Blood and Iron (#1)

Next: Storm and Steel

After losing his wife and son to a devastating plague, Horace becomes a soldier, sailing to battle for the Great Crusade against Akeshia. A shipwreck lands him on enemy shores, where he finds himself enslaved and on a brutal march across the desert to destinations unknown. When the caravan of slaves encounters a fierce storm, Horace discovers he possesses zoana, a mysterious gift of magic potent enough to instill fear in his captors and to earn him a place in Queen Byleth’s court.

Horace quickly learns that life at court is a complex, treacherous prison of its own kind and he remains at the mercy of his foe. With help from Jirom, a gladiator and fellow captive, and Alyra, spy and handmaiden to the Queen, Horace must outwit his enemies and harness his powerful magic to liberate himself and the thousands who have lived in oppression for far too long.


“Sheer fun, with engaging, pulse-quickening action, sympathetic characters and intricate intrigue […] definitely a series to follow.”


“Sprunk’s world is fascinating and original, reminiscent of ancient Sumeria and Babylon.”

Publishers Weekly

“An interesting magic system, complicated political scene, and loads of action make this Spartacus-with-magic a fun first volume in a new epic fantasy series.”

Library Journal

“Full of treachery, rebellion and a pinch of sexual tension, Sprunk has written a work which is one part Shogun and four parts amazing.”


“BLOOD AND IRON is an engrossing novel of swords and sorcery. It’s tightly focused and complete, without a sprawling cast and endless appendix of subplots. That’s not to say Jon Sprunk tells a simple tale, he’s just managed to avoid the sinkhole of over-telling that sucks so much epic fantasy into the abyss.”


“BLOOD AND IRON is the perfect fantasy beach book. The setting goes great with water and sand. It’s entertaining, and fast-paced with great characters and fascinating magical system. It is well suited for a reader who wants to have a quick, enjoyable read.”

The Qwillery

“What I truly enjoyed about this book was how incredibly detailed Sprunk was with his world building […] Sprunk adds in a complex culture and isn’t afraid to show it’s good and bad points, religious strife, political issues, characters and throws it all into a vivid landscape that seems so absolutely real I can almost see, feel, and smell it all […] He’s started one hell of an epic series, the kind of epic that could rival any other epic out there in scope, magnitude, and complexity.”

Bookworm Blues