- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Gallery Books (October 14, 2014)
Apocalypse Now meets The Lord of the Rings in a bold new fantasy from the acclaimed author of the Iron Elves trilogy, filled with "heroic action that keeps fans coming back" (Publishers Weekly).
Channeling the turbulent period of the Vietnam War and its ruthless pitting of ideologies, cultures, generations, and races against each other, military historian and acclaimed fantasy writer Chris Evans takes a daring new approach to the traditional world of sword and sorcery by thrusting it into a maelstrom of racial animus, drug use, rebellion, and a growing war that seems at once unwinnable and with no end in sight. In this thrilling epic, right and wrong, country and honor, freedom and sacrifice are all put to the ultimate test in the heart of a dark, bloody, otherworldly jungle.
In this strange, new world deep among the shadows under a triple-canopy jungle and plagued by dangers real and imagined, soldiers strive to fulfill a mission they don’t understand and are ill-equipped to carry out. And high above them, the heavy rush of wings slashing through the humid air herald a coming wave of death and destruction, and just possibly, salvation.
ARC received from NetGalley
I enjoy fantasy books; I enjoy war films but had never delved into the genre when it came to literature. Described as “Apocalypse now meets The Lord of the Rings”, this book caught my eye. Evans, an author whose work I haven’t read, has a new fan. Of bone and Thunder is one of the few books which have blown me away. An interweaving of Vietnam combat and scenery with themes that are more commonly found in fantasy made this book both original and captivating. Different races, magic, dragons and medieval weaponry made for an every turn of the page more enjoyable than the previous.
The first part of the book isn’t steeped in action; it is more world building and character development which to me as a reader is just as entertaining, I like to believe in the world I am reading about, therefore setting the scene is paramount. Politics, drug use and the hunt through unfamiliar territory for an elusive enemy are some similarities between the book and the Vietnam conflict. For me, including themes and situations that ran parallel to a real-life conflict added to the verisimilitude of the story. I also enjoyed the dialogue between soldiers, the bloke-ish banter, cursing and the use of acronyms as you would expect on the front line. The characters within the book are well defined, each fascinating, with their own personalities, flaws and beliefs regarding the war. This makes for dynamic relationships, with moments of conflict and friendship.
From action scenes to epic battles, soaring through the air on Rags/dragons or simply scouting the jungles of the enemies’ native lands; the detail with which Evans writes is so captivating and vividly descriptive, it engulfs the reader and gave me an almost cinematic experience. It would be awesome to see this turned into a movie.
A fascinating story narrated from the viewpoints of several service men with different roles within the war against the “Slyts”. An incredible interlacing of their experiences which all lead to the conclusion and an action packed, heroic and emotional ending. A compelling story of courage, leadership and sacrifice. Highly recommended for lovers of fantasy and military fiction.