Author: Brian Libby
Publisher: Avid Readers Publishing Group
Published: April 22, 2010
paperback, 454 pages
ISBN: 1935105477 (ISBN13: 9781935105473)
Summary (From Goodreads):
GOLD AND GLORY The second volume of the Mercenaries series After a long winter of training and reorganization, the Pelicans Mercenary Regiment marches out of obscure Ironport to look for a contract, its inexperienced commander wondering if she is up to the job for which she was so unexpectedly chosen. There is indeed work available for sharp halberds and accurate bows, and not just locally, as the slowly-approaching storm takes more definite shape.
This review is of the second book of a series and may contain spoilers for book one!
Gold and Glory is part two of Mercenaries by Brian Libby. You can read my review of part one, Storm Approaching here. This book picks up pretty much where part one left off. Andiriel is the leader of the mercenary group now known as the Pelicans. The have had some modest success as a group, which is completely foreign to them since they had been historically a notoriously bad mercenary group. Andiriel is looking to build on that success and secure work for them. Work is available for good mercenaries. I will not go into the plotlines any more than that for fear of giving away the excellent story that is continuing to build from book one. With book one the story was very much in the development stages, so it focused on building the character of Andiriel. Book two is a wonderful balance of well written story, and a continuation of Andirliel’s character development. There are many story elements happening at the same time, but never did I feel confused or lost. They are woven together so that you see them overlap with the main story of Andiriel and the Pelicans.
Most or all of the more major characters from book one reprise their stories in book two, but this book focuses in on Andiriel’s relationship with the men, women, and children associated with the regiment, especially the two humans and one fox closest to her, Lana, Dagget, and Sandy. We meet several of the commanders of other mercenary groups, but General Demantius, a professional general of sorts is the one I'm most taken with. When he is introduced he is unassuming, and you think he is not a commanding presence. As the story continues, the air about him grows, and he becomes a most respected mentor figure to Andiriel and also one of her most adamant admirers and supporters.
The storyline continues to be strong and only builds on what began in book one. You learn more about the political maneuvering and intrigue that is working to change the landscape forever. The story has grown into one of the better epic fantasy series that I have read in recent years.
I am loving Andiriel and the Mercenaries series. I cannot wait to dive into book three, Resolution (out now) and book four, The Free Lands (coming soon). Just like I said in my review of Storm Approaching, “If you are looking for a good fantasy story without all the trappings of convenience found in most contemporary fantasy then this is a book you need to read.” Brian Libby is a self-published author, but this is as well written, if not better than most stuff coming out of the big publishing houses. Give the Mercenaries Series a go and you will not be disappointed.