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Steel, Blood & Fire (Immortal Treachery Book 1) by Allan Batchelder

Steel, Blood & Fire (Immortal Treachery Book 1) by Allan Batchelder

On the march, around the campfire, and in the taverns, they tell incredible stories about Tarmun Vykers, the Reaper – how he’s never been cut in battle, how he once defeated hundreds of men by himself, how he exterminated an entire people over an insult. These stories make Vykers seem like a god, but he is a man, an arrogant, ruthless and bloodthirsty man. For all that, he may be the only thing standing between the human race and utter annihilation at the hands of the mad wizard who calls himself the End-of-All-Things. Against this backdrop, smaller, lesser folks struggle to fulfill their own destinies, folks like Aoife, burdened with a secret so dark she is driven to do the unimaginable and seek an alliance with fey powers no mortal has ever encountered.

Are you a fan of: Grimdark, Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series, Steven Erikson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Glen Cook’s Chronicles of the Black Company, or Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle? If so, grab your copy of Steel, Blood & Fire now!

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Dark Fantasy, Mythology & Folk Tales, Epic Fantasy called “Grimdark.”

Book Review: This book has a very well thought out plot engaging the reader in unexpected twists and turns including love stories and epic battle scenes involving twenty-four well developed characters.

Steel, Blood & Fires opens with unspeakable violence as Tarmun Vykers, A.K.A, “the Reaper” a legendary warrior is in the stocks (in bonds, under guard). One must be warned that this is a work of dark fantasy, horror and mythology with adult language and graphic violence.

Author Allan Batchelder has done very well laying out this book with easy to follow headings (much like the way a play production might be laid out). The story pivots back and forth from what is happening with his main characters:  the legendary warrior named Tarmun Vykers, Aoife Cestroenyn (An A’Shea or “Mender,” sister of Anders), D’Kem (a washed up Burner), Janks & Company, Long, A.K.A, Long Pete, Spirk Nessno (An idiot and friend to Long), Anders Cestroenyn (the self-proclaimed “End-of-All-Things) and Arune (A spectral Burner who shares Vykers’ body).

I would like to share a quote from this book that will help draw you in without spoiling the story. This quote come from one of the the chapter four headings titled ‘The End, On the March’.

“After seeing his general off, Anders climbed a small hillock and surveyed his host. What they lacked in training and skill, they more than made up for in numbers and ferocity. Either his magic had worked especially well upon his unwilling draftees, or humans were all more savage than they cared to admit. Looking out upon them, he saw them huddled in large, teeming masses around myriad bonfires. They were always ravenous for food, of course, but also for sex and violence. The End-of-All-Things would be happy to destroy them all, once they had served their purpose.

Pivoting to his left, he held out his arms and a slave laid the infant into them. It was a funny looking thing, this child. And would get funnier still, by the time Anders was through with it. He had decided, after some thought, that it was time he created something for a change. He would be the end of all things presently in existence, but this child would be the first of his new race, beings made especially to serve and obey him. Worship would not be required, as he felt he would probably kill large numbers of them whenever he got bored. Perhaps he should also create a competing race and pit them against one another!”

A must read for those who want to remain on the edge of your seat.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Steel, Blood & Fire is book one in Author Allan Batchelder’s Immortal Treachery series. I purchased this book from a Kindle format on June 11, 2017 and wrote this review on June 15, 2017.

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 As Flies To Wanton Boys (Immortal Treachery Book 2) by Allan Batchelder

You are Tarmun Vykers, the Reaper, laid low by a sorcerous wound and languishing in a sick bed for years until your services are unexpectedly required again, and the means to get you back on your feet rather conveniently appears in the person of Her Majesty’s first mage…

Cindor, the kingdom’s most experienced wizard and a skilled politician. Can you trust him, and what is the price for his help?

And what of the beautiful healer, Aoife, who insists on accompanying you on Cindor’s quest? Surely, she’s not as emotionally aloof as she pretends, and, if not, what is she hiding?

Long Pete, too, is caught up in Cindor’s web. The wizard has plans for Long and his crew that may save the kingdom, but tear friendships asunder.

Ride with the half-crippled Reaper again, as he crosses a monster-filled sea and a dark and threatening continent to engage in the most unusual battle of his life and uncover an unthinkable secret.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Dark Fantasy, Mythology & Folk Tales, Epic Fantasy called “Grimdark.”

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Corpse Cold (Immortal Treachery Book 3) by Allan Batchelder

Betrayed by his closest friend, someone who has also stolen his most precious possession, Tarmun Vykers wants revenge.

Kittins wants revenge, too, against the all-powerful Queen, who’s been manipulating and dictating his every move for far too long, to devastating effect.

Long Pete wants revenge against the slavers who murdered his wife and even now hold his only child captive.

And many others too numerous to count want revenge as well, for slights both real and imagined.

One thing is certain: punishment is coming.

Follow the Reaper again, as he fights through the worst winter in ages to deal out revenge that leaves his victims corpse cold.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Dark Fantasy, Mythology & Folk Tales, Epic Fantasy called “Grimdark.”

Amazon Customer Reviews
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The Abject God: Immortal Treachery, Book Four by Allan Batchelder

Vykers once killed some of the Emperor’s soldiers; now, the Emperor has crossed the sea with all his legions to exact a revenge that will impact not only the Reaper, but Kittins, Spirk, Eamon, and even the Virgin Queen herself. Meanwhile, pieces to the puzzle of Vykers’ origins begin to fall into place, revealing people and purposes both unexpected and heretofore unimaginable. And then there is the long-suffering Long Pete, who must now contend with an utterly reshaped reality that threatens his very existence.

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Dark Fantasy, Mythology & Folk Tales, Epic Fantasy called “Grimdark.”

Amazon Customer Reviews
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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Allan Batchelder

Allan is a professional actor, educator and former stand-up comedian. In addition to Steel, Blood & Fire, As Flies to Wanton Boys and Corpse Cold, he's also written plays, screenplays, online articles, dialogue for computer games, greeting card sentiments and more.

Steel, Blood & Fire has been praised by Kirkus, Midwest Book Review and Fantascize.com. Allan holds a Master of Fine Arts in acting from the National Theatre Conservatory and a Master's in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University. He is a huge fan of Shakespeare, Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Glen Cook, George R.R. Martin, Tad Williams, and R. Scott Bakker.

Allan lives in Seattle with his wife and son, where he enjoys walks on the beach, reading in the garden and puttering around on his computer. Oh, and naps. He LOVES naps. In fact, he's probably taking one right now.

Interview Questions:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Seattle? I’d never really considered a link between my work and my hometown, but it is true that Seattle has the most well-read populous of any major American city. That said, I suspect my stuff isn’t highbrow for most of my fellow citizens! J Maybe my hometown finds its voice through the character Aoife, a sort of goddess of the forest. And then again, maybe not.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Throughout my life, whenever I’ve come across something I’ve really enjoyed, I’ve felt a need to participate in some way. And so, I became an actor, and then an opera singer, a stand-up comedian, a teacher, a writer. I don’t claim to be brilliant at any of these things; I just wanted to be part of the action. So, having been an avid reader all my life, I began writing stories in middle school and continued through grad school. Finally, I decided to “get real” about it and write a novel.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Well, my parents exposed me to a lot of art – plays, operas, ballet, museums – and we watched a heckuva lot of Mastepiece Theater, for whatever that’s worth. I just developed a passion for creativity and self-expression.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 2013, I was in a gaming group, and I finally said, “You know, instead of sitting around playing these stories, I should write one. Or several.”

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The fact that people around the world read and enjoy my stuff just blows my mind. How unexpected! How thrilling!

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? That’s a tough one. Self-publishing is a pain in the posterior! I guess I’d have to say finding and working with my cover artist, a woman in the Philippines. It’s amazing how creative endeavors bring people together, even from halfway ‘round the world.

How many published books do you have? I have four out and am currently writing the fifth and final novel in my first series.

Please list the titles of all your books:
Steel, Blood & Fire
As Flies to Wanton Boys
Corpse Cold
The Abject God
The End of All Things (coming in 2018)

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? In three of the five books, the title came from dialogue within the stories. The other two were predetermined.

Please tell us the genre of each of your books. My books belong (I think) to a subgenre of Epic Fantasy called “Grimdark.” The books of George R. R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Grimdark is like fantasy in a foul mood – it’s grittier, darker, and meaner. It often involves sprawling stories, casts of thousands, and more moral ambiguity than you could ever shake a stick at if you lived for a thousand years.

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Steel, Blood & Fire – the first book in the series, Immortal Treachery

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? I wanted to try my hand at writing an anti-hero protagonist, someone of legendary ability but infamous character. I wanted him to endure an Odysseus-worthy journey of self-discovery, and I wanted to balance him with a vast cast of “ordinary” folk, to explore the way the hero and the everyman each tackle similar (though not identical) challenges. But for all that intellectual folderol, I mostly wanted to have fun, to create something fun.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? In the past, I’ve been somewhat flippant about this type of question, because I don’t know that I’m in a position to give advice, just based on the fact that each person’s experience is so unique. There are a few commonalities, sure, but on the whole, it’s a journey each of us takes on our own. I guess the most valuable thing I can say is, “You CAN do it.”

Who is your favorite author and why? I’m afraid I’ll sound terribly pretentious, but really, I’ve been a fan of Shakespeare since I was twelve. I’ve performed in about twenty productions of his plays, and I’ve directed another six or so in various schools. In terms of contemporary writers, I guess I’d have to say Stephen King. I started reading his books in seventh or eighth grade, and I drifted away for a couple of decades, but I’m completely back in his corner again today. Plus, I really like the person he seems to be.

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