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Dark Forge (Masters & Mages, #2)
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Dark Forge

(Masters & Mages #2)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  946 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Gollancz (first published January 24th 2019)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  946 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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John Gwynne
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved Dark Forge.
It opened with a bang, a nail-biting battle scene full of Miles Cameron's trademark detailed authenticity that throws you straight back into the story and never lets up.
I love how Cameron takes fantasy tropes and makes them feel real. Aranthur's journey from novice student to fledgling leader is spread across this book, and written brilliantly. It's a wonderful blend of epic situations and nuanced, characterful moments. And this is not just page-turning entertainment, there
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
My 14th book this year! Huzzah!

’There is always time to talk. You must not be in such a rush to die, my brother.’

Miles Cameron continues to go from strength to strength in his fantastic novel Dark Forge. Immense world-building, unique characters and bloody action that has a realism and authentic grit that is rare for fantasy books. Book 2 of Masters and Mages, Dark Forge is fantastic. Read it!

Dark Forge does not feel like the 2nd book of a trilogy. It is not a filler, and although it sets up
Nils | nilsreviewsit
‘The Sword was in his hand, and he felt, not fear, not rage, nor even disgust, but a sort of joy, a pleasure like singing, like making love. The battle, the enemy gun line, the flashes of power, were beautiful, the way a sword blade could be beautiful, even held by an adversary.’
Dark Forge by Miles Cameron is the second book in the Masters and Mages trilogy, which follows directly on from Cold Iron. This sequel brilliantly developed much of the story arcs and characters from the first book, and
Robin Carter
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Miles Cameron burst onto the fantasy scene in 2012 and quickly established himself as one of the best writers in the genre, not a huge surprise given that he is also Christian Cameron arguably the best writer in Historical Fiction genre. In both genres he takes all his knowledge as a soldier, intelligencer, historian and re-enactor and couples that with a writing ability that is the envy of many established writers.

The big worry for any reader and writer in a new genre is that when a
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A change in pace from the first book, this volume was full of action and military matters. This book expanded the world, as we followed our characters journey across great distances. The book was focused on battles and fighting, but the characters were still as strong as ever. I loved the fast-paced nature of this book.
Another very disappointing book that came with great promise after the superb Cold Iron; nothing really worked for me in this one - the action seemed contrived, the prose flat and the characters lost a lot of the interestingness from the first volume as the plot moved in ways I didn't really care for
I loved the first book in this trilogy and I loved this one.
The first book did a great job in describing the characters and the world around them, this one is more action and fast paced.
It starts with a bang and keeps you reading, never slowing the pace or being boring. It's exciting and enthralling.
This is a great fantasy series and I look forward to reading the final installment.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Orion Publishing Group (Gollancz) and Netgalley for this arc.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As always, Mr Cameron's books are a page turner. Battle & action sequences are masterfully crafted so that you can feel yourself right in the thick of the action; plot exposition and development are just as good. This book goes a bit deeper into why everything seems to happen around Aranthur and why he seems to "solve everything" (which slightly bothered me in the last book despite the fact I loved it too) - but as always, Mr Cameron delivers a good and enjoyable tale, and ties things up to ...more
Hiu Gregg
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come shortly
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A brilliant and explosive sequel to the calm Cold Iron, and I enjoyed it. While the previous book was confined to the city of Megara, here we are carried across the world by Cameron hinting at different cultures, religion, races, and as such the scope becomes epic. Cameron seamlessly blends the elements of military fantasy, sword & sorcery, and the coming-of-age tale in a enthusiastic manner.

The world-building and mythology is definitely inspired from the ancient Egyptian and Mayan
LJ Waguespack
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Miles Cameron does an outstanding job on continuing this epic series. The stakes are high and the growth, realizations of the characters are intricate, detailed and revealing. Intense battle scenes, vivid world building, high seas adventures, all included. On the fly, discoveries of powers and alliances is well written, well planned and classic Miles Cameron. I enjoyed book two in this strong series and look forward to reading book three, Bright Steel asap!
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A change in pace from the first book, this volume was full of action and military matters. This book expanded the world, as we followed our characters journey across great distances. The book was focused on battles and fighting, but the characters were still as strong as ever. I loved the fast-paced nature of this book.
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 2nd instalment in the masters and mages trilogy picks up the pace even more. Blistering action filled battle scenes, magic, journeys and characters you can’t help but root for, even as they struggle with the moral grey of war.
This was a 3 stars for me, I liked it.
Jimmit Shah
A cliff hanger ending cannot make up for a very drab book. So many promising plot-lines and world building blocks were ignored or stomped over to bring in incessant action that made no sense.

Very disappointed.
Ross Thompson
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** I received a free advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***

Dark Forge follows on from Cold Iron and sees the hero, Aranthur, travelling through the desert-lands battling against "The Pure", a group of magikal fundamentalists that believe access to the world's magik should be restricted to those of noble birth.

As a rare treat, the book starts with a lengthy prologue telling of a group of mercenaries working for the Pure attempting to storm an ancient site
Clay Kallam
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
"Dark Forge" is an interesting book, perhaps the best in some ways Miles Cameron -- or Christian Cameron, as they are the same person -- has written.

It's volume two about the rise of a hero, Aranthur, in what is basically an alternate universe set in the 15th and 16th century Europe and Asia. Cameron is an excellent writer, so the pages turn, but I found myself wondering about halfway through when the battles would end and we would return to Megara (Byzantium) for more of Aranthur's life as a
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh My!

My 4th book read that was written by Miles Cameron, Dark Forge may well be my favorite.

An extensive world increase from Cold Iron, the book focuses on Aranthor and the Imperial war with the forces of the Pure. Employing an ethereal prose style similar (in my estimation) Stephen Erickson. Near melodiously breezy sentences that convey images, metaphors, concepts, and plot points. Brilliant stuff!

This particular book expands the cast (Innoques, etc), the concepts of the magic system, the
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Still good, but of lesser quality that the first book.

Basics: our heroes join battle with the armies of the Pure... meanwhile the Disciples manage to release an old god which causes all manner of problems....

Lots of battle scenes and action. Lots of battling hardships of war. And damnit, why do so many fantasy books decide to up the stakes to "end of world" stuff. I REALLY dont like that.

The magic systems feels more familiar now - much like the system Mr Cameron used in the Traitor Son series.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Temporary review:

I love this book, it's easily one of my favourite fantasy books.
Also, I'm fairly confident that this whole trilogy is going to land on my favourites list.
There's so much action in this book compared with it's predecessor.
The worldbuilding is top notch and the way the world is described is very immersive, amazing characters, cool magic. It's high fantasy mixed with low fantasy in one book. You'll understand what I mean once you've read the prologue and get to the consequences of
[redacted by S.H.I.E.L.D.]
Baffled by all the good reviews for this. One very long, confused, drab, dawn out battle sequence after the other, no idea who half these characters are, plus the plot seems liek something from a bad D&D tie in. And yet I will still read the third.
Carl Phillips
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read that suffers a bit due to the known issues of being the middle book in trilogy. Possibly needed to be slightly longer to re-balance plot expansion vs amazing battles but that is personal preference.

Why not 5 stars? (view spoiler)
Dominic Schmidt-rieche
Must read!

Great characters, epic world building, just a top effort. Sad I’ve already finished and looking forward to the next in the series.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent and addictive storytelling full of relatable characters, epic fights and wonderfully imagined magic. Read it.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Does not disappoint. Just as wonderful as all his other books, and fantastically real and gritty. Much more fast paced than cold iron.
Micheal Johnson
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Brilliant Sequel

Too often the second work in a trilogy is somewhat lackluster - too safe, too staid, too liminal. The Dark Forge is anything but, as Cameron does what he does best: suck you into a world of creaking harnesses, beloved steads, worn down soldiers, and spectacular magics.

The world feels ancient and love, filled with color and detail and a sense of wearing that is hard to counterfeit. The cast of characters are bent but not broken, optimism struggling against the cruelty of war
Harry L
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast, intricate and amazing

Great continuation of the series. So many turns twists and plots and yet still has a tun of action to keep you interested
Peter Anderson
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! A well-paced fantasy war story which doesn’t shy away from the consequences even on the victors. Can’t wait from the next one.
Sam Davis
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic work by Mr. Cameron! This novel continues the exploits of Aranthur, Dahlia, and their friends. I really enjoyed the author’s description of survivors ambivalence toward war. The great Duke of Wellington once said that “next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained.” You can really see that here. Additionally, Mr. Cameron’s efforts to portray the different societies in his world are so involved, so realistic. Don’t expect any one dimensional characters here. I ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal. Probably my favourite writer with his alter ego Christian Cameron. A stunningly well written series. I thought it would be difficult to top the first book in this series, Cold iron, but I think he has managed it. Intelligent and articulate description. Realistic combat from a seasoned campaigner. A colourful detailed world brought to life. Engaging likable characters, a sinister plot with many twists and relentless pace. Cameron has the uncanny ability to relate directly to the ...more
Cor Markhart
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Dark Forge isn't a bad book but it is in my opinion the most generic work Cameron has done so far. The world is ending and only our brave and idealistic hero and his motley band of companions is capable of saving it by going on a "quest". And while that quest makes for a somewhat entertaining if predictable read, this book really lacks what makes most of Cameron's work so special. Its world-building is a shadow of his other work despite it being set in an AU of one of the more interesting ...more
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Miles Cameron is an author, a re-enactor, an outdoors expert and a weapons specialist. He lives, works and writes in Toronto, where he lives with his family. This is his debut fantasy novel.

Other books in the series

Masters & Mages (3 books)
  • Cold Iron (Masters & Mages, #1)
  • Bright Steel (Masters & Mages, #3)