I thoroughly enjoyed the first novel in this trilogy. Despite the high bar, Friendly Fire, did not disappoint. Much like the first novel, the world building and characters are superb. That’s not to short change the overall quality of the writing and the dialogue, which are also top notch. The biggest difference between the two novels is that Friendly Fire was far more steeped in dwarven lore than its predecessor and magic was more tied to this novel. There was good character development as well. Rem moved toward being able to reveal his past, and Torval’s character was explored in far greater depth.
I like the use of the Kothrum in this novel, a demonic entity in dwarven lore that is called upon to seek vengeance that Rem and Torval eventually have to take down. The other thing that was particularly compelling was the racial turbulence between the dwarves and the human stonemasons. What I liked is that the author wasn’t heavy handed. There was no side that was clearly in the right or clearly in the wrong. Instead, they each have good people and bad people, and they each have their own points they made that were valid. That’s the way it should work in the real world but seldomly seems to. Even the villains in this novel generally weren’t real villains with a couple of exceptions.
This was a fun novel. I highly recommend it and look forward to completing the trilogy.