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Steel, Blood & Fire

(Immortal Treachery #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  54 reviews
On the march, around the campfire, and in the taverns, they tell incredible stories about Tarmun Vykers – how he’s never been cut in battle, how he once defeated hundreds of men by himself, how he exterminated an entire people over an insult. These stories make Vykers seem like a god; he is a man, an arrogant, ruthless and bloodthirsty man. And he may be the only thing sta ...more
Kindle Edition, 548 pages
Published (first published January 2nd 2013)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  217 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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C.T. Phipps
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark
Also available on Booknest.EU:


Anyone who knows me will tell you how I like my fantasy: black, gritty, and without apology. There's nothing wrong with bright and optimistic fantasy but I like it when the protagonists are bastards, the villains are monsters, and the world is not going to become a better place once the final blow is struck. It's a subgenre ("grimdark") which, despite Game of Thrones' success, which is best exemplified by indie fantasy a
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

My rating is 3.5 stars.

Steel, Blood & Fire is a dark, gritty, and brutal fantasy novel in the grimdark sub-genre. People are tortured, raped, and killed in the George R.R. Martin style. The setting is medieval, portrayed in a realistic way with splendid touches of historical authenticity, and there is even quite a bit of magic, magical creatures, and god-like beings making appearances to spice up the ho-hum world. What sets Steel, Blood & Fire above many dark f
Chris C
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Forgot to review initially as i went straight on to the second book.

This seems to be below the radar but deserves a wider audience and i had my doubts at the start- gave up and started again. You get dropped into the thick of things and its quite pacey from the off, which i wasn't sure about myself. However, after starting again i really took to the book- The world building is probably the slowest part in this book as we have an evil foe called the "end of all things" looking to do just that -
Tom H
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There's been a lot of talk about this book (and series) over on the BestFantasyBooks forum, so I'll admit to a degree of concern that I wouldn't enjoy it quite as much as other forum members had. Boy was I wrong though, this book is superb. From the first page until the last, I was hooked. The writing is excellent (hints of Abercrombie), the setting is fantastic (hints of Malazan) and the characters are so memorable .. Tarmun Vykers is one of the best MCs I've come across.

My only slight criticis
Michael Evan
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'll begin by stating that I'm a huge fan of humor in Fantasy. I devoured Terry Pratchett's entire discworld series after hearing it compared to Douglas Adams. I enjoyed Nicholas Eames' offerings Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose which to me were an excellent mix of classic fantasy and a more modern and subtle approach to satire.

Allan Batchelder's Blood Steel & Fire is not light reading. His characters inhabit a Grimdark world where his protagonists are generally lesser evils as opposed to true
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Our main character, Tarmun Vykers, is released from imprisonment just in time for a psychotic evil wizard to destroy the world.

Despite being a recent enemy, the queen calls on Vykers to aid her armies in their fight against Anders, the evil sorcerer. Early on, we see flashbacks to his childhood through another character. We don't know why he wants to destroy the world, but one thing is certain: Anders is clearly a very bad dude.

Vykers is an infamous warrior, not prone to debate, likes to muscle
Sean E Britten
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Imagine Conan the Barbarian, but definitely no good guy, brought down to his lowest point, captured, maimed, and then pressed into battle with the ultimate evil. The first book in this series introduces us to a dark and foreboding but incredibly packed world through a massive cast of characters. I must admit, at first I was a bit put off by the multiple perspectives as the book starts off following at least four different groups of characters and it multiplies from there. Not that they were diff ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't read this book yet, put it on your to-read list and make sure you get to it. You won't be disappointed. The character development was great and the action moved the story along at a perfect pace, not too fast, and not too slow. The only downside I can think of is that now I have to find the time to read all the sequels.
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a little hard for me to get into, it felt like I was reading a play, because of all the dialogue, the characters, and the changing of point of views but at about the 25% mark it really picked up and I really enjoyed it.

The main characters of Long Pete, Vykers, and D'Kem were my favorite. I originally thought that Long and his merry band of friends were just in the book for comic relief but the more I read the more I realized that there was more to them. By the end they had all grow
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
My interest in Steel, Blood and Fire peaked when Allan became active on the BestFantasyBooks forum and several of the members read and rated it highly. I received one of five eBooks the author gave freely to the first five who replied to his message. Nonetheless I’ll give a honest review.

This book revolves primarily around Tarmun Vykers, a semi-legendary spawn of moral ambiguity. We meet him in his darkest hour, captured by his enemies and bereft of his hands and feet. Crawling through the mud,
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a self published book and I've read it mainly because of the great reviews it received on the BestFantasyBooks forum. As the people on there know what they're talking about, this book should be an awesome read, ... shouldn't it?

The main strenght of the book for me is main character Tarmun Vykers, "The Reaper", a vicious figure known for a lot of cruelties and legendary battles. At the start of the story he is literally brought on his knees. But he doesn't give up and with some good fortu
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! That's how I would describe this book in one word. This is easily the best indie published book I've ever read. This book was recommended to me by some fellow fantasy fans over at and I've had it on my TBR list for some weeks now. I finally started reading it 5 days ago and I just burned through this puppy. Kept me reading until 3 in the morning. I'll try to summarize why I liked it so much.

I've read a lot of fantasy books. Every book/series worth its salt has a place i
David Hambling
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it

A spectacular gore-fest which raises the bar for brawny-thewed violence.

Tormun Vykers, aka The Reaper, is more force of nature than warrior, able to destroy whole armies single-handed in a whirlwind of steel -- like a more rugged version of Conan The Barbarian but without the introspective streak. He does not care who he kills, he just enjoys it. But even the Reaper has cause to fear when he finds himself unwillingly set on a collision course and evil wizard. The aim of End-of-all-Things is noth
Mike Shapiro
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the first fantasy novel I've read in years which I proverbially couldn't put down. It's tightly written and set in a world that's rich with detail but doesn't bog the reader down with minutiae. The story's characters and situations and tribulations are described with economy, but also a love for imaginative twists that made me think, "This author plays a lot of tabletop RPGs."

Like many fantasy novels, SB&F features a contrarian hero who in real life we'd find abhorrent — but in this cas
C.E. Clayton
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading “Steel, Blood & Fire” has made me realize just how much I love dark fantasy. I’ve read all the Game of Thrones books available, enjoy the grey and bleak world in The Mistborn series, I loved the desolate feeling that books like “Inheritance of Ashes” present, but never really thought much about it other than I liked those books a lot. Then Batchelder presented me with his novel, and Tarmun Vykers. There is no reason to like Vykers. The man is an unstoppable killing machine who has killed ...more
Cold  Coffee
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has a very well thought out plot engaging the reader in unexpected twists and turns including love stories and epic battle scenes involving twenty-four well developed characters.

Steel, Blood & Fires opens with unspeakable violence as Tarmun Vykers, A.K.A, “the Reaper” a legendary warrior is in the stocks (in bonds, under guard). One must be warned that this is a work of dark fantasy, horror and mythology with adult language and graphic violence.

Author Allan Batchelder has done very wel
Kirk B
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How do I start with a protagonist who at the very beginning has his feet and hands cut off yet is determined to burn his whole fucking world to the ground? I loved every moment of the series. If you're a fan of grimdark fantasy, or just good writing, you will too. The novel is packed to the rafters with complex characters, epic battles, friends becoming friends and if the writing wasn't good enough on its own, it's also packed with Easter eggs in the form of literary allusions from Shakespeare, ...more
Dianne Wilkes
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this

This was an amazing edge of your seat gripping good read. It is up there with the very best dark fantasy ever wrote,read it you will be so glad you did.
Noor Al-Shanti
I heard so many good things about this book I jumped to get it during a free promo only to realize it was a grimdark type book. It's expertly written, with some very interesting ideas, but just way too much swearing for me personally.

I will say, though, if you're into things like Game of Thrones and don't mind mature content or swearing then you will probably enjoy it!
Molly Ringle
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've had the pleasure of seeing Allan Batchelder do author presentations here in Seattle, and in the latest one he described this series as "grim-dark," like Game of Thrones. However, I would say it's not as grim or as dark as GoT; to me it has a delightful injection of one of Batchelder's named influences, Shakespeare. Like the Bard's plays, this book has frequent instances of bawdy, irreverent humor, moments of surprising sweetness, and a truly diverse assortment of character personalities to ...more
Jeffery Reid
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read the whole series.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was completely taken by this story and its characters. Something bad happens to the main protagonist at the very beginning of the book and I wondered how is going to get out of it. No spoilers, except to say that it was of the the most imaginative solutions I've ever read. If you are a fan of epic fantasy books, this book is for you.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Military/Epic Fantasy. The Reaper, a badass villain, Riddick-style character down on his luck is called to save the world from an evil overlord even worse than himself. Great action and humor with gritty characters. Will probably appeal to fans of Malazan.
Steve Caldwell
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you get recommended a book by a friend that you are kind of on the fence about. I admit my friend's description of this book was a bit vague, and I just kind of forgot about it. I came across it a few months later and decided, why not, I have a hole in the TBR list. After reading the paper version and listening to the audio version, I am beyond glad I did. Otherwise, I would have missed out on what is one of, if not my most favorite, fantasy characters. Tarmun Vykers is just one of tho ...more
Keith McArdle
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tarmun Vykers is a warrior of renowned legend known for being able to slay scores of enemies single-handed. He's one powerful dude. But Allan Batchelder's going to take him on a little journey that'll put that to the test, which very nearly kills Vykers on several occasions.

On one side of the fence is Vykers and on the other is The End of All Things. And let me say, The End is one very bad guy. His name aptly reflects his intention. It doesn't appear he can be stopped, either, but I won't give a
Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Book Review

Title: Steel, Blood & Fire

Author: Allan Batchelder

Genre: Action/Magical/Fantasy

Rating: *****

Review: Steel, Blood, & Fire by Allan Batchelder is an engaging epic fantasy novel that incorporates immortality, magic, and the nature of courage and war. There are many elements to keep track of, but it is a gripping tale. The opening pages to this novel where absolutely amazing, they caught me by the throat and kept me riveted to the pages. Each sentences evoked a new emotion; fear, anger, h
Carrie Morgan
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am on Chapter 4 and loving this audio-book! Allan Batchelder has created richly diverse characters that I find myself very much attached to. I am invested in the story and always eager to find "listening" time to enter its world again. There is an intelligence and humor in Batchelder's writing that work so nicely in this darker genre.

I have also been impressed by the reader, Christopher Selbie. He has captured the uniqueness of each character, and finds a way to keep the story moving along wit
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Grimdark pulp fantasy at its finest. Do not look for complex world-building and intricate magic systems here, but if you are in the mood for epic battles, adventure-filled quests and memorable characters, you found it.

I would not call it a literary masterpiece (and I did notice a few editing errors here and there, understandable given that it is self-published), but the writing overall remains at a very high level. There may have been a few plot shortcuts taken on occasion. Nevertheless, the be
Dave  Griffin
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent sword and sorcery adventure

Vykers. The Reaper. The ultimate killer. Said to have killed entire armies. And yet, caught, and crippled,, still a powerful weapon to be used against an evil that threatens to destroy the entire world.

Not as dumb as he acts, Vykers still has a trick or two up his empty sleeves!

But, will he save the world that has crippled him, and cast him out?
A good read, and a good beginning to a series.
Could Vykers be the new Conan?
(The Conan the Barbarian stories wer
Angad Oberoi
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's a blistering fast read that keeps you engaged and hooked right to the last page. The characters were brilliant, the dialogues witty and the war scenes epic. Everything you want from a high quality fantasy novel.

I would have loved it if there were a few hundred pages more that delved more into the world building side of things, since I think there is so much potential here. Also the ending was a tad bit clichéd for me, evil never dies?

Definitely recommend this book to anymore looking for a
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Allan is a professional actor, educator and former stand-up comedian. In addition to Steel, Blood & Fire, he's also written plays, screenplays, online articles, dialogue for computer games, greeting card sentiments and more. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in acting from the National Theatre Conservatory and a Master's in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University. He is a huge fan of Shakespeare, St ...more

Other books in the series

Immortal Treachery (4 books)
  • As Flies to Wanton Boys (Immortal Treachery, #2)
  • Corpse Cold (Immortal Treachery, #3)
  • The Abject God (Immortal Treachery, #4)

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