Title: Steel Victory
Author: J.L. Gribble
Published by: Dog Star Books
Publication date: 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Dystopian, Action, Adventure
Source: Review copy from the author
One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.
Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.
Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.
Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.
* I would like to thank the author, J.L. Gribble for sending me a review copy of her novel Steel Victory in exchange for an honest review.
Steel Victory was a great read, even at the very beginning it was already fast paced and I liked that about the book – there was no beating around the bush and was straight to the point. It combines so many genres together that I am amazed at how J.L. Gribble managed to create a sound story that flowed so well. I will not fact that J.L. Gribble has an inventive mind and has a brilliant imagination!
In this modern post-apocalyptic world, I found what Gribble wrote astonishing – the fact that she was able to create an alternate history where the Roman Empire never fell and is fighting against the British Empire is simply astonishing. I wanted to know more about the history of this world that never was, where werecreatures such as were-badgers and were-snakes, werewolves, vampires and mages and elves coexisted with the human population. I want to know how this came to be!
The sense of not knowing at least the approximate geography of the setting has been hard on my imagination, as I simply could not imagine where this world would be (and it is driving me insane). I would have liked a map (because I love maps and it would have helped with a little bit of world building).
Gribble has created wonderful characters, each of which has their own personalities and were written with care and attention to detail. I loved Victory and how reasonable she can be, although she has impulses that she wants to act upon, she also thinks about the consequences that they may bring – so I appreciated her a lot. On the contrary to Victory’s personality of having restraint, her warrior-mage daughter is the complete opposite of her and does whatever she believes is the right thing upon impulse – and there were many times I wanted to shout at her and tell her to turn around and think about what she is doing, but she is also a wonderful character who shows that she is strong and independent. While this is true for these two main protagonists, I adored all of the characters and appreciated how wonderfully written they were. They were not two-dimensional characters, they all have substance and their own stories to tell, their own personalities and quirks. Which I believe is the most important aspect of the story, as from what I can tell it is very much character driven.
The plot of the story itself was intriguing, there’s plenty of adventure and action going on in the story, with the possibility of another war ensuing, and humans intolerance of creatures that are different from them. Steel Victory is a novel that brings together many different genres of books that we all have become very familiar with, from action to adventure, to social issues and politics, and we must not forget the dystopian setting and the fact that it also creates an alternate history where the Roman empire never fell, and is now at war with the British Empire, along with mythical creatures such as Vampires, Elves and Werewolves. It is a massive mishmash of tropes – but it all works together to create a brilliant novel.
Find out more about this novel at J.L. Gribble‘s website.