil foe called the "end of all things" looking to do just that - destroy the world and all in it- the hero as such is Tarmun Vyckers- also known as the Reaper- who was also a bad ass but again his background is revealed slowly- the main story is what this book focuses on- There is plenty of dark action, interesting characters and funny dialogue at times-Give it a try

  • TomTB
    2019-03-23 09:54

    There's been a lot of talk about this book (and series) over on the BestFantasyBooks forum, so I'll admit to a degree of concern that I wouldn't enjoy it quite as much as other forum members had. Boy was I wrong though, this book is superb. From the first page until the last, I was hooked. The writing is excellent (hints of Abercrombie), the setting is fantastic (hints of Malazan) and the characters are so memorable .. Tarmun Vykers is one of the best MCs I've come across.My only slight criticism is that some of the evil characters could have come across a bit 'darker' .. The-End sometimes seemed like a caricature of an 'evil one', but this didn't detract from the story at all. This is the best self-published book I've ever read, and I can't wait to read the sequels.

  • C.T. Phipps
    2019-03-05 08:36

    An impressive work of grimdark fantasy which reminded me a good deal of Erikson's Malazan series. The book manages to tell a convincing epic from beginning to end which invokes strong feelings of blood, honor, and treachery. The main character is the chief draw and Vykers is a nice balance between being an utter badass as well as a deeply flawed individual. I also appreciated the peasant's eye view on many things. This is a dark book with no holding back on violence or language or situations but that's why grimdark exists.9/10

  • Steve
    2019-02-25 03:43

    If you haven't read this book yet, put it on your to-read list and make sure you get to it. You won't be disappointed. The character development was great and the action moved the story along at a perfect pace, not too fast, and not too slow. The only downside I can think of is that now I have to find the time to read all the sequels.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-20 04:40

    This book was a little hard for me to get into, it felt like I was reading a play, because of all the dialogue, the characters, and the changing of point of views but at about the 25% mark it really picked up and I really enjoyed it.The main characters of Long Pete, Vykers, and D'Kem were my favorite. I originally thought that Long and his merry band of friends were just in the book for comic relief but the more I read the more I realized that there was more to them. By the end they had all grown as characters and you just loved them. Long and his giantess were one of the highlights for me. I am so glad that the story ended well for them. D'Kem, the washed up burner, was also more than he seemed and reading about him becoming stronger and more powerful by the end battle was a pleasure. I loved how he interacted with the "idiot" Spirk. Vykers, the Reaper, was by far my favorite in the story. He was the ultimate warrior and I am still curious as to what he is, because he isn't entirely human. But, I haven it on good authority that there will be more books so we will soon find out *crosses fingers*. I loved his gruff attitude and could totally see him kicking butt and takin' names. The villain, The End of All Things, was super creepy. I felt like his army of thrall and the way he got people to work for him, through force and manipulation, was genius in a mad scientist sort of way. The climatic battle between Vykers and The End was exciting and I was even a bit worried for the hero since it was such a tough battle.Overall, I would highly recommend this book to fans of epic fantasy and adventure novels. It was an exciting and thrilling tale.

  • Griffin Vanderschaeghe
    2019-03-18 04:38

    My interest in Steel, Blood and Fire peaked when Allan became active on the BestFantasyBooks forum and several of the members read and rated it highly. I received one of five eBooks the author gave freely to the first five who replied to his message. Nonetheless I’ll give a honest review.This book revolves primarily around Tarmun Vykers, a semi-legendary spawn of moral ambiguity. We meet him in his darkest hour, captured by his enemies and bereft of his hands and feet. Crawling through the mud, leaves and humus, bleeding and hurting. Eventually finding shelter he agrees to a deal with a dead sorceress; hosting her presence while she reverses his dismemberment with ghostly digits and toes. Back to his ‘ordinary’ self he is pushed into a deal with the Virgin Queen to defeat The-End-of-All-Things (or Anders) , a destructive force with a host of thousands and thousands. From then on we see how Vykers’ quest unfolds with the help of his rather horrifying and monstrous lackeys.Next to Vykers we also meet Aiofe, the sisterof the antagonist Anders, and Long Pete, the former soldier-turned gigolo-turned soldier again. Long Pete and his gang certainly delivered much humour that intersects this book, the sometime hilarious conversations between Vykers and his dead sorceress Arune notwithstanding. The cast of side characters were well established as well. Certainly one of the strong suits of Allan Batchelder.The story unfolds steadily throughout the book at a rather remorseless pace with a lot of POV changes. The scenes are succinct, yet apt. Personally, I would’ve liked a bit more description and stage setting, as there wasn’t much of that.One other aspect that irked me was the antagonist. We learn a rather dark entity uses the body of Anders, Aiofe’s kin, and that a hint of his awareness remains. Yet, nothing was done with this information and the motivations for the entity to destroy was utterly unclear to me.These critical remarks are just that, remarks. Steel, Blood and Fire is immensely satisfying and the way the author wrote this book urges you on as a reader. A unique voice deserving of a much wider audience or in other words: the best thing you’ve never read.8/10

  • Jakyro
    2019-03-05 04:40

    This is a self published book and I've read it mainly because of the great reviews it received on the BestFantasyBooks forum. As the people on there know what they're talking about, this book should be an awesome read, ... shouldn't it?The main strenght of the book for me is main character Tarmun Vykers, "The Reaper", a vicious figure known for a lot of cruelties and legendary battles. At the start of the story he is literally brought on his knees. But he doesn't give up and with some good fortune he stumbles into the ghost of the dead Shaper Arune. With no other options at hand he agrees on a deal with her. Back in full force he is pressed to another deal, this time with the Virgin Queen to destroy the "End-of-All-Things", a powerful sorcerer who is forcing his way into the land of the Virgin Queen to bring chaos and destruction.We meet a lot of other characters, not all are as intresting as Vykers, but some really started to grow on me as the story progressed. The chimeras are awesome, and together with Arune they really spice up the story (and the conversations with Vykers). Further we also have Long Pete and his band who become much more interesting as the story unfolds (I especially liked D'Kem myself). However one of the characters I never really had a connection with was Aoife, an A'Shea and sister of the "End-of-All-Things". Her story didn't really impress me much, but I expect she'll have a more important role to play in the next books.The writing is excellent and brings us a faced paced story with great action scenes. Allan Batchelder nicely builds his story and ends it on a high note with an amazing battle; constantly switching between POV's he really stretches it out and keeps his readers engaged for more than 100 pages. Allan really proves himself here.With regards to the worldbuilding we learn some details, but a lot is still left unknown (e.g. the Awakening, the origin of the Reaper but also of the End-of-All-things). I expect more details in the following books as the story continues to unfold. What I also missed was a map of the world (I just love maps), but none of these things really irked me. This book is really worthwhile the read for everyone who likes a badass MC, a lot of action, violence, blood ... and an awesome ending which makes you crave for more!!!Rating: 8/10

  • Chanticleer EditorialBook Reviews
    2019-03-01 04:45

    Tarmun Vykers, the central character in Allan Batchelder's accomplished fantasy Steel, Blood & Fire, has many epithets: "The Scourge of Empires," "The Reaper," "The Merciless One," and sometimes just good old "Vykers the Vicious." He's very aware that he's widely feared but not admired, and that's just fine with him. He's not the sentimental type.On the other hand, he's darn likable. Why? Well, he's smart, witty, and often sarcastic, but he's also able to laugh at himself and the many predicaments that befall him. And he's not the worst guy around.No, that would be Anders, better known as "The-End-Of-All-Things." The-End is not likable.  Far from it. When one's goal in life is taking enormous satisfaction and delight in the destruction of everyone and everything, you don't have friends, you just have people who do your bidding because they're terrified of you.Of course, a showdown between Vykers and The End is going to happen – and Batchelder has lots of fun getting us ready. In this world, the very weapons used have almost as much personality as characters who wield them. Along the way, we meet the cast, many of whom will prove invaluable to Vykers on his quest.And what a cast! Batchelder provides a lengthy list at the novel's conclusion but they're all so memorable, the reader doesn't have to consult it often. For starters, there's Arune, a shapeshifter who has taken up residence in Vykers’ mind where she reads his thoughts and responds with zingers of her own. Some of the most memorable scenes in the book, in fact, take place with Vykers seemingly talking to himself, but really, it’s Arune matching his wit, sentence for sentence. There is so much more to explore and fall in love with, we won’t ruin it for you here.If this all sounds like a lot of fun, it is. It's easy to imagine Monty Python fans reveling over many of these scenes. This fantasy, however, has more to offer. The humor is adroitly balanced with darker chapters concerning primal fears and terrors.Steel, Blood & Fire will appeal to a broad group of readers. Although primarily a fantasy, the classic themes of fairy tales, myths and folklore are woven into the narrative.  Good versus evil, the gaining of self-knowledge while on a quest or a journey, transformation through enchantment - it's all here but with a twist because Batchelder so deftly juggles ribald humor and unexpected poignancy.  He also allows the reader to view these themes through several lenses.  This is particularly true in the battle scenes, the author giving us the individual experiences of several of the male characters.  While there are fewer female characters, they are quite strong, fully realized, and residing in the forest and the castle, the folkloric motifs of the poor and the royal in play.The great news is the book is the first in the series Immortal Treachery. Batchelder concludes Steel, Blood & Fire on a tantalizing note and there's clearly much more material to be mined. If it's as fully realized as this book, the entire series is a must read.Fairy tales, myths, and folklore collide in Batchelder’s first book in the Immortal Treachery series, Steel, Blood & Fire, a rollicking fun and seriously addictive read.

  • Berry
    2019-03-14 05:44

    Wow! That's how I would describe this book in one word. This is easily the best indie published book I've ever read. This book was recommended to me by some fellow fantasy fans over at and I've had it on my TBR list for some weeks now. I finally started reading it 5 days ago and I just burned through this puppy. Kept me reading until 3 in the morning. I'll try to summarize why I liked it so much.I've read a lot of fantasy books. Every book/series worth its salt has a place in my personal library. The best books I've read were written by authors who have a distinctive "voice". Abercrombie, Erikson, Tolkien, George Martin: all have in common that they've got unique styles.Enter Allan Batchelder. Steel, Blood & Fire is a fast-paced, action-packed, sometimes morbid, but above all FUN book. The conversations and banter between the various characters sometimes had me laughing out loud. Picture the Bridgeburners (Malazan), the Black Company (Black Company) or Dogman's Twelve (First Law), but better. Vykers, the protagonist of the book, is an arrogant, cynical, devil-may-care type of character and I loved his dialogue best. The talks between Long, another lead character in the book, and his squad of soldiers also makes for vey fun reading.I don't want to spoil the book, so I won't go into too much details regarding the story, but suffice it to say it's exciting. The story unfolds at a break-neck pace, is action-packed and has some cool twists. The story is told from the perspective of a number of characters, including (but not limited to) Vykers (protagonist), Aoife (female sorcerer-cum-healer), Anders AKA 'End-Of-All-Things' (the antagonist) and Long Pete (a gigolo/soldier who's in love with a giant. Seriously, you have to read this sh*t). Each character has their own distinctive voice. I liked some better than others, but overall none of them is a chore to read. The side characters were interesting and well written as well. Chief of these are Janks (part of Long Pete's Gang), the Chimeras and sorcerer D'Kem. The various storylines all come together near the end of the book during which a big battle takes place. This battle is one of the best written battles I've ever read. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. One piece of advice: when you're nearing the final 100 pages of the book, hide your kids, hide your wife, call in sick from work, and read that baby, because you won't be able to put it down.What more does this book offer? Magic! The magic system is old-skool fantasy style, with fireballs, lightning bolts, compulsion spells and poisonous clouds. Cool stuff! Want more? Okay... Fey creatures! And not your Kingkiller Chroncile Fey creatures, no siree, these are bad-ass Fey creatures who don't stand for anything and who will rip you a new one if you are in their way. Still not satisfied? Okay, how about mystical races, mysterious peoples and unknown countries? Sometimes merely hinted at, sometimes playing a big part in the story. Finaly satisfied huh? I thought so!All in all I can only say that I would recommend this book to any fantasy lover. I rate this book a solid 9/10 (5 GoodRead stars *****).

  • C.E. Clayton
    2019-03-10 07:03

    Reading “Steel, Blood & Fire” has made me realize just how much I love dark fantasy. I’ve read all the Game of Thrones books available, enjoy the grey and bleak world in The Mistborn series, I loved the desolate feeling that books like “Inheritance of Ashes” present, but never really thought much about it other than I liked those books a lot. Then Batchelder presented me with his novel, and Tarmun Vykers. There is no reason to like Vykers. The man is an unstoppable killing machine who has killed a whole populace just for an insult. The guy is a bastard, but I loved him! How Batchelder wrote his main protagonists, as well as the handful of supporting characters who evolved over the course of the book to become just as vital as our anti-hero, was done masterfully well in its subtly (which is something longer reads can pull off really well). This was a fun read, but it’s certainly not for everyone.I’m going to state the obvious real quick, as the author makes this note on the synopsis, too: this is a book for MATURE READERS ONLY. There’s a lot of violence which is to be expected, but Batchelder doesn’t shy away from inflicting it upon the innocent or describing it. Again, it fits wonderfully for the tone, but is not going to bode well for those who like clean fantasies. There’s also a lot of foul mouthed soldiers. Again, I feel like that should go without saying but I just wanted to reiterate that before I get into the meat of the review.This book starts with the untouchable Vykers being captured by the monarch he was trying to topple, only to lose the very things he needs most to fight—oh irony! After being humbled, Vykers is left to fend for himself, which he does with great difficulty, until he meets the spirit of a dead Shaper (think mage). From that moment on, Vykers attempts to rebuild his life, until the very monarch that crippled him captures him again and tells him he’s the only one who can save her kingdom, nay, THE WORLD from a power mad sorcerer with an unlimited supply of magic and an exhaustible army. Funny how things tend to work out that way… But when the world is about to be destroyed by a thing of legend, you must fight it with another thing of legend who, despite all odds, is still alive and remains very much a killing machine. Arm that man with a magic sword, some hybrid-humans, and the biggest army you can muster, and things are bound to get exciting!That being said, this book takes a bit to take off. For the first hundred pages or so, I didn’t know why we even cared about characters like Long Pete, Spirk, or Aoife. Their POVs felt unnecessary and far less interesting then the sections focused on Vykers. But around the 120 page mark, the story picks up, the characters feel more defined, and the plot takes off. Even though this book is over 500 pages long, once you get past that slow start, it doesn’t feel long at all and becomes a truly enjoyable ride IF you enjoy dark fantasies where everything feels bleak and no character is safe.At just shy of 30% in you start to see why Long and his companions are important and why their plight is so heartbreaking. You start to realize that Aoife has a much larger role to play when it comes to bringing down The-End-Of-All-Things, and start to get excited to see how this young woman—a healer no less!—is supposed to fight a being who enslaves everyone he comes across. But while Aoife grew on me, she is the weakest of the characters in the book. She is a powerful woman, and even when the odds are against her she never felt like a damsel (well done, Batchelder!), but compared to the other characters and their dynamic personalities when they engage with others, Aoife was just the least engaging of the bunch. It doesn’t make her a bad character, just her counterparts tended to outshine her, even when she is raining hell upon those who wronged her. And while Vykers hybrid-human companions never felt that concrete to me, the Shaper who helps Vykers (and also shares his body… awkward) feels like a full bodied character, even without a body!Batchelder has crafted a rich, grimdark world with fantastic creatures, unimaginable magic, and a cast of characters who are deliciously flawed and not the heroes you expect, but come to enjoy none the less. Vyker’s no-nonsense attitude was a delight, and the humor the author employs—and at just the right places, too—help keep the story from getting overwhelmingly dark and depressing, because no one likes those stories. My only problem was with the POV’s the reader is presented with, the main villain, and the magic system. Allow me to explain:The author usually separates the sections out with a heading that lets you know which character we are joining and where, but sometimes this got muddled and two characters POV’s melded together making it a bit confusing. Additionally, The-End-Of-All-Things wasn’t scary, shall we say? He doesn’t have a great reason for being the way he is other than he just has this desire to destroy everything. I would have liked more of a character arc there, but he was a fun villain you wanted to see toppled all the same. And while I enjoyed the magic and the fey creatures we are introduced to, the magic system never felt well defined. There didn’t seem to be a limit to what the Shapers could do. Basically, as long as the mage was powerful enough, they could do literally anything. While that’s fun, it leads to problems when you try to better understand just what these beings are capable of, what is supposed to be beyond their limits, and just what is up with the magic in this world in general.Come the end of the book, however, I found myself so invested in Long Pete, Vykers, and his Shaper friend, Arune’s stories, that I didn’t want the book to end. Weird, right? A 500+ page book that I didn’t want to end? Stranger things have happened. This is definitely a series you’ll want to check out, and I recommend it to any mature reader who enjoys epic, dark fantasies and has the time to invest in Vykers, Long Pete, and Arune because you’re going to want to follow them around for a while! If it weren’t for my small hang ups about POV and the ambiguous magic system, this book would be 5 stars, easily. But I’ll give it a high 4.5 and round up when necessary. Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy for review!

  • M.D. Presley
    2019-03-14 05:01

    Steel, Blood and Fire starts off with a bang and an interesting/ unexpected choice for its protagonist that I won't spoil, but pretty much sums up the book to a T: You can't rely on any tropes. There are certainly your grimdark trappings, including the land still reeling from one war and about to begin another, with an anti-hero in Vykers up against your even worse villain-villain to defeat. Then throw in some spiritual possession, mutants, a magical quest, faeries, more battles than you can shake a stick at, and some surprisingly touching character arcs. But most understated was the sense of humor throughout with a few standout lines amidst all the bickering. All and all, worthy the time.

  • Khartun
    2019-02-23 06:58


  • ColdCoffee
    2019-03-03 08:44

    This book has a very well thought out plot engaging the reader in unexpected twists and turns including love stories and epic battle scenes involving twenty-four well developed characters.Steel, Blood & Fires opens with unspeakable violence as Tarmun Vykers, A.K.A, “the Reaper” a legendary warrior is in the stocks (in bonds, under guard). One must be warned that this is a work of dark fantasy, horror and mythology with adult language and graphic violence.Author Allan Batchelder has done very well laying out this book with easy to follow headings (much like the way a play production might be laid out). The story pivots back and forth from what is happening with his main characters: the legendary warrior named Tarmun Vykers, Aoife Cestroenyn (An A’Shea or “Mender,” sister of Anders), D’Kem (a washed up Burner), Janks & Company, Long, A.K.A, Long Pete, Spirk Nessno (An idiot and friend to Long), Anders Cestroenyn (the self-proclaimed “End-of-All-Things) and Arune (A spectral Burner who shares Vykers’ body).I would like to share a quote from this book that will help draw you in without spoiling the story. This quote come from one of the the chapter four headings titled ‘The End, On the March’.“After seeing his general off, Anders climbed a small hillock and surveyed his host. What they lacked in training and skill, they more than made up for in numbers and ferocity. Either his magic had worked especially well upon his unwilling draftees, or humans were all more savage than they cared to admit. Looking out upon them, he saw them huddled in large, teeming masses around myriad bonfires. They were always ravenous for food, of course, but also for sex and violence. The End-of-All-Things would be happy to destroy them all, once they had served their purpose.Pivoting to his left, he held out his arms and a slave laid the infant into them. It was a funny looking thing, this child. And would get funnier still, by the time Anders was through with it. He had decided, after some thought, that it was time he created something for a change. He would be the end of all things presently in existence, but this child would be the first of his new race, beings made especially to serve and obey him. Worship would not be required, as he felt he would probably kill large numbers of them whenever he got bored. Perhaps he should also create a competing race and pit them against one another!”A must read for those who want to remain on the edge of your seat. I, Theodocia McLean endorse Steel, Blood & Fire is book one in Author Allan Batchelder’s Immortal Treachery series. I purchased this book from a Kindle format on June 11, 2017 and wrote this review on June 15, 2017.Kindle Purchase Link

  • Dianne Wilkes
    2019-03-03 08:04

    Read thisThis was an amazing edge of your seat gripping good read. It is up there with the very best dark fantasy ever wrote,read it you will be so glad you did.

  • Noor Al-Shanti
    2019-02-23 08:04

    I heard so many good things about this book I jumped to get it during a free promo only to realize it was a grimdark type book. It's expertly written, with some very interesting ideas, but just way too much swearing for me personally. I will say, though, if you're into things like Game of Thrones and don't mind mature content or swearing then you will probably enjoy it!

  • Jeffery Reid
    2019-03-04 07:36

    Read the whole series.

  • Kim
    2019-02-25 01:40

    I was completely taken by this story and its characters. Something bad happens to the main protagonist at the very beginning of the book and I wondered how is going to get out of it. No spoilers, except to say that it was of the the most imaginative solutions I've ever read. If you are a fan of epic fantasy books, this book is for you.

  • Ofer
    2019-02-26 05:41

    Military/Epic Fantasy. The Reaper, a badass villain, Riddick-style character down on his luck is called to save the world from an evil overlord even worse than himself. Great action and humor with gritty characters. Will probably appeal to fans of Malazan.

  • Jodie
    2019-03-17 09:52

    Book ReviewTitle: Steel, Blood & FireAuthor: Allan BatchelderGenre: Action/Magical/FantasyRating: *****Review: Steel, Blood, & Fire by Allan Batchelder is an engaging epic fantasy novel that incorporates immortality, magic, and the nature of courage and war. There are many elements to keep track of, but it is a gripping tale. The opening pages to this novel where absolutely amazing, they caught me by the throat and kept me riveted to the pages. Each sentences evoked a new emotion; fear, anger, hated even. Not many novels can do this, and this makes Steel Blood & Fire an amazing novel to read.The paranormal elements worked well for me as well as the action scenes, they added more suspense and depth to the plot and characters. I also enjoyed the interaction between Vykers and Burner. And the first chapter was really gripping with loads of action but I did find the multiple P.O.V’s great but the time skipping confused me a little, jumping from the present to the past and back again but hopefully this will be made clear as the novel progresses. I also really enjoyed the fact this book is written from multiple points of view. I personally like this because I feel action novels told from a singular perspective can become stale and not boring but it feels like its dragging out very early on, so this is a big plus for me.I loved the friendship and comradery between Long and Short, but I was very stunned when one of them dies very early on (I’m not telling you which one because that would be a spoiler!) I also like the fact my the P.O.V changes the author tells you who is speaking and in what time frame they are speaking for example Aoife, some of her chapters are written from her prespective as a child and other are divided between present tense and present tense while remembering events of the past. Aoife story is one of the most appealing to me along with that of Vykers, and I am really intrigued to find out more about these characters.The book kind of reminds me of a cross between the Hunger Games and 300. The world and society remind me of the Hunger Games because of the division of the people and how they fit in and yet are isolated for the grander society. And it reminds me of 300 because they is a small force (Vykers/Spartans) going up against a far larger and more deadly force (End of all things/Persians). I think this is a very nice balance between the action feel and the dystopian feel. But the magicial elements add something entirely different to this novel, making it reminicant of other books I’ve read yet extremely unique and engrossing. I loved the dynamic relationships detailed throughout the novel, especially the humour and sometimes tense relationship between Vykers and Arune.The Virgin Queen is also an excellently written character, she is hard, slightly cruel but she still feels human. My main fear was this book was that Anders who is the antagonist would be another boring reproduction of every other book villian in fantasy novels. But I was extremely surprised as we get a lot of back story on him and his sister Aoife, well before we meet him as a murderous, rampaging adult.By the beginning of chapter 4 things start slowly coming together. Vykers and Arune have been sent after Anders and Long & Co have enlisted in the Queen’s Army for the ever coming war. I have a feeling even though many of the characters have never met they are about too. I really loved the entwining story lines and characters and trying to figure out whose going to win and who the secondary characters are going to side with. I also like how the history plays a huge role in how the future is going to play out.I enjoyed all the dramatic twists, particularlly in Aoife’s story especially the story surrounding her mysterious and other worldly pregnancies/children and what it means within the bounds of the novel. I also really like the way the book is written and the language used, the characters’ personalities and how we the readers stick with them not only through their trails but through their goals, and their ultimate life fails – I’m looking at you Long. Another thing I like was that nothing is too far feached in the novel and you believe that in this world all of these things can happen.As we head towards the halfway point in the novel a lot of tension and suspense start to build as we are bouncing back and forth more quickly that before, gearing us up for the final battle and the ensuing aftermath. I also like how Allan Batchelder added a light-hearted (sometimes) romance in amid all the action and violence.At the halfway point in the novel you are glad for the speeding up of the pace but you are still very aware than you have another 300 pages to go, so I was struggling a bit by the point but I really wanted to finish the book. Also being aware that this is book 1 in a series I wanted to finish it so bad so I could read the next book in the series because after this massive book I am 100% invested in these characters and their stories I want to read all the book and find out what happens next. I loved learning more about Long and Vykers and how they dealt with different trials. As we hurdle towards to the ending we can see both armies viciously trying to wipe as many of the others before the final battle but each time we see Vykers winning a little and Anders losing a little.I also like the fact some soliders and generals from the Queen’s army have been forced into the service of End of All Things aka Anders D’Kem and Sprik for a start, but they have mamanged to escape but Long and a pregnant Mardine remained trapped in End’s inner circle. We are now only a 100 or so pages away from the end of the book and I am literally dying to find out what happens to everyone and what kind of ending Allan Batchelder leaves for the reader.As the final battle begins we are obviosuly cheering on the protagonists but we also feel some measure of pity and empathy for Anders although we are still unclear on why he peruses this destructive endevour.The ending of this book tied up most of the loose ends very nicely but it leaves a lot of unanswered questions that need to be answered, like what happens to Long will he recover his voice, what of Long and Mardine’s baby, and finally what happens to Shere’s son who Anders altered? But the cliffhanger was great and I really hope I get to read the second book soon.

  • DaveGriffin
    2019-02-26 07:05

    Excellent sword and sorcery adventureVykers. The Reaper. The ultimate killer. Said to have killed entire armies. And yet, caught, and crippled,, still a powerful weapon to be used against an evil that threatens to destroy the entire world.Not as dumb as he acts, Vykers still has a trick or two up his empty sleeves!But, will he save the world that has crippled him, and cast him out? A good read, and a good beginning to a series. Could Vykers be the new Conan?(The Conan the Barbarian stories were a series written almost 100 years ago. )

  • Daniel Savage
    2019-02-23 06:04

    Good start to a seriesGreat main characters, great villain. Some parts got a little too weird and seemed unnecessary but overall a nice start and i will be reading the rest

  • David Miller
    2019-03-21 10:03

    Most fantasy novels I've read pit the virtuous hero versus the evil villain. These novels are satisfying but highly predictable. This novel pits evil against the lesser of two evils. Tarmun Vykers is the lesser of two evils. He would make a fine villain in most stories but he is called upon to be the savior in this tale against a far greater threat, "The End of All Things". There are some fine virtuous protagonists as well. Aoife is a healer who has powers hidden even to herself. Her steady presence as the story continuously returns to her balances out the dark dealings of both Tarmun and "The End of All Things". Another force for good is Arune, a disembodied spirit that finds Tarmun as an unwilling host. Her moderating influence eventually tames some of his more abhorrent behaviors. I am reminded of the movie "All of Me". Steve Martin desperately wants to be rid of the spirit of Lily Tomlin but eventually grows to care about her.There are other equally engaging story lines as we follow the adventures of Long Pete, Janks, Spirk, Rem, and D'Kem, mercenaries turned soldiers for the Virgin Queen's army. Some of their escapades are reminiscent of Shakespeare's Henry VI and the common soldiers in Henry's army, and they include Pistol, Nym, and Bardolph from the Henry IV plays. The army also includes a Scot, an Irishman, an Englishman and Fluellen, a comically stereotyped Welsh soldier. I love all of the Shakespeare references. It is fun to pick them out. The author also borrows from Robert Frost, my favorite poet... "the woods were lovely, dark, and deep." There are a couple of love stories woven into the story. The most unusual of which is Long Pete and the giantess Mardine, a ten foot tall fighting machine. His eventual devotion to her is quite touching. I also enjoyed the five "chimera" that accompany Tarnum Vykers on his quest to gain a magic sword. As grotesque as they are described their loyalty in very endearing. Equally engrossing are Aoife and the "fey folk", creatures of legend that are one with the ancient forest. The battle scenes are epic to say the least. The battle strategies are fascinating to follow as they unfold. The ebb and flow of the final battle keeps the reader on the edge of whatever they are sitting on. Powerful magic is unleashed on both sides with some surprises coming at important junctures. If I had to pick a favorite character it would have to be Spirk. He provides comic relief when times are their darkest. Overall this novel is reminiscent of some of David Eddings best, particularly the Mallorean series. I highly recommend it to any adult who loves fantasy and a good tale of magic!

  • Barbara Desmond
    2019-03-07 04:39

    I was kindly sent a copy of this book by the author. Thank goodness I was able to download at the time. Yep the Fire is about to explode from all the books I keep adding. Anyhoo I saw this cover and thought this looks very Spartacus. He doesn't look too happy. Maybe he read my weird reviews. I wonder if I deleted them or just unpublished the blog they were posted on.This book isn't for everyone. I will admit that I'm not really crazy about multiple perspectives. Usually I'm good with up to three and this one has more. Most of the perspectives have more than one person so that could potentially be confusing. It did take me a while to get used to it but I was enjoying the story so I muddled through. I do wish the chapters were shorter. The perspectives could have easily been split into separate chapters since that might make things less confusing and color me weird but when I stop reading I prefer if possible to read to the end of a chapter.There's a bad guy on the loose with the name End Of All Things. That doesn't sound good does it? So of course it makes perfect sense to get the guy named Reaper to take him out. Yes there's an epic battle with colorful characters. There's some weirdness but it was a good kind of weirdness. I don't object to weird but even I have a weird limit. This is nowhere near Bentley Little weird. That dude writes seriously weird books. Since there seems to be an unwritten rule about fantasy characters having weird names you'll find them here but none of them are too outrageous. I'm sure I pronounced them all right and I didn't even check the back. There's a glossary in the back that I believe gives you the pronunciation of each character. I decided to be a rebel and didn't peek. Okay I didn't know it was there until I reached the end of the book.

  • Molly Ringle
    2019-02-20 07:01

    I've had the pleasure of seeing Allan Batchelder do author presentations here in Seattle, and in the latest one he described this series as "grim-dark," like Game of Thrones. However, I would say it's not as grim or as dark as GoT; to me it has a delightful injection of one of Batchelder's named influences, Shakespeare. Like the Bard's plays, this book has frequent instances of bawdy, irreverent humor, moments of surprising sweetness, and a truly diverse assortment of character personalities to keep things lively and keep the plot twisting. I was decidedly impressed with how he handled Tarmun Vykers, who, as a proven killing machine of a warrior, didn't sound like the kind of guy I would particularly like. However, Tarmun's got charisma: he's intelligent enough to watch and learn instead of just attacking, he's got a sense of honor and curiosity, and best of all, he's pretty darn funny. (In, okay, a dark way.) Also he's got a young female ghost riding along in his mind (and body), which is a rather fascinating situation for anyone to be in, and they make a fetching mismatched pair. The world-building is especially cool, what with the strange events of the past where everyone awoke one day and couldn't remember anything about what came before; the monsters and "chimeras"; the eerie caves and gloomy cities; and the Shapers (wizards/witches) and their magical powers and vulnerabilities. My favorite part, though, might be Aoife's journey in this book, in which she becomes something of an Earth Mother in a rather literal and unexpectedly beautiful way. Nice to have that loveliness and fae-forest power to counter the gruesome destructive humans.Like the Bard's plays, this series will be in five installments, and I look forward to seeing where it goes!

  • Claire
    2019-03-23 02:42

    I really enjoyed “Steel, Blood & Fire” by author Allan Batchelder, even though “epic” fantasy isn’t usually one of my more preferred genres (don’t dislike it, just don’t generally gravitate). But I like watching “Game of Thrones” (and Lord of the Rings) and do enjoy good fantasy when done right, so I gave it a shot. I was really surprised by not only how quickly I was sucked into the intense and intricate world Batchelder created, but how quickly I grew to care for the characters – who, by the way, are hands down the most unique, creative, and original I’ve come across anywhere ever! I really liked the dialogue and pacing and thought that Mr. Batchelder did such a wonderful job with the descriptions of the world and the different characters. Liked Arune and Vykers but thought The End was just the coolest. Solid supporting cast as well, there are SO many of them it’s hard to keep track at times(there is a useful guide at the end), but I liked that they weren’t just the standard cardboard cutouts we see so often in fantasy, but original and with fully fleshed identities (some admittedly more than others). Great action, tension and pacing throughout, and I liked that I was shocked at some things that happened and it wasn’t predictable. Some language, and violence, but other than that it feels pretty suitable for (very) mature teens on up. If I had a gripe it would be with the formatting – the editing was great but the formatting needs fixing as there are whole chunks of text with white blocks behind it (like paper) and it’s a bit annoying. And the spacing is odd (too much space between lines and paragraphs. But I had a great time reading this and I’m looking forward to the next!

  • BellaReadz
    2019-03-07 02:36

    I read a lot of fantasy and sci fi books, so this is a genre I’m very familiar with. Having read the description and glowing reviews for “Steel, Blood, & Fire” (Immortal Treachery Book #1) by Allan Batchelder, I was curious if the book would live up to the hype, and I will say wholeheartedly that I was not in the least bit disappointed! Batchelder is unarguably a very talented writer, but more than that he genuinely impressed me with his thorough world-building and sheer creativeness on many levels---it is rare and impressive feat to create new characters and fresh tropes in fantasy as it all seems to have been done before in some way, but he managed to do it. And all too often I read works that feel are clearly derivative of other books, and although I appreciate literary influences (as is felt some here as well), when something this original comes along it is a refreshing change of pace! Some of the writing was downright lyrical in the simple elegance of the prose, and other times I was nearly breathless from the intensity and violent passion. For such a long book I finished it in less than a week, and went through so many highs and lows, it felt like a rollercoaster. Vykers is awesome and we see decent character development throughout. I was hoping for a different ending, but it was bittersweet (and more powerful this way) nonetheless. It does wrap up well but there are clearly more stories in the works. Note: there is a helpful reference at the end for the characters. Use it ;-) A must read for fans of high fantasy.

  • Gillian H
    2019-03-17 03:56

    4.5 starsSeeing as how I’d never read anything form this author before (or even heard of him for that matter) I admit that I didn’t have the highest expectations going in. But I love fantasy (especially dark fantasy) and like trying out new authors. However, I was in no way prepared for how totally addicting this novel would be, and the sheer magnitude of the world, the characters, the multi plots, the magic and lore… I was really impressed. The way Batchelder writes is captivating from the beginning and you just want to keep reading and reading and not stop. It is both descriptive and has great world building (important for a fantasy-sci/fi) but also is fast moving so that you aren’t bored. I was reading as fast as I could, and even though it’s a really long book, I was disappointed when it was over… I wanted more and was disappointed that the next one wasn’t published yet. But the ending is amazing as is the rest of the book –and am really curious to see what else lies in store for us with the rest of the Immortal Treachery books. Recommend for fans of high fantasy/action-adventure.

  • Leo G
    2019-03-04 01:52

    brilliantly imagined and written, “Steel, Blood & Fire” by author Allan Batchelder is the first in a thrilling new fantasy series that I will definitely be following through (Immortal Treachery). This world is wholly conceived, and I was pleased with the level of character development. The plots are complex and intelligent, yet quirky enough to keep you guessing. This one just flows so smoothly and fast and keeps picking up steam as it goes along. There are several big reveals that continue to shift the dynamic of the storyline in unexpected ways, something that even a jaded fantasy reader like myself can fully appreciate and still be shocked by. This is great because nothing I hate more than predictable clichés. Really interesting characters, from Long, Aoife, Arun, The End of All Things, and of course Vykers. I would also like to commend the level of solid editing, even if the formatting needs a little work. Recommend for fans of the fantasy genre, as well as action or adventure. Ready to read more from Allan Batchelder soon and will be recommending to my friends.

  • Russ
    2019-02-26 09:48

    I absolutely loved this book! It was such a refreshing gem of a novel that was genuinely difficult to put down. It really bothers me that this series isn't more popular. There are multiple viewpoints and I found all of them to be engaging and interesting. Tarmun Vykers is such a fascinating, badass main character. Even though he's not necessarily a "good" guy, you can't help but root for him. I can't really think of anything not to like about this book. The characters, situations, creatures, pacing, and story are all fresh and unique. In the few instances where we encounter certain familiar fantasy tropes, they're handled in new and exciting ways. There are so many awesome moments, with plenty of heartbreak and even some appropriately placed levity sprinkled throughout. I immediately started reading the next Immortal Treachery book. You'll want to do the same once you've finished Steel, Blood and Fire.