Another James A. Moore book! Yes! This one was a little ways back in my ARC queue, but I’m always happy now to read some great fantasy from the hands of a modern master. And if you’re not sure if this will be exciting enough for you, take note of that slug line on the top of the book: Total war. That should get your heart racing!
The Silent Army is the conclusion (?) of the Seven Forges series – a series that I haven’t read in its entirety and am likely reading out of order. But I don’t care. I get caught up in Moore’s worlds and stories so easily, and he lets us know what’s important for the story at hand, that I don’t miss what I don’t know (this isn’t true with all writers and their series of books).
As with the other James A. Moore books I’ve read, there is a lot of brutal killing here. This is the sort of fantasy that would have been labelled “Sword and Sorcery” when I was first reading books of this nature by authors such as Michael Moorcock, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Lin Carter, and others. Elric and Conan and Fafhrd did their fair share of hacking as well, so this sort of fantasy brutality is nothing new. And as for sorcery … we have a city that floats and moves out of the way (among other things), so there’s plenty of appeal and good reason to label this as sword and sorcery fantasy!
I usually like to give a paragraph description of the story, but there’s so much going on here that I’m not sure I can write a paragraph and adequately describe the story in an appealing way! Here is the story as teased on Goodreads:
The power that was hidden in the Mounds is on the move, seeking a final confrontation with the very entities that kept it locked away since the Cataclysm. Andover Lashk has finally come to accept his destiny and prepares to journey back to Fellein. The Sa’ba Taalor continue their domination over each country and people they encounter, but the final conflict is coming: The Great Wave of the Sa’ba Taalor stands to destroy an empire and the Silent Army prepares to stop them in their tracks.
Caught in the middle is the Fellein Empire and the people who have gathered together on the final battlefield. The faithful and the godless, the soldiers and killers alike all stand or fall as old gods and new bring their war to a world-changing end. Some struggles are eternal. Some conflicts never cease. The Gods of War are here and they are determined to win.
What this only barely touches on is how the armies wipe out and/or absorb the communities in their paths, and the final battle between two chosen champions that will have the reader holding his/her breath in anticipation.
Moore’s story (both this and the larger story arc of the series) is about gods and the battle of mortals challenging those gods, which makes for high drama, but the books work so well because against this backdrop of godly battles is a story of individuals serving as champions and trying to understand their own place in the world. It is these stories of individuals that connect us, the readers, to the book and have us caught up in the greater story.
I don’t easily put a writer on my “must read immediately” list but James A. Moore is now there and I look forward to my next Moore adventure.
Looking for a good book? The Silent Army by James A. Moore is the epic conclusion of the Seven Forges series and is a tremendous climax that is well worth reading.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Silent Army
author: James A. Moore
series: Seven Forges #4
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 393 pages