Book Cover
Title Rogues of the Black Fury
Series ---
Author Travis Heermann
Cover Art ---
Publisher E-Reads - 2012
First Printing E-Reads - 2012
Category Gunpowder Fantasy
Warnings Swearing
Main Characters Javin Wollstone, Bella Wollstone, Rusk, Sasha
Main Elements Fantasy

When a band of shadowy fantatics abducts Javin Wollstone's sister, Bella, from his care, his family's only hope to bring her home is turning into a hard-bitten band of mercenaries, the Black Furies, led by Commander Rusk. Javin follows Rusk and his men through a maze of political intrigues, religious fantaticism, and centuries of distrust. Little do they know that little Bella Wollstone could be the spark that sets off a war of Armageddon. Across trackless, pirate-infested seas and into ancient lands of prophets and priest-kings, Javin and the Black Furies pursue Bella's captors into the teeth of the serpent, trying to snatch her back before she is swallowed forever. Javin finds himself torn between his genteel, noble upbringing, the scars of war, and the raw, brutal necessity of what he must do to save her life.

While my fantasy preferences tend to be more towards magic than gunpower, the premise was interesting enough for me to give this novel a try.

The story begins with the abduction of the daughter of one of the militaristic noble houses, but who is behind it? This premise really caught my interest, I enjoy the political machinations of powerful families, ever since I read Dune back in high school. But this isn't so much about them (though there is a lot of intrigue to go around), but about the mercernaries they hire to retrieve the girl, with her brother Javin, providing the contrast between the two world's.

As a girl, after meeting Rusk and the other Furies I went...uh I going to drown in testosterone here? What did I get myself into? They didn't just swear, Rusk made swearing an art. And lets just say there's a fair amount of blood spilt, a good chunk of it while in training even before the fights start.

But then we meet Sasha, a female member of the Furies who could probably take on any one of them, heck, she could take on half of them and still win. She, and Bella Wollstone were such strong characters that everything balanced out. Especially since the guys, though a little rough around the edges, kind of grew on me. The book is filled with likeable characters from Javin to even Rusk who had is own kind of charm, in particular his strong loyalty and pride in his men.

There is plenty of action, so you never get bored, but you never get overhelmed with non-stop fighting either. But its not all about butt-kicking, the Farthi have a lot of similarity with fantasical muslim groups (a bit too much in my mind given the current situation in the middle east, not all desert dwellers need to be religious fanatics determined to wipe out everyone who doesn't think the same way as them) but while the villains of the story are kind of one-dimensional due to their single-minded fanaticism with little positive going for them, we also get to see that not everyone is cut from the same cloth.

I enjoyed how this world is very similar to our own, but every now and then you're surprised by something. When Javin goes to get his mount, you think "horse", but then next thing you know it's got fur, and paws, and is in no way anything like a horse at all. Although that caused a jarring effect when the characters would refer to familiar animals, needed a bit more consistency there.

I'm not sure if this is a series, but the potential is there, and I would certainly like to return to this world should a sequel be written.

Posted: March 2014


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