Warlord (Ironstone Saga #2) by Keith McArdle - Book Review

Warlord (Ironstone Saga #2) by Keith McArdle - Book Review

Write on: Thu, 05 Jan 2023 by  in Drew's Reviews Read 185

With a rapidly advancing Huronian army bearing down on his adoptive city, Vyder Ironstone has to return to the Highlands of his birth in the hopes of recruiting reinforcements. 

Warlord continues Vyder’s story from Fallen Empire, interweaving his journey to the Shadolian Highlands with three or four parallel stories, all leading back toward the battle for Lisfort. Accompanied by his new companions; the still-recuperating prince of Wenderlund, the warrior woman, Ahitika, and the forest spirit, Gorgoroth; Vyder soon finds himself gathering the remnants of various clans. In return for their aid against the Huronians, he must first lead them on a mission of revenge against the clan that has been systematically attacking them one by one. 


The highlights of the principal storyline include the budding relationship between the prince & Ahitika, and Vyder’s growing acceptance of his symbiosis with Gorgoroth. That, and his methods of gaining the trust of the scattered clansmen and welding them an army which may be Lisfort’s last hope. 


Another of this book’s strengths, and one that I feel like I appreciated more here than in the preceding volume, is the way events are shown from the point of view of the common soldiery. This accounts for two other storylines, each on either side of the conflict. I found the chapters that focus on a group of Huronian cavalrymen the more interesting, as they attempt to stay alive despite the ineptitude of their commanders or the whims of the King’s court. 


My biggest quibble with the book is something I won’t go into because of spoilers, and I feel like it’s not something that would detract from others’ enjoyment of the book. While I definitely enjoyed the previous installment, I feel like Warlord kicked things up to another level. Which makes the prospect of the third and final book, Song of the Fallen, even more appealing. 


4.5 out of 5 Shadolian clans.


Drew ascribes his love of stories to an aunt giving him a hard back edition of Dracula & Frankenstein for his 8th birthday. Since then he’s been an avid reader of books, short stories, and comics. He is a regular blogger at “The Scribblings” and is working on his own writing.