If you were wondering if Tim Akers would deliver the goods in his follow up to ‘The Pagan Night,’ then you will be happy to hear that ‘The Iron Hound’ (the second installment of the “Hallowed War”) will keep your eyes glued to the page! If you for some reason haven’t picked up the first novel yet and were considering it, I’d say it is a requirement to fully enjoy this book. Akers is able to build on every piece of the amazing world building which he had laid out in the first novel and up his storytelling game to boot. While the first novel was enjoyable, this one seems to rely on you knowing the vast world already created and goes straight to the heart of the plot.
‘The Iron Hound’ is exactly what you’d want to see in a sequel with an increase in both character development and pacing to boot. The only problem could be for anyone who tries to jump in headfirst without the first book as a guide as both locations and the fighting might be a bit hazy without it.
In ‘The Iron Hound,’ the Celestial Church is still at odds against all of the pagan religions, followers, and their Gods and will burn the world down to see their way as the only path forward. Malcolm Blakely and his son Ian are trying to prevent the upcoming war though there is only so much that they can do alone. Thankfully, there is a bit of divine intervention on their side to help sway the upcoming battle as they search for the legendary huntress Gwendolyn Adair who is bound to a God herself.
These three aren’t the only leading characters as you’ll likely find quite a bit of enjoyment when Fair Lucas and the paladin Elsa LaFey end up involved as well.
While the action was fun in the first novel, it is nothing compared to the pacing and descriptive scenes which Akers was able to bring to page this time around. I’ll never get why some choose to jump partway through a series but this is clearly a case where that mindset will work against you. While the action and writing are strong here, the conflicts and settings really require having a memory of the first book to have lasting impressions. The characters do grow in this installment but you won’t really know them by the end of it without having started at the beginning.
Watching these two countries at war with one another over religion and different ideologies can easily be transplanted into any number of political situations in the world today. I honestly don’t believe this is meant to be cleverly disguised social commentary but you can easily see how aspects of this fantasy world can reflect our own lives to some degree.
A very fun read and the only major fault is that you’ll have to wait until the third book to be released before you can read more when ‘The Winter Vow’ is released next summer.
‘The Iron Hound’
By: Tim Akers
Released: August 22nd, 2017