Of Bone and Thunder channels Full Metal Jacket into a gritty sword and sorcery novel. The Vietnam War inspiration is unmistakable in the setting, as is the futility and madness, and it shows that odd pacing of Kubrick's where things are both fast and incredibly slow at the same time.
At first I couldn't really get into the story. Different characters and threads of plot were introduced, but I was left wondering why I should care about them or how they fit together. Nothing clicked and the insistence on calling dragons "rags" grated. Then, suddenly, the stories clicked. Pieces fit together into a larger picture. Regardless of if I liked the characters, I wanted to see how their stories played out.
There is nothing romantic about this war, regardless of what propaganda is being fed to the citizens at home. The jungle is unforgiving, the weaponry indiscriminately fatal. The enemy is made as faceless as possible, since attacks take out non-combatants along with combatants. A "win" is more likely to mean that they didn't all die, and managed to take out some of the enemy. Of Bone and Thunder develops into a compelling story about lives caught up in a brutal war and the determination of those trying to survive.
Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of NetGalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.