Review of KINDLE Ebook Guns of the Dawn By Adrian Tchaikovsky #Brainfluffbookreview #GunsoftheDawnbookreview


As any regular visitor of this site will know, I’m a huge fan of this author – see my reviews of Children of Time, Children of Ruin – Book 2 of the Children of Time series, The Tiger and the Wolf – Book 1 of the Echoes of the Fall series, The Bear and the Serpent – Book 2 of the Echoes of the Fall series, The Hyena and the Hawk – Book 3 of the Echoes of the Fall series, Redemption’s Blade: After the War, The Expert System’s Brother, Ironclads, Dogs of War, The Doors of Eden, Firewalkers, Cage of Souls and Spiderlight. So it’s a puzzle to me and Himself as to why I haven’t tucked into this one sooner, as it’s been lurking on my TBR pile was some time now. I’m so glad I finally saw sense and picked it up.

BLURB: The first casualty of war is truth . . .
First, Denland’s revolutionaries assassinated their king, launching a wave of bloodshed after generations of peace. Next they clashed with Lascanne, their royalist neighbour, pitching war-machines against warlocks in a fiercely fought conflict. Genteel Emily Marshwic watched as the hostilities stole her family’s young men. But then came the call for yet more Lascanne soldiers in a ravaged kingdom with none left to give. Emily must join the ranks of conscripted women and march toward the front lines…

REVIEW: This is a really interesting book and one I think will stay with me for quite a while to come. Emily’s family have fallen on hard times since her father’s abrupt suicide, caused by a ruthless business rival who set out to ruin him. As the eldest child, it has fallen to Emily to try and hold everything together in increasingly straitened circumstances while trying to keep up appearances. You won’t be surprised to learn the war only makes a bad situation a whole lot worse.

By the time Emily becomes involved in the fighting, we are already solidly on her side and know her to be courageous, intelligent and thoughtful. The opening section put me in mind of Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment without the sardonic humour, but once Emily arrives at the front that abruptly changes. Tchaikovsky is masterful at slowly developing a character who is under immense pressure without them coming across as unduly whiny or implausibly brave – it’s harder to do than he makes it look. Emily’s steady progress in a nightmarish situation makes absolutely gripping reading so that I burned through this 658-page tome far more quickly than usual.

Because that is Tchaikovsky’s other superpower – his ability to throw a curved ball right into the middle of a scenario, abruptly changing the whole dynamic of where you thought the plot was going, and turning it into something else completely. It’s one reason why I love reading him so much. He manages to do this on several occasions without ever making me feel that I am being unduly manipulated and the resultant story is a joy. And that ending… oh my goodness! I didn’t see THAT coming. Once again, Tchaikovsky delivers a thought-provoking yet thoroughly entertaining read that gripped me throughout and leaves me pondering it with a slight sinking feeling, because I’ve now finished it and am no longer in the world. Very highly recommended for fans of good action fantasy, featuring a likeable heroine.

15 responses »

  1. Great review, Sarah! I really should get round to reading this, Tchaikovsky is such a versatile author. I really must finish the Shadows of the Apt series too – It remains one of my favourites! 😀

    • Oh, does it? Now that’s really interesting – because while I LOVE the rest of his writing, I couldn’t get on with his Shadows of the Apt series. And I had a really fascinating chat with someone who didn’t like his later work, because it wasn’t similar enough to his Shadows of the Apt series:)). It’s a good thing we aren’t all alike, isn’t it?

      • It is – there really is a book out there for everyone! Even if they’re all written by Adrian Tchaikovsky! 😂

        Yes I absolutely love that series. It’s such a unique world with unique characters; I feel so very invested in the rise and fall of all the towns, cities, empires and creatures within it! I’ve read the first seven books and have three more to go. 😀

      • Himself thoroughly enjoyed them – which is why he went on to read his other books and nagged me until I picked them up, too:))

        Lol… we both LOVE your comment It is – there really is a book out there for everyone! Even if they’re all written by Adrian Tchaikovsky! 😂

  2. You are tempting me😁 Although war stories are not my favorite, I have to admit. Also that page count would hold me back. But a 10/10 rating makes this tempting!

    • It isn’t a trudge. Emily is SUCH a great character that when I realised the page count – I was shocked. I hadn’t realised it was such a doorstopper… And no, I’m not generally a huge fan of war books, either. But… it’s Tchaikovsky!

    • Thank you, Kimberly. The audiobook is available for this one – and I don’t know if it’s the same in the US, but here it’s currently on for only £2.99 – with the great Emma Newman narrating it:)).

  3. I do love this author and I spotted this one but I’m trying very hard to behave and not over request. I do find it difficult though but I’m determined to strike a better balance where I’m not playing catch up all the time.
    Lynn 😀

    • You’re in for a treat if you decide to be wicked:)). But I completely understand where you’re coming from. Reading is supposed to be a joy – not a pressured chore, so don’t let me tempt you into that territory!

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