What if legends aren’t really legends? What happens when pixels, imagination, and dice are replaced with steel, flesh, and arcane power?
Shad, Derek, Fred, and Jeff are just ordinary guys. They did their time in Iraq, hold regular jobs, and spend some of their free time playing RPGs on their game platforms and at the table.
Until they were shanghaied into a place where magic and the mystic had been banished from Earth. Eventually, with great difficulty they returned home and got on with their lives, only to be blackmailed into returning yet again.
They chose to pursue their blackmailer into another Sphere, or alternative world, this one resembling Nippon in the Edo period, albeit with influences from other cultures and a heavy necromancer presence.
Once again the Black Talons, bickering and insulting each other all the while, must find and confront those who would use them for their own nefarious plots. Cecil intends to summon the Wind of Souls and the four are determined to stop him, if nothing more than for revenge. In a land of Samurai the four Texans must learn patience, subtlety, and a new way of looking at things. Once again they are not the biggest nor the brightest piece of the gameboard, but as usual they are undeterred.
My Opinion: 289 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Easily one of the best squad-based military LitRPG series around. The third book in the series continues the tradition of action and adventure in this one. This time, The Black Talons, a group of friends and military veterans find themselves in a world with a decided ancient Japan vibe. They’re still hunting down the sorcerer Cecil as he attempts to do some bad things in these dimensional castoff worlds.
At the beginning of the novel, there is a nice recap of what happened in books 1 and 2. Plus a reminder of who everyone is. So, while you could jump into the series on the third book and have a decent understanding of what’s going on, you're probably better off starting at Book 1.
The Black Talons have followed a wizard to a new world, this one Asian mythology themed. As they travel to a new world, they get to choose new classes.
Shad is now a Panatiko- deals in curse, spirits, and undead. A warder.
Fred is a Lamand - Healer and jinxer. Uses charms and ranged spells.
Derek is a Samurai- upper class,
Jeff is a Kambal- personal servant to Derek. Combo bodyguard and valet.
One of the things I really enjoy about the series are the relationships between these four friends. They harass and make fun of each other constantly but it’s all in the name of friendship. The well thought out group design and their chosen class roles is also interesting and I was alway interested to see what their chosen powers and levels gained them.
There’s a ton of great world building done in each one of these novels and this one is no different. There are well defined social class in this world and the world has realistic stratified society. You can tell that the author did a lot of research about ancient asian and pacific island cultures.
Without ruining any of the story, there’s tons of action in this story as the team makes their way through this new world and tries to figure out Cecil’s plans and how to thwart them. There are betrayals, plots, and side plots. But through it all The team has a clear mission they will not be deterred from. Kill Cecil.
Overall a good read with a satisfying conclusion that may also be the end of the series.
Score: 7 out of 10.