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Thread: Barra & Co.

  1. #1
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Barra & Co.

    Who else here besides Shehzad and I have read Iron Dawn and Jericho Moon?

    It's been a while since I read them so, no offense to Matt, I don't remember them as clearly as HD and BOT (having recently re-read HD).

  2. #2
    MJ Dusseault Spears&Buckler's Avatar
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    On the to-read pile. I recently acquired the SFBC omnibus edition including both novels. Pretty nice volume. Story looks interesting, and I am fully aware of the arse that Matt kicks in his writing. I am sure it will not let me down.

  3. #3
    MJ Dusseault Spears&Buckler's Avatar
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    I just finished Iron Dawn and have started Jericho Moon right away. This is my first endeavor with "historical fantasy", and I like it very much. I think the historical period that Mr. Stover has chosen works very well with fantasy. I don't know what to properly call it, so I'll just refer to it as the "post-Troy era." This age of legends, warfare, and heroes works hand-in-hand with the magical aspects as well as the "larger than life" character traits of well-written fantasy.

    Matt has created three very different but equally interesting main characters for this one: Barra, the hot-headed female leader of this mercenary trio (who I think would be an excellent match against Caine), Leucas the mammoth Athenian, and Kheperu the (dirty) alchemist. These three play very well off of each other, and their banter is excellent comic relief. If I had read these books before Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshalle, I would not have been so surprised at the character development I saw with Caine. Matt did it just as well in these books, especially with Barra. In my opinion, Matt's biggest strength in his writing is his characters. He gets very personal with each of them, gets in their heads, and I just love this. Makes me salivate at the thought of being in Anakin Skywalker's head as he turns to the Dark Side. There's nothing better than a character-driven story.

    The storyline is well done also. But as I am not a fan of spoilers, I will not expand on that topic. I enjoyed Iron Dawn very much, and Jericho Moon has started off to be even better.

    Man I can't wait for Caine Black Knife....

  4. #4
    High Priest of Cainism Shehzad's Avatar
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    I agree with much of what S&B has to say. In the attitude and character of Barra, I could see hints of Caine, so to speak. The novels themselves are very good, but I would certainly rank them below HD and BoT-- although I would be hard pressed to tell you why.

    The time period is fascinating to me, though, and I also enjoyed reading a sort of historical alernate-fiction (if that makes sense...)

  5. #5
    immer noch dabei Ntschotschi's Avatar
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    I read these books a few yearrs ago and enjoyed them very much.
    Although the narrative is more "conservative" than in the Caine novels it is still gripping and I found the characters fascinating.
    If I remember correctly the subject of an "evil" god hints to the later theme of the Caine novels.

  6. #6
    To be honest, while I own both IRON DAWN and JERICHO MOON, I only made it through about half of ID. I keep meaning to go back to it, and every time I do it seems like I can get about a chapter or two through it and then it'll go unread for a couple of months. I don't know what it is about them. I think it might be that I kind of set up this standard for a Stover story, and it pretty much has to grip me really strong right off the bat or I'll lose interest. I had the same problem with TRAITOR, though I eventually did end up getting through that one.

    That said, I read RotS in about two nights, and I literally could not put it down. And I've read both HD and BoT at least twice a year each since around 2002.

    Every time I start reading IRON DAWN I feel like I'm reading a log of an RPG. Especially the thing with the bear in the beginning. Given, I realize the characters are all based off of an RPG, and that feeling might be entirely intentional, but it just reminds me so much of it that it's a little off putting.

    From what Stover's said in the past though, JM is closer to the book he wanted to write than ID ever was. If I could morally convince myself to do so I'd just skip ID, but for whatever reason, I can't.

    Maybe when I finish DIES THE FIRE and DOWN RANGE I'll jump back into the whole historical fantasy scene again and make another go at IRON DAWN. I really want to love it....

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