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Steel, Blood & Fire

(Immortal Treachery #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  256 ratings  ·  61 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 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  256 ratings  ·  61 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
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
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 -
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
Rebekah Teller
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. ...more
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
A.M. Justice
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
A massive, edge of your seat final battle offers a great payoff to a lengthy setup involving the adventures of a motley assortment of rogues, adventurers, and magic users who all manage to capture the reader's heart.

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
Karen  ⚜Mess⚜
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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
Zac Dillon
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man, this book was such a good time! Right off the bat, we're in it. And by "in it," I mean we're right alongside our (unlikely) hero in a dire situation. Hubristic warrior Tarmun Vykers (a.k.a. "The Reaper") has his hands and feet chopped off, and is dumped in the forest to die. Looks like the end, but it's only the beginning.

From there, we meet a cast of many, but the book's structure helps us keep pace with all of them. I have to say, whenever I read a book with an ensemble cast, there are us
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to thank Goodreads and the fantasy blogs that give more and more visibility to indie authors, otherwise I would have missed this great book.
It has everything I love in a fantasy book.
It's epic, it has magic, gods, strange creatures, all set in a world with ancient an mysterious history.
Most of all it has great characters, and many of them are really super powerful badasses, especially the Reaper, who was aptly compared by another reviewer to Riddick, and I love Riddick.
I know that many p
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
James Barrie
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book. I especially liked the idea of having a ghostly entity in the mind of the protagonist with her own thoughts and opinions. Surprised more people haven't read this. I will continue the series. ...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.
Bookwyrm Speaks
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: favorites, 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
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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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