Book Review: Angels In Iron

AngelsInIronby Michael D. Pederson


Angels in Iron
Nicholas C. Prata
Arx Publishing, 292 pp.

Set in 1565, this historical drama takes a significant battle between the forces of Islam and Christianity (the Siege of Malta) and brings it intensely to life. I’ve always been an avid student of history but have never found myself particularly drawn to the Ottoman Empire. Prata, however, caught my interest immediately with his outstanding depiction of the Siege of Malta. He fully captures the reality of the situation and has no problems with portraying the bravery, sacrifice, loss, anguish, and frustration of both sides. Prata’s ability to clearly portray characters in the midst of chaotic battles is strongly reminiscent of Jeff Shaara’s series of American wars (Gone For Soldiers, Gods and Generals, et al). It’s neither science fiction nor fantasy, it’s just real history told in an entertaining fashion. I couldn’t put it down.


Book Review: Dream of Fire

DreamsOfFireby Michael D. Pederson


Dream of Fire
Nicholas C. Prata
Arx Publishing, 247 pp.

Dream of Fire is a classic Conan-style adventure novel. Actually, comparing this book to Conan might not be altogether fair. Although it is a fast-paced story—filled with action, epic battles, and buckets of gore—it is also an in-depth character-study that delves deep into the topics of evil and redemption. Kerebos Ikar is the ruthless warlord that is at the heart of the story. Dream of Fire follows Kerebos’ journey from bloodthirsty barbarian to redeeming hero. The character of Kerebos Ikar is one of the best written heroes/anti-heroes that I’ve come across in a while. Unfortunately though, none of the supporting characters are as well written, making them come across as caricatures, comically so in the instance of Montanus, a corrupt priest that is supposed to be the impetus for many of the conflicts in the second half of the novel. Despite the fact that the book would have benefitted from another hundred pages, it is still an enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to the prequel that Prata is working on.