Gedlund by William Ray


This satisfyingly hefty fantasy pits Victorian-style military might against a Dark Lord and his undead legions.

The basic premise here is that the human nation of Verin has abandoned magic in favour of steam trains, constitutional monarchy, Imperialism, and handlebar moustaches. Huzzah!

Young Tam, being poor, over-educated, and naive, joins the army as a foot soldier (in order to see the world) and is posted to the colonies, where the goblins are revolting. But before long, the army’s off to conquer the benighted and backward kingdom of Gedlund. The undead rulers of Gedlund don’t appreciate being invaded.

The writing is a little stodgy, which I assume is intended to give a period feel, but is very readable throughout and well edited. The plot has some minor weak points, including a few loose ends left unexplained at the end of what appears to be a standalone story. However good characters, a bit of humour, and tremendous set-piece battles make for an enjoyable read.

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