Author: Chris Wraight
Series: Empire Army #2
Publisher: Black Library
Released: October 27th, 2009
I received a copy of Iron Company through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Iron Company is the second novel in the Empire Army series from Black Library (the world of Warhammer Fantasy). That being said, you can easily dive right in at this point and have no trouble following along – I did. And I have no regrets about that fact.
Magnus Ironblood has chosen isolation as his form of personal torture. Caught up in the grief and guilt of his past, he has sunken well into the pits of drunkenness and despair. It is hard to believe, underneath that guise, that he is a master engineer, one with brilliant intellect and a keen eye for weapons.
Magnus may very well have faded into obscurity – if not for the events that are about to unfold. For he is about to get wrapped up in a conspiracy. One that Imperial forces intend to sort out.
“You’ve been badly advised. If you need a master engineer, look elsewhere. There are good reasons for my leaving the service.”
Iron Company was everything I had hoped it would be. It was full of action, redeeming plot arcs, and so much more. This is exactly the sort of reading fans (myself included) have come to expect from Black Library.
I mentioned above that I hadn’t actually read Reiksguard, the first novel in the Empire Army series. That was a mistake on my part (one that I will fix by going back and reading it). But I honestly had no trouble following along with Ironblood’s story. If anything, the intrigue was increased, as I worked to puzzle together the pieces of his past.
This is a novel told through multiple perspectives, but the main one is that of Magnus himself. I honestly enjoyed his side of the story the most (as intended, I’m sure). I also adored his plot arc – the whole intrigue and redemption side of things really spoke to me. It made for an interesting read, one where I couldn’t help but root for his success.
The variety of characters in this novel – all with their own complex backstories and personal goals – truly enhanced the reading experience. I personally really enjoyed the addition of the internal politics and all of the battles that it caused. It made everything feel more grounded – and was a strong reminder that not all danger can be clearly seen.
It felt like there was subplot upon subplot in this novel, adding layers of complexity to dig through. While this is undoubtedly a novel full of action, violence, and gore – it is also one full of intricate and careful writing.
I for one really enjoyed reading Iron Company, and will be looking forward to seeing more in this series (including Rieksgaurd, obviously).