I’m not much of a fan of historical novels that take place in the 1700’s , mainly because I have heard the story of what happened before and after the American Revolution plenty of times. There are only so many ways to present what happened.
But, what if an author made his own version of what happened. Say, by adding magic, changing the names of countries, and adding dragons? That is what Michael Stackpole (Yes, that Michael Stackpole.) has done with At The Queen’s Command.
The story begins in 1763. Captain Owen Strake of the Queen’s Wurmriders, is sent on a mission to survey the Mystrian (American) frontier. What begins as a simple exploratory mission, quickly becomes a quest to stop a madman from taking over the land.
The book is a little slow starting, but the witty banter between characters will keep you reading. Stackpole has a great gift for dialogue. The book really starts to get good at page 100. What starts out very political, quickly turns into a fast and furious adventure novel. Rather than the usual medieval weaponry in most fantasies, the weapons are accurate for the 1700’s. Muskets, Revolvers, Cannons, etc.
Magic is very present. Stackpole has created a great magic system, one that fits in well with the time period. It’s deeply woven into society like technology is nowadays. He also has made it so the magic effects the user in some way, and no one is an all-powerful invincible magus. He also depicts well on how radical the Church of Norisle, uh, I mean England acted in the 1700’s.
The writing style is a lot like a book from the 1700’s. The language is easy to understand, but he uses some words that were used back in the day.
Stackpole proves again that he is so much more than a writer of fan-fiction. I’m excited to read the next book!
I give the book 5 out of 5 stars! Recommended for fans of Naomi Novik and Chris Evans.
This book is available in all popular ebook formats, and in print.