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Age of Iron

(Iron Age #1)

by
3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,996 ratings  ·  208 reviews
Legends aren't born. They're forged.

Dug Sealskinner is a down-on-his-luck mercenary travelling south to join up with King Zadar's army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people.

First, Spring, a child he finds scavenging on the battlefield, and then Lowa, one of Zadar's most fearsome warriors, who's vowed revenge on the king for her sister's execution.

Now Dug's on the wrong
...more
Paperback, 520 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Orbit (first published September 2nd 2014)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,996 ratings  ·  208 reviews


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Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2014/09/26/b...

Age of Iron ended up surprising me in many delightful ways, but what I didn’t expect at all was how addicting it was. It simply grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go. It’s dark, brutal, violent and gritty, and yet I was completely immersed in its harsh, war-torn world.

We begin the story with an introduction to Dug Sealskinner, a mercenary on his way to join up with King Zadar’s grand army at Maidun Castle, hoping fo
...more
Terence
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dug Sealskinner is a simple man and mercenary looking for a steadier job. He's heading south to join up with King Zadar's massive army. On his way to join them he gets sidetracked by a battle that sounds simple, but changes everything. Dug finds himself traveling with an intelligent young girl in Spring along with Lowa, a woman who's seeking vengeance against Zadar for his betrayal.

Age of Iron was quite different from what I anticipated after seeing the cover and reading the description. I only
...more
Emma
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This was great! This is similar in style to Michael J Sullivan's work. The author writes with a great sense of humour. The main characters are well developed, the historical context seems quite accurate ( in house fighting between tribes prior to Roman invasion), the language is colloquial and modern at times, but this doesn't deflect from the flow of the story.
I'm impressed and ready for the next. The best thing about discovering this book and author now is that the trilogy is alrea
...more
Gavin
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Age of Iron was a nice blend of fantasy and historical fiction. It had an Iron Age setting with a bit of druid magic thrown in to spice things up. The tone of the story was definitely Grimdark, and some of the happenings were pretty brutal, but it was mitigated by the fact that the story did not take itself too seriously.

The story was told from multiple POV's but the main character was Dug Sealskinner. Dug is a battle weary warrior who finds himself regretting his latest commission of defending
...more
Angela
Apr 18, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
6 August 2015: $1.99 on Kindle

DNF at 15%

I feel badly giving this one-star. It's not that it's written badly (mostly), it's just definitely not for me.

The beginning gave me hope:

In 55 BC, ten thousand Roman soldiers commanded by General Julius Caeser invaded Britain. They advanced no further than the Kentish beach they'd landed on before returning to Gaul.

A year later Caeser crossed the Channel again, this time with twenty-five thousand soldiers, plus cavalry, in six hundred newly built transport
...more
Lisa
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Review Posted at Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2014/0...

4.5 stars

This was a very down and dirty, gripping, enjoyable read. It is dark, twisted, funny and exciting. Despite that, this is going to be a really hard review to write. I enjoyed it. Actually, I really enjoyed it. But the interesting thing is, while reading I could pick out things that I think other people may complain about. So, do I ignore them, since I don’t really care? Or do I let people know, since am sure some
...more
Frank
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
No Spoilers here.
I have to say I really enjoyed this book.
Watson presents a time with not much written history, Britain in 61 BC, very brutal, gritty, dirty, just surviving is truly difficult. Britain is ruled by an amalgamation of tribes, with power transferring constantly within these tribes. Leaders murder torture, along with their Druid magicians.
Here we are given three main characters, Dug our seasoned soldier (mercenary) looking just to eat and survive. Lowa our skilled archer and soldie
...more
Mark
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-books
a really enjoyable historical fantasy, a grimdark fan's delight.

very likable characters, nice dark humor and Dug can hold his place with Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

a 3.5star rating. good first fiction novel with goods signs of improvement to come from this author.

not sure about the historical reading purist would enjoy this but as a fantasy book bloody good.

in this case bloody is not a swear word but descriptive. lols

forgot to say its a arc from netgallery.
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Not much is known about the British Iron Age – a terrible thing for historians, but a very promising fact for historical fantasy authors like Angus Watson. It gives them centuries of nothing more than vague information to build upon and in Age of Iron, the first book in a major new epic fantasy series, Watson does this (and more) quite impressively.

The story takes place in Britain during the first several years of Roman invasion – around 40 AD. Our three protagonists come from three different s
...more
Bart
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One part epic, one part grimdark, one part historical fiction, one part adventure tale. All parts: an amazing fiction debut.

A great setting: Britain in the Iron age. Tribes at odds with each other. Settlements in cities and marshes. The looming invasion of the Romans, welcomed by some but feared by others.

3 very likeable main characters: Each of them with a past that determines his/her behaviour and actions. None of them flawless, but they're very easy to root for.

A great story: The lives of th
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Lynn Williams
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
http://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2014/...
Just finished reading Age of Iron by Angus Watson – which I loved. I just really liked this – it’s very entertaining and it kept me glued to the page. Literally, I’ve read this in 2 days or maybe even less because I didn’t want to put it down! Anyway, I get ahead of myself.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Age of Iron other than three unusual characters who come together out of need. Dug, Spring and Lowa – the most unlikely set of companions that yo
...more
Joel
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
This is a book that had caught my attention some time ago, based on description and the comments I'd seen on it, but I'd casually tossed it on the to-read pile without putting much thought into "when". Based on Lisa's review at Tenacious Reader, I decided that this book sounded like my kind of thing, and moved it up my list. And I was glad I did.

Age of Iron is a telling of what might have happened during the period of time where the Romans were occupying Britain, and little history is available
...more
Roy
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5* Read this awhile back but hadnt got around to writing anything. Great fun light historical fiction and light fantasy novel. Dug and crew are great characters in a great time period. Now if youre expecting real heavy fact based historical fiction or heavy fantasy novel dont read this novel. Has a great grimdark feel to the writing, characters and action. However what sets it apart is it dry sense of humour. Some of the dialogue definitely made me crack a laugh. The major drawback for me was ...more
Celine
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
We barely know anything about the Iron age in Britain - all the information we have we got from archaeological finds. This shows us what people wore and how their day to day life looked like, but we don't know anything about their culture or what motivated them. We know even less about the Roman invasion, except for the diaries of Julius Caesar. Age of Iron tells a story of what could have been in this rather dark age, wrapped in a nice fantasy package.

Dug is an old warrior, and he hopes for a c
...more
Joey Woolfardis
Jan 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
Technically not badly written, as in good punctuation and grammar etc, but in terms of wit and plot, very much badly written. The humour was forced, the "this is what really happened" at the beginning was completely unnecessary (and inaccurate: claim cannot be made). Dialogue and general characterisation just bland. A fairly regular piece of historical fantasy if that's what you're after.
Jasper
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at: http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2014...

Last year I read a terrific debut set with Vikings, and since then I have gotten a taste of the dark and gritty and historical epic fantasy. When I saw Orbit’s publishing schedule for the second half of this year with the release of the debut of Angus Watson’s Age of Iron I knew I was in for a treat. Age of Iron isn’t a Viking story but it is set in England during the Roman invasion times 40AD-ish, so quite the change of scenery but
...more
TomTB
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I've read this year by a country mile. I absolutely adored it .. it's got everything I look for - it's fun, it's a little bit brutal, it has inherent humour, it has well written characters, it has strong character dynamics, it's well paced.

In terms of style, think Joe Abercrombie's First World, but set in the UK, as our tribes prepare themselves for the impending Roman invasion.

If the final two books live up to this one then it's probably going to be vying for a spot in my
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Phoebe
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
PERFECT BOOK TO END THE YEAR WITH!!! There is so much to this story line that I don't even know how or where to begin telling it. I love books from this time era. It reminds me of the movie 300, where the warriors walk down the hill all oiled up and muscles bulging (drool...). Angus Watson does such an amazing job at descriptions, storylines, plots and twists. The characters were very well developed. I liked the main characters and the supporting ones, and I completely disliked the villains. Lit ...more
Carmen
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. Dag was a little bit of anti hero, little bit of regular hero, little bit of wisdom that comes from experience, and a lot of trying to save his own ass. Very well researched without being tedious and the battle scenes are some of the best in fantasy. The author does an excellent job of maintaining tension throughout the fight scenes. The book excels in characters though. Lots of memorable ones here.
Kate
I loved this! Thoroughly entertaining (pre)historical romp, with intriguing characters and relationships, nasty druids, vicious fighting and combat, gore and trickery, all set within a fascinating prehistoric landscape of hillforts, marsh towns and tors. I know this is described as fantasy but for me it ticked all the right historical fiction boxes. Can't wait for the next one.

nat. (semi-hiatus)
after reading this, I am certain that Angus Watson's books both delight and kill me!
*Absorbed in Countless Worlds*
First, im NOT a native speaker. Second, i HAVE had my fair share of reading books written in english.
But i NEVER have been going through an english book that quick AND that easy as i did with this one. I dont mean to say it was because the book being dull, stupid or primary school level - its aimed at exactly the other direction: What a wonderful entertaining and fast paced, humorous action orientated historical fantasy read it was! Simply not meant to be put down for long before being finished.
...more
Scott  Hitchcock
3.5*'s. An enjoyable historical fiction piece with elements of fantasy and magic thrown in. Definitely in the GrimDark model with a lot of humor intermixed. Some of the main characters cursing with different animal names and body parts merged together made me laugh.

A good first book I look forward to the other two.
Mark Halse
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting and fun. My one problem was that it was occasionally abrupt. especially the climax. I am still scratching my head about what exactly happened at the end. Otherwise great book.
David
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! That was SO much fun!
Totally loved this brutal and often hilarious adventure romp. If you dug Kings of the Wyld, I think you'll want to read it.
Jacob
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A brutal book with some of the best interactions between characters ever! I love this take on what the Iron Age of Britain was possibly like!
Sarah
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to receive this book through NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review.

Badgers Cocks! That was a good read! No I am not making up new expletives but it is one that Dug, one of the main characters in the book, uses. A LOT!!! Actually, he pretty much proceeds our usual swear words with Badgers. I thought this was a nice touch as it added some humour, lessening the impact of the language.

Still on the subject of language, I didn't like how sex and women generally were
...more
Amy
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Fast-paced, gripping tale of adventure. Like all good storytellers Watson brings characters and plot to the fore and it really doesn't matter where it's set. But when you pay attention to the detail, it's clear that a huge amount of research has gone into this - he just doesn't bang you over the head with it.

It's not going for profound, serious historical comment - it's an adventure tale that trips along at an incredible pace. The writing is lightly humorous and self-deprecating with hints of sa
...more
Alison
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to get this book as a proof from Netgalley.
I really enjoyed this book, the first in a new fantasy trilogy. I liked the feeling of the historical novel that I got from this, with the magic being very subtly introduced. I really liked that, for a long time, it wasn't even clear whether there actually was magic or not.
I liked the diversity in the three main characters - and how completely disparate motives ended up bringing them together. It was packed full of action and adventur
...more
Hannah Rodgman
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've never really got into ancient historical books but this was a major surprise!

The plot was intriguing and there was non-stop action. Incredibly blood thirsty and a hint of magic!

I highly recommend this book to fantasy, historical and action book lovers!

READ IT!!!!
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In his twenties, Angus Watson’s jobs ranged from forklift truck driver to investment banker. He spent his thirties on various assignments as a freelance writer, including looking for Bigfoot in the USA for the Telegraph, diving on the scuppered German fleet at Scapa Flow for the Financial Times and swimming with sea lions off the Galapagos Islands for the Times. Now entering his forties, Angus liv ...more

Other books in the series

Iron Age (3 books)
  • Clash of Iron (Iron Age, #2)
  • Reign of Iron (Iron Age, #3)
“...a scare is always more effective than advice.” 2 likes
“Dug looked for a flicker of humanity in her eyes. Nope, not a spark. “Do you know,” he said, “I’ve always thought that people are about as happy as they decide to be.” “What?” “Nothing.” 1 likes
More quotes…