The Stealers' War

copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review The Stealer s War is the third in Stephen Hunt s Far Called series It s an adventure story filled with high stakes duels roaring battleground

*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*The Stealer's War is the third in Stephen Hunt’s “Far-Called” series. It’s an adventure story, filled with high-stakes duels, roaring battlegrounds, betrayals, romances, and some serious twists.The world of The Stealer's war, as with the remainder of the Far Called series, is part of a far, far larger one. The narrative’s focus is largely on the nation of Weyland and surrounding areas, but there’s a greater tapestry visible around the edges. Weyland is a country edging slowly into an industrial revolution, a hereditary aristocracy gradually being subsumed into an industrialist class. There’s some interesting room for conflict there, but Weyland is being torn apart by other means – divided between two feuding royals, one rather more heroic than the other, but somewhat less ably supplied. The former’s troops are now dispersed in guerrilla actions, an informal war from behind civilian cover. The author shows us the bloody reality of Weyland at war – hit and run strikes, ambushes, deaths of collaborators. Two books ago, it felt like the solid backdrop to a different story; it’s now wracked by fire, and feels far more fragile – but it’s a wonderfully realised country gradually falling into total war.Then there’s Vandia. The superpower of the Far Called world, breaking armies of horses and crossbowmen using gunships and gauss guns, paying for their progress with a violent, competition-driven society which demands (and rewards) utter ruthlessness. We spent a good deal of time there in the previous volume – in this one, we’re following the “punishment expedition” sent to Weyland to nominally retrieve a lost Princess – and allow the settling of a few old scores out of sight. The Vandians are always a delight to read; they’re not, generally, bad people, but live within a system which causes and sustains untold misery. There’s discussion of how Vandian society remains in place, and we see a different, more human face to the Empire here – following a group of Legionnaires, along with a Weylander, as they drive forward on a rescue mission. Vandians, it seems, are people too; they’re just distorted off the norm by the society they’ve built.Rodal also features heavily. We’ve heard it mentioned in previous books, the mountain kingdom, the Walls of the World, and even met one of its famed pilots. Now we get a little more – clambering the claustrophobic air ducts inside the mountainous cities; sailing the river with supply barges. Breathing the thin air alongside the soaring, brutal winds. Hunt makes Rodal feel distinct to everything we’ve seen so far – a more confined, but more pervasively spiritual world, with a martial bent.And then, of course, there’s the nomads. Rodal’s oldest foe, breaking against the mountains. They’re familiar in a lot of ways, with a system of honour, a nomadic semi-democracy, and a tendency to settle disagreements with single combat. But there’s some lovely twists wrapped up in there – the way that the nomads are guided by a sorcerer who may be more than he seems. Or the witches that stare into the darkness of probability and guide the clans. There’s a complex society here, one it would be great to see more of. To be fair, that’s true of each of the conflicting groups the author has conjured. We largely see each society through the eyes of strangers to it, and pick up as much of the larger and smaller details as we can – there’s enough here for stories set within each of these places as well. Hunt’s world building has always been solid. After three books, he’s created a rich weave of cultures, traditions and societies which it’s a pleasure to be lost in.As for the characters. Well, by this point in the story, we’re already familiar with most of them. There’s Pastor Carnehan, the priest-turned general, a master of total war, increasingly driven by his lust for vengeance. There’s his son Carter, who spends most of the text in the company of the cryptic Sariel, a half-mad bard who drifts in and out of being more than he seems. Carter is defined by his love for another, Willow Landor, whose tribulations took up some of the preceding text. It’s nice to see him less conflicted here, given a clear goal and at least theoretically, the means to achieve it. Sariel, by contrast, gets a bit more time – now more coherent, he feels like a man trying to play a long game whilst also working out how the pieces move. It’s interesting to see his development from insanity to the semi-humanity of this text. He feels like a person developing a conscience – or at the least some compassion – and trying to decide whether to keep it.Willow – well, Willow spends an irritating amount of time getting captured. She really needs to get better at escaping or fighting. Still, in between bouts of horror, she does reasonably well. There’s some room for character development here, as she deals with the strains of unwanted motherhood, and the pressures of being…well, continually abducted or otherwise tormented. There’s little of the girl from the first book left now, or even the more hardened ex-slave from the one before . She’s focused now, cool, and able to drive her agenda with a great deal of talent – when she’s not being chloroformed or held at gunpoint.There’s more, of course. The villains are, in the main, appallingly unpleasant. I’m not entirely convinced that between them they have a thimbleful of redeeming qualities. Still. As in Othello, there’s a pleasure in watching an unredeemable villain take apart the scenery to achieve their goals. There’s some interesting conflict in perception as we watch some characters prepare to defend Rodal, and others prepare to invade it, one way or the other, all for the best of motivations. This more subtle conflict between points of view is subtly done, managing to keep us sympathetic to all sides of the equation, tearing our empathy between the different factions, who seem unable to exist together. Of course, every so often, we’re given some time with some proper black-hearts as well. Hunt manages to keep his plates spinning, all of his protagonists feeling memorable, distinct, a vivid dance of personalities at large – and his real antagonists absolute sinkholes of villainy.The plot – well, it’s a large book, and rather a lot goes on. I won’t spoil it, but will say this: by the end of the book, absolutely everything - from the characters relationships, to the Weyland civil war, to the broader political situation, to the larger conflict hinted at in the preceding novels – everything changes. We fight wars with the Vandians , guerrilla strikes with the Weylanders. Follow Willow’s struggles with her family at the capital of the villainous king. Care for refugees in Rodal, and ride with the nomads against it. There’s a lot of conflict here, both personal and in a storm of battles that look to redefine the world we came in to at the start of the novel. It’s a sea change, one which rumbles on ominously at an unrelentingly fast pace, gripping onto the reader and not letting go.Is it worth reading? If you’ve not picked up the previous books in the series, I’d recommend starting there instead. High adventure and excitement abound here, but it needs context to be truly intriguing. If you’re already invested in the series, then you owe it to yourself to pick this one up – it’s an absolutely wonderful read, and I can’t wait to spend more time in the Far Called world. Good The Stealers' War Author Stephen Hunt is Books Weyland has been at war Invaded by a technologically advanced enemy, the cities sacked, and what fragile peace remained torn apart by a civil war.All anyone should want is a return to peace.But Jacob Carneham still wants his revenge and if he can lure the invaders into the mountain he can have it He can kill them all If he does, there may never be peace again.If he doeWeyland has been at war Invaded by a technologically advanced enemy, the cities sacked, and what fragile peace remained torn apart by a civil war.All anyone should want is a return to peace.But Jacob Carneham still wants his revenge and if he can lure the invaders into the mountain he can have it He can kill them all If he does, there may never be peace again.If he doesn t, Weyland will never be free of the threat of invasion.The northern horse lords are planning an attack A future Empress is fighting to save her daughter Jacob s son is trying to restore peace and stability to Weyland, alongside the rightful King And behind it all is a greater struggle, which may spell the end for them all .. Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information.Stephen Hunt is a British writer living in London His first fantasy novel, For the Crown and the Dragon, was published in 1994, and introduced a young officer, Taliesin, fighting for the Queen of England in a Napoleonic period alternative reality where the wars of Europe were being fought with sorcery and steampunk weapons airships, clockwork machine guns, and steam driven trucks called kettle blacks The novel won the 1994 WH Smith Award, and the book reviewer Andrew Darlington used Hunt s novel to coin the phrase Flintlock Fantasy to describe the sub genre of fantasy set in a Regency or Napoleonic era period.. The best Ebook The Stealers' War That cover is fantastic! I liked the characters and the action. A few plot threads are left sort of up in the air but a great read.

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  1. Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information.Stephen Hunt is a British writer living in London His first fantasy novel, For the Crown and the Dragon, was published in 1994, and introduced a young officer, Taliesin, fighting for the Queen of England in a Napoleonic period alternative reality where the wars of Europe were being fought with sorcery and steampunk weapons airships, clockwork machine guns, and steam driven trucks called kettle blacks The novel won the 1994 WH Smith Award, and the book reviewer Andrew Darlington used Hunt s novel to coin the phrase Flintlock Fantasy to describe the sub genre of fantasy set in a Regency or Napoleonic era period.

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The Stealers' War Comment


  1. You can find a copy of this review at thequidnuncblog.wordpressI am a firm believer that Autumn is the best time of the year for magical reads, it is a season that flares up you senses and makes you receptive to the unusual and magical Besides it is the Halloween week, so I am always on the look for the extraordinary.And this book is exactly the thing I was looking for Enchanting and thrilling it will keep you hooked up right until the end Stephen Hunt is a man of his letters, an incredible sto [...]


  2. copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review The Stealer s War is the third in Stephen Hunt s Far Called series It s an adventure story, filled with high stakes duels, roaring battlegrounds, betrayals, romances, and some serious twists.The world of The Stealer s war, as with the remainder of the Far Called series, is part of a far, far larger one The narrative s focus is largely on the nation of Weyland and surrounding areas, but there s a greater tapestry visible around the edges Weyland is a c [...]


  3. Far Called series had a really rough start before becoming something very fun Then in Volume 2 it went incredibly bleak, while piling up plot twist upon plot twins Volume 3 had a lot of high expectations attached to it And Hunt essentially delivered Why the qualifier because although the main conflict and most characters arcs get a nice conclusion in the end of the trilogy, the world is left ripe for stories Some of the backstory revealed here concerning the nature of the Stealers War are if tr [...]


  4. Published 2016 The third in the Far Called series and presumptuously billed as the end of the trilogy Balderdash I admire Stephen and his capability as an author but I going to call this book somewhat flat and ultimately unsatisfactory if it truly is the last in this series Too many loose ends smacking of to follow or worse than that, hurried writing as well as some dubious errors in referrals to previous events in book 2, etc which left me scratching my head Also, Alexamir is given way too muc [...]


  5. It is with a heavy heart I write this review Sad and frustrated is how I feel about the end of the Far Called series.Sad, because I have heard from the author the loose threads left blowing carelessly in the wind at the end of the Far Called series WILL NOT BE picked up and given the fourth book they need I urge Stephen Hunt to GO INDIE and finish what has been started Crowd fund the project and the cover Frustrated Yes, in many ways this book took far longer for me to read than it should have a [...]


  6. No, I had not read book 1 and 2, should I have Of course, but this book arrived and I was all, hmm, what else to do, than to try it And to my surprise it actually worked.So from what I gathered while easily slipping into the book was that in earlier books some kids got sold as slaves One become a part of a harem One seems to have hooked up with the Lady of the house One was a prince whose family had been murdered One had a father who was some kind of bad ass and he rescued them Too bad I missed [...]


  7. I found this to be a very enjoyable book, I struggled to understand some of the politics in this book, but that was probably because I didn t read the earlier ones I hadn t worked out that this was part of a series The story itself is well written I would definitely recommend this book and series particularly to someone who enjoys stories with deep political themes.



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