Miles Cameron: Bright Steel (Review)

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Miles Cameron is a fantasy novelist who currently lives in Toronto, Canada. He is a military veteran and has a degree in Medieval History.

His debut novel (The Red Knight), first in The Traitor Son novels, was one of the most acclaimed fantasy debuts of 2012 and nominated for the David Gemmell Morningstar award. It is followed by The Fell Sword.

He also writes highly acclaimed historical fiction under the name Christian Cameron.

book cover of Bright Steel

Every war comes down to the flash of bright steel, even when the air is full of magic . . .

Aranthur and his friends have come together across different continents and realms with one purpose: to strike back against the forces which have torn a hole in the heavens and threaten to rip the world beneath them apart as well.

With time running short, and treason at home, there are battles to be fought on the field, in the magical arena, and in the ever-deadly realm of politics, and they must succeed on every front or everything will fall. Victory will require enemies to trust one another, old foes to fight together, spies to reveal the truth and steadfast allies to betray long-corrupt rulers.

Is Aranthur, a twenty-year-old student, really the master strategist to bring it all together? And can he and his friends overcome aeons of lies when their plans inevitably fall to pieces? Do they even know, for sure, who the enemy is . . . ?

Review

The end of another stunning trilogy/ series.  Miles / Christian Cameron as you all know is my favourite writer, he is the smartest man i know and i’m lucky enough to call him a friend… but id still call him out if the plot was bad…. fortunately it never is because he has an easy going authentic style that draws you into his world and his characters. When you add in his huge depth of knowledge in history, fighting skills, arms and armour and geo politics and so much more you start to understand why what he writes feels so real, he imbues his writing with more than imagination, he adds in the real, what does it feel like to fight in armour, how do you use a sword or a bow, what logistics are involved in moving an army etc… all this is something the author has done in real life, so every tale is an education as well as an adventure… but carried but so subtly that you don’t notice that you have been subtly educated, you’re to swept up n the grand scale and world of the story.

Bright steel brings an end to his latest series, a tale where once again the dungeon master has woven us into a new time, a new world, a unique magic system, a set of new nations and protagonists. Once again he has made us fall in love with new people in new worlds, showing the horror and futility of war as well as the beauty and skill of the swordsman and the camaraderie of the soldiers. men and women fighting side by side heroism and arrogance on all sides, political maneuvering at a small and nation level… that winning is never the end, only the start of something new, as is losing…what ever the outcome the world keeps turning, but can you influence or change the way it turns?

With the last 2 series as Miles Cameron i believe that the author has cemented himself as one of the key authors in the fantasy genre (along side his mastery of the Historical Fiction genre), his world building is second to none, but more than that his ability to create a world spanning plot that is both intricate and also realistic is something few authors can accomplish, his tales have the complexity and breadth of authors like GRRM, but he keeps the plot tight and fast and easy to read, avoids getting windy about side plots, whilst teasing us with a myriad of tales that could still be told. We stick with our reluctant hero Aranthur and his group of “Cold iron” and follow as the plot unravels to reveal the bad guys and the mysteries of the world, its magic and its politics, until the story is told to a satisfying conclusion…. yet at the same time leaving you wanting more of the side tales and sub plots, to have those tales of other key characters payed out as well, to enjoy time with those favorite characters.

I’d struggle to say which of his series i loved the most…. i believe Masters and Mages was the easier read, because the scope of Traitors Son was just beyond compare, making GRRM look unambitious… but both series share that same engaging reality and amazing people.

There is i’m sure more to come from this world, as there is from Traitor son cycles world…. but Miles/ Christian also loves to bring something new to the table, the man seems to have an inexhaustible imagination.

This is again a series that belong on the Collection Shelf of any reader, Fantasy or Historical fiction, it doesn’t matter… its just writing and imagination at its best. A must buy/ Must read series.

(Parm)

Traitor Son Cycle
1. The Red Knight (2012)
2. The Fell Sword (2012)
3. The Dread Wyrm (2012)
4. A Plague of Swords (2016)
5. The Fall of Dragons (2017)
Traitor son cycle series: Books 1-4 (omnibus) (2018)
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Masters & Mages
1. Cold Iron (2018)
2. Dark Forge (2019)
3. Bright Steel (2019)
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Series
Alan Craik (as by Gordon Kent)
1. Night Trap (1998)
aka Rules of Engagement
2. Peace Maker (2000)
3. Top Hook (2002)
4. Hostile Contact (2003)
5. Force Protection (2004)
6. Damage Control (2005)
7. The Spoils of War (2006)
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Tyrant
1. Tyrant (2008)
2. Storm of Arrows (2009)
3. Funeral Games (2010)
4. King of the Bosporus (2011)
5. Destroyer of Cities (2013)
6. Force of Kings (2014)
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Long War
1. Killer of Men (2010)
2. Marathon (2011)
3. Poseidon’s Spear (2012)
4. The Great King (2014)
5. Salamis (2015)
6. Rage of Ares (2016)
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Tom Swan and the Head of St George
1. Castillon (2012)
2. Venice (2012)
3. Constantinople (2012)
4. Rome (2013)
5. Rhodes (2013)
6. Chios (2013)
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Chivalry
1. The Ill-Made Knight (2013)
2. The Long Sword (2014)
3. The Green Count (2017)
4. Sword of Justice (2018)
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Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade
1. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part One (2014)
2. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Two (2014)
3. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Three (2014)
4. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Four (2015)
5. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Five (2015)
6. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Six (2015)
7. Tom Swan and the Siege of Belgrade: Part Seven (2015)
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Tom Swan and the Last Spartans
1. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part One (2016)
2. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Two (2016)
3. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Three (2017)
4. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Four (2017)
5. Tom Swan and the Last Spartans: Part Five (2017)
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Commander
1. The New Achilles (2019)
2. The Last Greek (2020)
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Novels
Cauldron of Violence (2000) (as by Gordon Kent)
Washington and Caesar (2001)
The Falconer’s Tale (2007) (as by Gordon Kent)
God of War (2012)
A Song of War (2016) (with Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, S J A Turneyand Russell Whitfield)
Tudor Knight (2019)
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