Friday, March 17, 2023

Battle for the Wastelands #2: Serpent Sword - Matthew W. Quinn

Here's the blurb I gave this novel: "There's no sophomore slump in SERPENT SWORD, the second book in Matthew Quinn's Battle for the Wastelands series, which combines post-apocalyptic science fiction, family saga, and Western elements. That's an ambitious combination, but Quinn pulls it off in fine fashion. SERPENT SWORD has plenty of action, compelling characters, and an intriguing, well-developed villain/anti-hero in Grendel, the dictator of the northern realms who's trying to take over the rest of the continent. This is an excellent series."

To expand on this a little . . . Dang, this is a good yarn. One of the most interesting parts of this series is the tangled family tree of the characters. The warlord villain Grendel has a number of children, including one with the sister of his greatest enemy, and this really amps up the political intrigue as he tries not only to survive the ongoing war against his rule but also to ensure a stable future when he's gone. If that sounds like he's the protagonist of this series, well, in some ways he is, despite being the bad guy.

Quinn does a fine job with the ground-level soldiers, though, following a platoon in the forces trying to drive Grendel from power. There's plenty of action, not just scheming, including some spectacular aerial combat involving dirigibles. The world-building is top-notch, too, as Quinn peels away more layers from the complex back-story of what the world has become in the future.

I can give this series a definite recommendation. It's well-written, has complex characters, and is packed with action. The books have great covers by Matthew Cowdery, too. Available in paperback and e-book editions from Amazon.

1 comment:

Jeff Rutherford said...

Thanks for this review. I just got the first book on Kindle, and I look forward to reading it this weekend!