The first novel based upon the award-winning WARMACHINE® steam-powered fantasy wargame and the world of the Iron Kingdoms™ Role Playing Game is an action-packed steam-tech fantasy that combines elements of epic wartime adventure with thrilling cloak-and-dagger espionage.
The Iron Kingdoms are at war-a war fought with machine guns and magic, knights of valor, and earth shaking titans of steam and steel. And now that war may hinge entirely on nothing more than a sheaf of papers.
An alchemical formula, stolen by an ally they thought they could trust, could cost the brave soldiers of Cygnar everything. Their only hope: a cunning spy, a knight out of her element, and a frighteningly small unit of the best that Cygnar has to offer.
Arrayed against them is not only a single, devious enemy, but the combined intelligence apparatus-and possibly the full military might-of the most brutal martial power Cygnar has ever known.
1) C. A. Suleiman (author of the second book of the trilogy) and I very deliberately designed our books to reflect the nations we were writing about. As I was writing Cygnaran characters, I wanted the book to have at least an element of Fleming’s Bond novels. (That’s where the espionage/intrigue portion of the plot comes from.) C. A., for his part, wanted at least a touch of the sweeping Russian epic in his.2) The use of characters who are mostly original to the book–with the very major exception of Laddermore–was also a deliberate choice. It gave me a lot more freedom to play with the fates of various characters and to include a real sense of danger, something that would have been lacking with characters that readers KNEW must survive the book.3) The Khadoran operative’s code name–assuming the online translator didn’t lie to me, which is never a sure bet–actually means “crow” or “female raven.”4) Gun mages are SERIOUSLY fun to write. Or at least this one was. Possibly because he can be a real jerk, and I like writing jerks. No, I don’t want to know what that says about me.5) This book actually stands alone for the most part–there are a few details left hanging or unexplained for later in the trilogy, but not a lot–so if you’re not familiar with the setting, the book should serve as a solid introduction while still providing a complete story/experience.