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Fallen Empire

(Ironstone Saga #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Assassin-for-hire Vyder Ironstone is on a mission for the King of Wendurlund. While the pay’s good, the odds are not, since the task requires him to travel deep into enemy territory. But first, there’s the little problem of his death to overcome, not to mention a malcontent travelling companion with no love for humanity and a deadly purpose of his own. Vyder had better fin ...more
Kindle Edition
Published May 30th 2018 by Keith McArdle
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  45 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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C.T. Phipps
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark
FALLEN EMPIRE by Keith McArdle is a quirky and gritty fantasy books, which is something that I rarely see in writing. Nevertheless, I found it to be an entertaining story and certainly worth my 3.99 to purchase it. It was an easy read with oddball characters that I liked and enjoyed the interactions of. It's got a few flaws but these are small ones in the larger scheme of things.

The premise is the insane tyrant King Filip has hired Vyder Ironstone, Highland assassin, to rescue his son with no ba
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Now, that was interesting. There's a lot to enjoy in this short(ish) book. It starts off being the story of a badass fighting assassin highlander but quickly becomes something much more epic in scope. What I took for a story about a single flawed hero turned into a stage of several flawed actors.

But when you throw in witchery, possessing demons, giant intelligent spiders, and some mean-ass fighting wolves, what's not to love? Fallen Empire starts out as the tale of Vyder Ironstone, our badass fi
Allan Batchelder
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has so many elements I love -- a conflicted protagonist (and conflicted is putting it mildly), lots of great action, and numerous fantastic creatures. McArdle puts his extensive military experience to good use in this novel, giving us highly detailed engagements that are fascinating in their specificity. He clearly knows what he's talking about, and he presents battles in ways most fantasy authors do not. I had some minor questions about which character was the actual focus of this tal ...more
Rebekah Teller
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is divided into three distinct parts. Each part has multiple point of view characters specific to that section of the story. They are so distinct, I think they would even function as individual novellas. For me, parts one and two were much stronger than part three in terms of character development and story progression.

Part one follows a slave after she discovers her master, Vyder, is dying. He has given her better treatment than most slaves would receive, and she desperately wants to
The Scribblings
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Vyder Ironstone has been given a mission, one with a very slim chance of success but which will potentially decide the fate of kingdoms. But before he can even set off, he is waylaid and mortally wounded.

It takes some confidence to have your main character stabbed, shot and left bleeding out in the street before chapter one is even over. Fortunately, Fallen Empire is deserving of that confidence. Managing multiple plot-lines and points of view with ease, it’s a straightforward and highly enjoy
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
Check out my review, for more reviews!

324 pages| Self-published| Fantasy

The author kindly sent me a paperback copy of Fallen Empire in late 2018 in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately, I am very much a mood reader, and with the final year of uni taking precedence over writing reviews, this has been heavily delayed. Apologies for that. The thoughts below are wholly my own.

Note: this review contains some spoilers from early on in the novel, all of which are dis
Sean E Britten
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You know you’re in for something different when the book you’re reading starts off with your hero already dead, and not even downed in some epic battle of good and evil. In that way, Fallen Empire drops you right into the story and the setting.
Low fantasy but with some elements of higher fantasy, I was struck by the petty cruelty of the world that Vyder, his slave and the other characters inhabited. McArdle didn’t feel the need to establish his grimdark credentials with gruesome scenes of rape a
Amanda J Spedding
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars but bumped to a 4-star as there were elements of the story that were original and that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, fantasy, tbrindr
Fallen Empire was a book I didn't know much about when I got started. Based on the first few pages I was expecting a pretty standard story of an assassin going on a retrieval mission, but then the main character Vyder mostly died and I got something much different than anticipated.

Vyder who is primarily an assassin, was hired by the king of Wendurlund to rescue his son. the prince from an enemy nation. Before Vyder even gets started on his mission he is attacked and mostly killed. His slave Mar
S. D. Howarth
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Davies
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, fantasy
I'm conflicted about this book. I want to like it, but there is something nagging at me telling me it's really not that good. It feels... simplified..

It's the first part of a series of books (no idea how many there are planned) and it's about Vyder, a Highlander who is hired by the King to find his son in the neighbouring kingdom after being taken prisoner, and to rescue him and bring him home.

Things get off to a good start by Vyder being killed by a group of foresters who he picked a fight wit
Shawn Robertson
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This read has a lot going for it, and I can definitely recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy mingled with early firearms. The story was largely fast-paced, and the characters possessed enough depth to make them believable. Vyder, the main character, is very well done!

I had only two problems with the book, and neither of them is too huge.

First, there seemed to be an over-abundance of adjectives, which leant some bits a sense of melodrama they would have done better without.

Secondly, I found th
Space Cowgirl
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Highlander From Shadolia🐺🔪💪

👑King George's son has been kidnapped from his kingdom of Wendurlund and he needs an assassin🐺🔪🔫 to rescue him from the kingdom of Huron.

Vyder Ironstone🐺💪🔪🔫, a mighty highland warrior and assassin of Shadolia, is the kings chosen man.
One man instead of an army, he can slip in and retrieve his son. If Vyder🐺🔪🔫💪 fails, King George👑 will invade and burn Huron to the ground....

ARC Received from Hidden 💎Gems
I also got the book with KU.

This is an interesting and well wr
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A tale that you won't soon forget!

I admit, I began reading this book because of my online friendship with the authors incredibly talented artist wife. But now I'm hooked and compelled to devour everything he has written. Read this book!! Within lies epic battles, woven amongst the honor and chivalry of true loyalty. I eagerly await the next chapter of the Assassin's adventures and only hope they continue indefinitely!
Alun Humphreys
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first book in the Ironstone saga, and what a start! Some characters I really hated and some characters I grew to love by the end of the book. As with all of Keith's books, it's extremely well written and a proper page turner.

Even though it's Grimdark/Fantasy, I found myself really enjoying it and I can't wait for book 2.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was absolutely brilliant and a real hidden gem. So glad I came across this and if you're reading this Keith, there better be way more planned for Vyder. Speaking of Vyder Ironstone, he is perfect, Keith has done a wonderful job of creating such a badass character that you can root for and one I now consider as a favourite. Onto Warlord now I suppose, can't wait!!! ...more
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving a free copy

The book is amazing! While it does jump from time to time and it takes a moment to get your bearings the story line is well put. The ending is open for another and leaves you hanging for more.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luke Jamieson
rated it liked it
Aug 13, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2019
rated it really liked it
Aug 22, 2019
Aria Nocturne
rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2019
Kelsi James
rated it it was amazing
Jun 03, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2019
Curtis Hawk
rated it it was amazing
Sep 02, 2019
Jean Wanjiru
rated it really liked it
Jan 13, 2021
rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2019
Tina Brossow
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2020
Damian Matthews
rated it it was amazing
Jun 08, 2018
Kris Davidson
rated it it was ok
Jan 26, 2020
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Keith was born in a hospital, somewhere in Australia, when he was very little. He owns every David Gemmell book ever written (and two versions of some books), including the graphic novels. To maintain some semblance of sanity, Keith likes writing fast-paced stories ranging from Fantasy and sci-fi, to modern military thrillers. He now lives somewhere else in Australia.

Other books in the series

Ironstone Saga (2 books)
  • Warlord (Ironstone Saga, #2)

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