REVIEW: Bridge of Kings by Logan D. Irons

Bridge of Kings by Logan D. Irons is the origin story of two characters in the Oaths of Blood trilogy. Full of battle, Vikings killing English (and vise versa), and plenty of Viking-style death and commentary, Bridge of Kings is a novella that doesn’t work tremendously well as a stand-alone work, but I’m sure would land with far greater meaning for fans of the trilogy.

Cover for Bridge of Kings by Logan D. IronsWhat I liked about this novella was that it plays on a trope that I love, and have loved since I was very young: self sacrifice to hold a choke point against all odds. The setup is done well, and the author does an excellent job of painting the playpen for our imaginations to go wild in as we watch the story unfold. I also really enjoyed the wolfskin fantasy element, with that POV chapter  being a particularly fun part of the novella.

While the closer focus individual parts of heroism and fighting were fun to read and I had a great time throughout these sections, the battle overall, for me, lacked the simultaneous movement required of larger scale battles to make them feel real and engaging. Many things seemed to wait on each other to happen before moving in chronological order as opposed to showing the many moving parts of two armies in conflict at once—even restricted through the viewpoint of one character as you would find in The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie.

The ending is the part that really didn’t work for me. The change from foe to friends–what I assume is the shift from the characters in this short work to the characters they are in the longer form novels–was too abrupt for me. Without insight into one of the character’s background their decision made little sense; and without the author going into earlier depth to build on about the other character’s  his age and the impact of that on how he sees the world and those he fights with, then we have little understanding of his worldview until it gets dropped on us at the end.

Overall, Bridge of Kings isn’t a bad read if you love a good Vikings versus English battle scene. I don’t think it’s a great read as a stand-alone novella, but I am sure Iron’s fans would get a massive kick out of seeing how two characters who I assume are companions in the authors trilogy met.

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Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins runs Grimdark Magazine and loves anything to do with telling darker stories. Doesn't matter the format, or when it was published or produced--just give him a grim story told in a dark world by a morally grey protagonist and this bloke's in his happy place. Add in a barrel aged stout to sip on after a cheeky body surf under the Australian sun, and that's his heaven.