We are the Dead / Mike Shackle

Title / We are the Dead
Author / Mike Shackle
Series / The Last War – book 1
Published / 2019
Page no. / 488
Overall Rating / ★★


We are the Dead is the first book in the Last War trilogy and the author’s debut novel. I would say this book falls into the grimdark sub-genre of fantasy since there is quite a lot of bloodshed, violence etc. but it is marketed as an epic fantasy book. It is a mulitple perspective story, following five different characters amid a story of invasion. 


This was a fantastic introduction to this new series. It did take me a little while to settle into the story, but I was in a bit of a reading slump and after a few chapters I found I was more invested in the characters and the plot. The fact that a few of the character perspectives are pretty unlikeable, didn’t help either. Tinnstra was a coward to begin with and I really struggled with her character but I loved her character development throughout the book. The author did a great job at developing these characters so that you end up rooting for them. I think Shackle has done a fantastic job at writing complex characters that are all morally grey. There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ characters – each have motives for their actions and each has a lot of depth of them. Don’t expect to love these characters right away though, it will take some time. The writing is great and the pacing was well done throughout. The plot was compelling and Shackle did a great job at weaving all of the story threads together. This book is definitely not for the faint hearted though – if you don’t like fantasy with a fair amount of violence then this probably isn’t for you. It’s never very graphic and Shackle doesn’t go into a lot of detail about it, but it’s clearly there. 


Overall I really enjoyed this start to a new trilogy and I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you’re looking for a new fantasy series to start. The second book, A Fool’s Hope, was released in December 2020. Have you guys read this book? I’d love to know what you thought. Let’s chat in the comments. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.





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