Gedlund by William Ray
Gedlund is a big, flintlock epic with guns and goblins, ancient empires, and cannons blasting the walking dead. In many ways I felt immersed in a world much like the Warhammer universe, with the (British) Empire of man battling vampire counts and greenskins. This is a good thing, and basically I just really enjoyed it.
High-fantasy flintlock, with immaculate moustaches, ancient elven empires, and men with guns marching to glorious, imperial victory! Well, hopefully. At least when they're not getting splattered by lighting-spewing, regenerating golems, or torn apart by warping vampires, or drained by ghostly spectres, or enthralled by evil pipers, or...well, I could go on.
It's a rough life for the infantry of Verin. They may have a parliament now, with new-found industrial wealth and trains and steamboats and artillery, but magic remains a mighty foe. If it's not obvious I had a lot of fun with the setting, and for me it was probably the strongest aspect of the book - a great mix of myth and real historical knowledge and detail.
As an added bonus, every chapter has a sort of 'post-war' reference that really added to the feeling that this was a real world that existed far outside the characters and plot. These were really well done and I found myself looking forward to reading them.
A newly minted soldier of the Verin empire is sent to war, first against goblins, and then against an ancient undead king. Mostly he tries not to get killed at first, but the plot thickens, and our hero gets more useful and important as he goes. Overall it's a simple plot that tugs along as a military adventure, without straying far away from its purpose.
Tammen Gilmot is an overly educated soldier who wants to see the world. He's quickly unsure of this decision, but nonetheless perseveres through a wide variety of mortal dangers. Basically, I liked Tammen quite a bit. He's relatable, he's not an idiot, he's human. I'd have a beer with the guy at the very least. And I was rooting for him to end up not dead.
Attempting to keep him alive (sort of) is Captain Valdemar - a famous warrior, originally from the undead enemy's land of Gedlund, and 'frozen' as a sort of statue with magic. He comes equipped with a magic sword and a healthy dollop of testicular fortitude, both of which come in rather handy.
There's also the gruff, efficient Corporal Glynn, and a couple joke-cracking sergeants. I liked all these characters, too, save for one complaint of a POV switch fairly late in the book that knocked me out of the story a bit. I understand why it was included (the characters split up), but might have worked better if we'd seen a different POV sooner.
Very detailed, and very smooth. It's a readable book that carries you forward without much effort, which is much harder to do than it sounds. My only complaint is that it plodded on a bit, and with a fairly simple plot I feel the word count could have dropped pretty easily. But this is often a matter of taste, depending on how you like to consume your stories.
I'll be reading the sequel(s?). It's actually not easy to find good flintlock fantasy, probably because it involves some of the difficulty of research like a historical novel, but I really enjoyed this. Easy recommend for flintlock or military fantasy fans, even epic fans. Oh, and, while it is quite long, it's also a stand-alone, with the next book(s) taking place in the same world but with different characters.
I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This Gedlund book review was written by Richard Nell
All reviews for: Tales of the Verin Empire
Tales of the Verin Empire #1
"This bracing, complex tale pits a fantasy-world version of the Victorian British Empire against a sorcerer-dictator out of The Lord of the Rings." - Kirkus Revie...
Have you read Gedlund?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Gedlund reader reviews
7.8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear while the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power ...
Half a King
Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it al...
The Faithful and The Fallen
Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will...
The Farseer Trilogy
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets,...
The World Tree rises up out of the seething clouds like a green mountain, lifting its children up to the light. All creation nestles in its gigantic branches: all take shel...
Hope and Red
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two people find a common cause. Hope, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor's forces, is secretly tr...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...
The Ember Blade
A land under occupation. A legendary sword. A young man’s journey to find his destiny.Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He’s never questione...
In the cramped west end of Sharakhai, the Amber Jewel of the Desert, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: