That stopped Asaron short, and Toria remembered that to the ancient vampire, firearms were still a modern novelty. Victory told her once that she’d had to more or less pry his crossbow out of his fingers to get him to pick up a musket for a try.

Steel Victory

By J.L. Gribble
215 Pages


One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.
Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.
Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.
Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.


I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Steel Victory is a genre-bending adventure that moved at light-speed pace through a world of vampires, were-creatures, and the human politics that always gotta bring them down. Author J.L. Gribble created a world that is delightfully inventive- rife with magical creatures and a strange alternate history. It is modern in many ways, but post-apocalyptic in its bones with a dash of the ancient for good measure.

I think that’s what I enjoyed most from this read- the not knowing. The setting is not immediately obvious, and nor is the place in time. The story undoubtedly takes place on Earth, but the intricacies of the culture and history behind it are not easily divulged. It left me wanting to know more, because how could you not want to know more about were-badgers and where they came form? But I’m a sucker for world building.

The cast of characters is a fun bunch, and each has their own voice and place within the society of Limani- the councilmembers, the students, the mercenaries. On top of that, they each something more- partners, children, parents. The relationships were well established, and I look forward to seeing those grow in future works.

The story itself ran at full steam creating an adventure filled with evil plotting, international conspiracies, and a heaping dose of non-human bigotry driving it all. While we have certainly seen those elements before, Steel Victory mixes the tropes and genres up, shakes them a few times, and pours out something wonderfully different.

Should You Read This?

If you enjoy action and adventure with the side of the supernatural, pick this one up. I know sequels are in the pipeline, and I look forward to seeing where these characters go next within this crazy new world.
Summary from Goodreads