This review does not contain spoilers.
Book Name: Warbound
Author: Larry Correia
Series: Book #3, The Grimnoir Chronicles
Format(s): Hardcover/Mass market Paperback/Audiobook/eBook
Genre(s): Historical fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal
Release Date: August 6, 2013
When I started reviewing books I was told by a couple of other reviewers that many times the best books are the hardest to write about because the reviewer often tries too hard to tell how good the book was. This is the case with Warbound, Larry Correia’s third and likely final book in the Grimnoir Chronicles. Like Hard Magic and Spellbound Correia paints an incredible picture of his alternate history world of an Earth in the early 20th century where a small percentage of the population is suddenly endowed with magical abilities. Of that small group and even smaller group has powers that are pretty powerful.
The catch is those “gifted” by magic can do only one thing. The main character in the first two books, Jake Sullivan, is a Heavy that can alter gravity. There are others who are things like Torches (who control fire), Cogs (who build things), Crackler (who control electricity/lighting), and fades (teleporters). Warbound is centered around Faye Vierra, who is the “Spellbound”. As a child she was believed to be a fade, but now she can perform any magic she wishes. The previous two books of “The Grimnoir Chronicles” explain why people suddenly got magic and why Faye is able to absorb powers from others. I won’t spoil it, you should read Hard Magic and Spellbound to find out why.
Like many of Correia’s book there are lulls in the action where he fleshes out characters, which has sort of become his trademark. Nearly every character of meaning in his books at some point gets a well detailed backstory, and it’s obvious they are not just things suddenly thrown together. They are precise and well thought out, and really help bring out the story. Written in the old “pulp” style it would be easy to over do it, but in Warbound Correia’s backstories are written to near perfection.
If you’re into action sequences you won’t be disappointed as that is another of Correia’s strengths. Warbound has plenty of them, and in a fantasy setting it would be easy to way over board with some of the things the characters do Correia somehow manages to both be subtle and “in your face” at the exact same time. The battles between the Imperium of Japan and the Knights of the Grimnoir are written so well that, as funny as this sounds, because there’s no way effects can match the picture Correia paints they would probably make for a bad movie. What they do is make for an incredible book.
One of my favorite parts of Warbound (and “The Grimnoir Chronicles”) are the made up quotes from (mostly) famous people at the beginning of each chapter. My guess is that must have been one of the hardest parts of the book for Correia to write. There are a couple of misses among them, but for the most part they are really spot on as to what the person would have likely said.
All in all, an incredible finish to one of the best trilogies written in a long while.