As you may have determined from my review of Somewhither, I have been impressed by the work of John C. Wright.  Somewhither was an awesome roller coaster ride with as much depth as it had spectacle.

Iron Chamber of Memory is different.  It is a much slower burn.  Don’t get me wrong, there is action, adventure, and derring-do.  There is also romance, though in more than one sense.  I’ll get to that in a bit.

Slower burn or no, unlike Somewhither, I read Iron Chamber of Memory in a day.  Thanksgiving Day, to be precise.  It’s taken me this long to write the review because how to review such a book was a bit of a conundrum.

The story starts out with Hal Landfall, a poor graduate student working on a paper on Arthurian legend, looking for his missing friend Manfred on the island of Sark.  (Sark is a real place, a small island in the English Channel, just east of Guernsey.)  Manfred has recently become the hereditary lord of Sark, and Hal is seeking him in the middle of the night, at a bizarrely labyrinthine mansion where the Lords of Sark reside, presently unoccupied.  (Unlike the island, the mansion, I regret to say, is fictional.)  There he falls in with Laurel, Manfred’s fiancee, who is also looking for her husband-to-be.  They find a way inside the mansion and begin to explore, before stumbling on a strange, rose-lit chamber.  As soon as they step through the door, they realize that everything they know about their lives outside is a lie.  Only in that chamber do they know the truth.

So, it starts out as something of a supernatural whodunit, with a side of sorcery-tainted love triangle.  But that’s just where it starts.  It goes oh, so much deeper, and darker, as Hal tries to sort out real memories from false, and slowly comes to understand the deeper spiritual and metaphysical reality that his surface life is plastered over.

When I first saw the blurb for the book, my first thought was that it sounded right up the Jed Horn alley.  I wasn’t wrong.  I wasn’t entirely right, either.  It’s deeper.  Far deeper.  If I can manage to get a fraction of the depth of John’s stories into the Jed Horn series, I figure I’ll be doing all right.

Do yourselves a favor and pick up Iron Chamber of Memory.  I tell you this while taking the definite risk that it will make my own stories pale in comparison.  Go read it, anyway.

Book Review: Iron Chamber of Memory
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Peter Nealen

Peter Nealen is a former Reconnaissance Marine and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006, and again in 2007, with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Recon Bn. After two years of schools and workups, including Scout/Sniper Basic and Team Leader's Courses, he deployed to Afghanistan with 4th Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Company, I MEF. Works by Peter include: The American Praetorians Series Task Force Desperate (October 2012) - ebook , paperback and audiobook Hunting in the Shadows (June 2013) - ebook and paperback Alone and Unafraid (August 2014) - ebook and paperback The Devil You Don't Know (June 2015) - ebook and paperback Lex Talionis (June 2017) - ebook and paperback The Jed Horn Series A Silver Cross and a Winchester (October 2013) - ebook and paperback Nightmares (January 2015)- ebook and paperback The Walker on the Hills (December 2015) - ebook and paperback Older and Fouler Things (September 2017) - ebook and paperback The Brannigan's Blackhearts Series/Universe Kill Yuan (Spring 2016) - ebook and paperback Fury in the Gulf (November 2017) - ebook and paperback Burmese Crossfire (January 2018) - ebook and paperback Enemy Unidentified (March 2018) - ebook and paperback Frozen Conflict (May 2018) - ebook and paperback High Desert Vengeance (August 2018) - ebook and paperback Doctors of Death (December 2018) - ebook and paperback The Unity Wars Series (P.L. Nealen) The Fall of Valdek (July 2018) - ebook and paperback The Defense of Provenia (August 2018) - ebook and paperback The Alliance Rises (September 2018) - ebook and paperback Short Stories Rock Meet Hard Place (Part I) - Baen Books Blog Non-Fiction Operation Redwings: The Rescue Story Behind Lone Survivor (December 2013) - ebook only The ISIS Solution: How Unconventional Thinking and Special Operations Can Eliminate Radical Islam (SOFREP) (November 2014) - ebook only

One thought on “Book Review: Iron Chamber of Memory

  • December 22, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Iron Chamber of Memory is possibly one of my favorites works from Mr. Wright, and I’ve read almost all of them. I cried at the end, it was so touching.


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