Book review by Jonathan Moeller

Jonathan Moeller, Pulp Writer, reviews A THRONE OF BONES:

A THRONE OF BONES, by Vox Day, is one of the more ambitious epic fantasy novels I have read…. I enjoyed the historical verisimilitude of the novel, especially the depiction of the Amorran republican legions. (It is in my opinion a bit fallacious to argue for historical “realism” in fantasy novels – if a book has characters that can shoot lightning bolts from their fingers, the writer have taken realism out back to be shot. Historical verisimilitude is then the best the writer can reach for, then, something I’ve done myself.)  In that vein, battle scenes are very well done. Additionally, none of the characters are caricatures. All of the nobles involved in, say, the Amorran civil war, have completely understandable motives for their actions, and none of the (human) characters are villainous so much as they hold incompatible views of how the world should work.

The author deliberately wrote the book in response to the moral nihilism of many contemporary epic fantasy novels. Many elements, in particular the civil war between noble families, seems to owe its inspiration to George R.R. Martin’s A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (though SONG was based on the War of the Roses, and A THRONE OF BONES seems based on the Social War of the Roman Republic.) The character of Corvus, for example, seems similar to Ned Stark in SONG, and like Ned Stark, makes a honorable but nonetheless stupid decision that has long-reaching bad consequences….

Read the rest of the review at Jonathan’s site.  He has some interesting comments about the way the technologically-empowered bypassing of the conventional gatekeepers is likely to improve fiction.