Billy Wong

Review of “Iron Bonds” by Billy Wong

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In Iron Bloom, author Billy Wong delighted and entertained readers with the tale of Rose, a reluctant warrior, and the warrior Finn, as they went on a quest seeking magic – the one thing that frightens Rose. While it was a good book, I felt it needed some maturation and seasoning. Well, Wong is back with Iron Bonds, the second in what could be a trilogy, or even more, about Rose the indomitable warrior, Finn, who is now the modern world’s only mage, and the scholar Derrick, as they try to find the lost art of spell casting. Of course, the problem is, Rose, who by now is all alpha female, is itching to get into the fight that is plaguing their country – and, naturally, her alpha instincts win, and she’s off to battle.

Wong has matured in this second book. Like a marathon runner, I think he’s found his pace. But, he also demonstrates the ability to do even more. Crisp dialogue, nonstop action, and enough human drama for two seasons of ‘Peyton Place,’ Iron Bonds is everything a good slash and burn fantasy novel should be.

My hat’s off to Wong for a tale well told. A solid four-star book.

Review: “The Iron Bloom” by Billy Wong

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Iron Bloom by Billy Wong is an interesting story. It’s about Rose, something of a tomboy, struggling to make it in what is clearly a male-dominated world. The story opens with the reader being plunged right in the middle of action as Rose confronts a murderous stranger at the home of people for whom she works (or, at least that’s the impression one gets). Nearly killed, Rose m manages to slay the intruder, save the only child of the unfortunately slain parents, and make it home where she miraculously survives the terrible wound the marauder inflicted upon her.

English: A Red Rose at Bloom
English: A Red Rose at Bloom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So far, so good. But, this is just the beginning of Rose’s adventures. A tale of derring-do and coming of age that would be rated as outstanding but for its failure to follow the conventions of this type story. The author uses modern language for the most part, and it is frankly jarring. Breaking the rules of the genre works sometimes, but having dialogue that sounds like a teen at the mall coming from the lips of a girl who has just slain a sword-yielding murderer is a bridge too far.

Having said that, and the criticism is meant to be constructive, I found it an interesting story that has only that one flaw. Not a fatal flaw, but one hopes that if there’s a sequel, it will not be repeated.

"Pip;s Revenge"
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