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The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey

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Forever shamed for family actions a century earlier, Antiquity Grey is a young woman living in a far-future city of Erth. It is a life of danger and hardship, dragons and advanced technology. But when she discovers an outlawed and operational mech buried in the sands of her planet, she realizes its secrets hold the power to reverse her family's dishonor while challenging t Forever shamed for family actions a century earlier, Antiquity Grey is a young woman living in a far-future city of Erth. It is a life of danger and hardship, dragons and advanced technology. But when she discovers an outlawed and operational mech buried in the sands of her planet, she realizes its secrets hold the power to reverse her family's dishonor while challenging the Imperium's off-world oppressive might.


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Forever shamed for family actions a century earlier, Antiquity Grey is a young woman living in a far-future city of Erth. It is a life of danger and hardship, dragons and advanced technology. But when she discovers an outlawed and operational mech buried in the sands of her planet, she realizes its secrets hold the power to reverse her family's dishonor while challenging t Forever shamed for family actions a century earlier, Antiquity Grey is a young woman living in a far-future city of Erth. It is a life of danger and hardship, dragons and advanced technology. But when she discovers an outlawed and operational mech buried in the sands of her planet, she realizes its secrets hold the power to reverse her family's dishonor while challenging the Imperium's off-world oppressive might.

30 review for The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robin Hobb

    The usual caveat: I read this book in galley form, as a gift from the author, Shawn Speakman. Shawn and I have been friends for many years, and he has published some of my work. I do not believe that affects my review of this unpublished work. And, as always, I will attempt to avoid all spoilers. The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is science fantasy, that is, a flavorful blend of what might be in a future that may or not be the future of our world. It's a coming of age story, based around an eng The usual caveat: I read this book in galley form, as a gift from the author, Shawn Speakman. Shawn and I have been friends for many years, and he has published some of my work. I do not believe that affects my review of this unpublished work. And, as always, I will attempt to avoid all spoilers. The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is science fantasy, that is, a flavorful blend of what might be in a future that may or not be the future of our world. It's a coming of age story, based around an engaging character who has good intentions, and makes the sort of errors that many of us make in our 'coming of age' years. In that sense, it can be classified as Young Adult, but I think it's an enjoyable read for anyone. In some ways, it put me in mind of the better examples of Space Opera I read as a young adult, with hints of the same feelings I got the first time I viewed Star Wars. (Both of those are very good things.) There are certain elements that will always entice me into the story. A murky family history. Hints of forgotten technology. Lost cities. Cryptic warnings. Deep friendships. Uneasy alliances with possibly untrustworthy allies. All these ingredients are here, for a rich and savory tale. This book is not yet available, but when it is, I recommend it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark Lawrence

    I should caveat that I've known Shawn online for years and he publishes my omnibus editions. I will of course give an honest review but it should be mentioned upfront. This is a non-stop ride! It's a fairly short book and it covers a lot of ground with a fair-sized ensemble around the single point-of-view character, the eponymous Antiquity Grey. It's interesting that the title includes "tempered steel" because the plot centres on titanium and this book probably holds the world record for number of I should caveat that I've known Shawn online for years and he publishes my omnibus editions. I will of course give an honest review but it should be mentioned upfront. This is a non-stop ride! It's a fairly short book and it covers a lot of ground with a fair-sized ensemble around the single point-of-view character, the eponymous Antiquity Grey. It's interesting that the title includes "tempered steel" because the plot centres on titanium and this book probably holds the world record for number of times the word "titanium" is used. This is a sci-fi book but not a "hard" sci-fi book. It's more of a mash-up of Star Wars, Avatar, and Transformers. You will have to dial into that mindset and have fun rather than ask too many questions. We see 100m tall titanium robot-suits battle each other, battle star ships, battle dragons ... sometimes all at once. We follow a young chosen one fighting against an evil empire - though to be honest it seems more about her dissatisfaction about her own circumstances - I didn't see much evidence that the common folk (many of whom end up dead as a result of her actions and the rest embroiled in a war not of their own choosing) were suffering particularly. The planet the story plays out on is Earth-like and has a religion followed by some portions of the populace that seems to parallel an existing one. The vibe is a young adult one - I think the main characters are teens but I don't hold that to the diagnostic test for YA. It's a story full of energy and ideas. Fights abound. I could easily imagine it being a movie. Speakman describes his locations with a passion that put me in mind of his good friend Terry Brooks, and is capable of evoking strong emotion as witnessed by a flashback scene where the main character sits with her dying mother in hospital. If you're up for giant mechs in Godzilla vs King Kong style battles, laz-guns, martial artists,dragons, mystic powers, evil kings, alien overlords, and loads more then this is the book for you. Take a deep breath because the action is full on! Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes ..

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dale Russell

    She wasn't supposed to be where she was. She wasn't supposed to find what she found. But that discovery may change everything!!! Or destroy it all! Shawn Speakman has crafted a story of a new heroine that I think readers will take to immediately. Resourceful and brave…and a little rebelliousness...balanced with fear and longing, presents us with someone many of us can identify with. Shawn has taken his new heroine and dropped her into a world, that in the span of 55 pages, is rich in people and c She wasn't supposed to be where she was. She wasn't supposed to find what she found. But that discovery may change everything!!! Or destroy it all! Shawn Speakman has crafted a story of a new heroine that I think readers will take to immediately. Resourceful and brave…and a little rebelliousness...balanced with fear and longing, presents us with someone many of us can identify with. Shawn has taken his new heroine and dropped her into a world, that in the span of 55 pages, is rich in people and culture as well as giving us varying degrees of bad and good - with the gray that lies in between. This is what I hope will be the first in a series of stories set in the world of Erth with Antiquity Grey as someone I will want to read about for quite a good long time. Fingers Crossed!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 3.5 hearts The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is kind of like Pacific Rim + Godzilla + Star Wars.  It is the journey of a girl who finds the mechanical suit of her family once lost in the desert.  All the other fighting suits of its kind were destroyed in the war with the Imperium years ago.  Since then, there has mostly been peace This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 3.5 hearts The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is kind of like Pacific Rim + Godzilla + Star Wars.  It is the journey of a girl who finds the mechanical suit of her family once lost in the desert.  All the other fighting suits of its kind were destroyed in the war with the Imperium years ago.  Since then, there has mostly been peace on her planet, but it is a peace where you know you lost the war and you are not your own leaders. Finding the suit throws everything in Antiquity’s life into upheaval and she is forced to flee her home with both friends and past enemies in hopes of making it to one of the last cities where she could be trained and learn what the secrets of her family are. This is one of those stories I have to really be in the mood for to enjoy.  There are a lot of versions of the reluctant hero, finding a mentor to become the awesome power they were always meant to be, standing up to the political military force in front of them.  I had a few issues connecting with a couple characters that came off really bad at first meeting and I never quite forgave them for how they behaved.   While I liked Antiquity, she was very young and naïve and most of the story just happens to her. This isn’t a heavy fantasy book where the mechanics of the suit or how it is set up for people to travel in is really ever addressed.  It also doesn’t hit on how the suits connect to one family’s minds to be able to work.  As an avid fantasy reader, these are usually the deeper questions I like to have answered. Still there is some awesomeness in the fighting and her robot sidekick who is always trying to keep her out of trouble and I did enjoy the sword-wielding mentor she picked up along the way.  It is a fun story, but it isn’t the kind of story you can dig deep into.  A better choice for when you just want to go along for the ride.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nichelle Fromm

    The story spans only 55 pages, but the character development feels so much longer, in the best of ways. I found myself smiling, as I could relate to the main character in my younger years. This story takes you for a ride, and you better hold on tight...until...you find yourself finishing and wanting more. Two chapters is just enough to pull you in, and many fans are waiting with bated breath for additional chapters. This is a work of art, truly original, and definitely not over-done, like many ot The story spans only 55 pages, but the character development feels so much longer, in the best of ways. I found myself smiling, as I could relate to the main character in my younger years. This story takes you for a ride, and you better hold on tight...until...you find yourself finishing and wanting more. Two chapters is just enough to pull you in, and many fans are waiting with bated breath for additional chapters. This is a work of art, truly original, and definitely not over-done, like many other story lines. Give it a read, you won't be sorry! <3

  6. 5 out of 5

    Scott Sizemore

    It is rare to find a good story that appears to a wide range of readers. Shawn Speakman’s The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is a GREAT story that spans the Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy genres and can be enjoyed by any of those readers. Shawn’s first chapter quickly enthralls the reader with a plucky but headstrong heroine and her current challenging circumstances. The world’s history is shrouded with mystery but the relevant pieces poke through like the buried mech hand the heroi It is rare to find a good story that appears to a wide range of readers. Shawn Speakman’s The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is a GREAT story that spans the Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy genres and can be enjoyed by any of those readers. Shawn’s first chapter quickly enthralls the reader with a plucky but headstrong heroine and her current challenging circumstances. The world’s history is shrouded with mystery but the relevant pieces poke through like the buried mech hand the heroine discovers. The adventure continues from there with well-developed and believable characters with mysteries and surprises of their own. I thoroughly enjoyed the chapbook and was able to devour an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of the entire tale thanks to the generosity of the author. I am now helplessly hooked on the story and will be anxiously awaiting additional stories set in the same world. Get a copy of The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey and read it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Raniere

    This is not the chap book this is the actual full book. I really enjoyed this book. It has dragons, huge robots that require a person to operate (like Pacific Rim), smaller self contained robots (like a rumba with a brain), and all the issues of the modern day (different cultures, bullies, power hungry leaders, and friendships). A wonderful blend of sci-fi, drama, and fantasy. The author blends everything together in a way that draws you into story and makes you feel the characters emotions. Hop This is not the chap book this is the actual full book. I really enjoyed this book. It has dragons, huge robots that require a person to operate (like Pacific Rim), smaller self contained robots (like a rumba with a brain), and all the issues of the modern day (different cultures, bullies, power hungry leaders, and friendships). A wonderful blend of sci-fi, drama, and fantasy. The author blends everything together in a way that draws you into story and makes you feel the characters emotions. Hoping for a sequel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Blaise

    More reviews at undertheradarsffbooks.com The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is expected to be released in September 2021. I received this ARC copy early by supporting Shawn’s Kickstarter and I will leave a link and the end of this post for new readers to check it out. The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is a non-stop ride for a fairly short book of just over 300 pages. The story takes place on a futuristic Earth or “Erth” as it is referred to in the book, where humans have colonized space. Th More reviews at undertheradarsffbooks.com The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is expected to be released in September 2021. I received this ARC copy early by supporting Shawn’s Kickstarter and I will leave a link and the end of this post for new readers to check it out. The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is a non-stop ride for a fairly short book of just over 300 pages. The story takes place on a futuristic Earth or “Erth” as it is referred to in the book, where humans have colonized space. This is a softer Sci-fi story as if you were watching a Star Wars movie or reading Dune because Shawn doesn’t throw the kitchen sink at you with complex technology. Shawn also incorporates some fantasy elements into this story and it works very well with the overall plot and story until the finale. I am very excited to share my review with new readers and I hope you will be on the lookout for this in the coming months. Shawn Speakman describes himself in his own words as “a writer, webmaster, and purveyor of dreams and lies.” He is the author of several fantasy novels including Dark Thorn and The Song of the Fell Hammer as well as the editor of the best selling fantasy anthology Unfettered. To top it all off, he is the owner of the SF&F bookstore The Signed Page and the SF&F specialty press Grim Oak Press. Shawn also befriended New York Times best-selling fantasy author Terry Brooks and became his webmaster, leading to an enchanted life surrounded by words. So, I was very excited to back this popular project and to dive into Shawn Speakmans worlds for the first time. If you are a fan of Star Wars, Dune, The Expanse, and Pacific Rim you will have a smashing good time with this book and I believe there is enough in this first story that will appeal to every SFF reader who likes adult fiction. As I mentioned before, this story takes place on a futuristic Earth in the city of Solomon Fyre. The history of the planet revolves around humans needing to colonize space due to the growing fears of global warming and the depletion of Earth’s resources. Some of the humans left Earth for space and over the centuries their appearances have become somewhat distorted and they have a hard time existing in gravity planets. These humans became known as the Imperium and they will return to Earth once again. The other half of the population was left behind and everyone excepted them to die from the depleted resources and warming of the planet, but they survived and adapted to the harsh enviroments of the Earth. We follow the story of Antiquity Grey as she traverses the desert looking for treasures with her bot CHKR-11. Think of CHKR-11 as a flying metal ball with the intelligence of C3PO. Eventually Antiquity discovers a giant metal hand in the desert and decides to dig it out. She discovers that the hand is attached to a huge mechanical suit, similar to the movie Pacific Rim, with the symbol of her family crest on the chest of the suit. From here the story moves into hyper drive with non stop action and tension as the Imperium has discovered existence of this suit and will do what ever it takes to confiscated it for its rare metal, titanium. Antiquity’s family possesses the surname Grey not as a name passed down through the generations, but as a punishment for the sins of their past. The Grey’s once sat with the counselors of power until the actions of Antiquity’s ancestors turned them into outcasts with the shame of dishonor to Solomon Fyre. Learning about Grey’s past was one of my favorite parts of the novel. The one small part that I didn’t like about the novel is that there are several slow chapters in this books that felt too drawn out for me. It felt like the dialogue went on a bit too long but this can just be a me problem as I wanted to get back to the action! You learn a lot about how the races changes over the centuries and how the cultures have saved and recorded their histories. There is so much to discover in this world and even though this book won’t be released to the SFF community for several months, I am eagerly anticipating the sequel as well as diving into Shawn’s other works soon. Well done Shawn, it is well worth wait! Cheers!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    “You might have saved my friend. But I do not trust you.” “When you begin to trust, the friendship the world has spun for us will be put in motion.” A good-hearted if naïve coming of age science fiction set is a far future dystopic “Erth.” Stereotypical characters act in the expected ways. Predictable but well-developed plot arc--teens against the big bad guys trying to save the world. Antiquity lowered the knife. “Why you not ending me?” the golem implored. “I not real.” “You are real enough,” An “You might have saved my friend. But I do not trust you.” “When you begin to trust, the friendship the world has spun for us will be put in motion.” A good-hearted if naïve coming of age science fiction set is a far future dystopic “Erth.” Stereotypical characters act in the expected ways. Predictable but well-developed plot arc--teens against the big bad guys trying to save the world. Antiquity lowered the knife. “Why you not ending me?” the golem implored. “I not real.” “You are real enough,” Antiquity said, decision made. “Besides, you are about the only family I have left.” Antiquity will appeal to some readers as a plucky female lead. Other will be irritated by her Mary Sue ability to shed each adversity almost as soon as it manifests. “Do you see what’s down there, Chekker? Are your sensors shot? Look!” “I do. I see trouble.” “Trouble finds me all by itself, you old bot!” Indestructible robot sidekick, enemies turned allies, and enigmatic ancient advisor. Who needs light sabers when you have dragons? Be the change of the moment,” the old woman said. “My love for you would be remiss if I did not prepare you for the world such as it is, not the world we wish it would be. And that world is coming for us even as we speak.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Derek Pritchard

    I am no author and not gifted with the talents of words. That being said, here is my honest review. I bought an ARC as part of the kickstarter campaign as it appealed greatly to me. I was not given anything by the author or publisher. "The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey" by Shawn Speakman is an amazing bit of science fantasy about a young woman fighting society, inner demons, & external foes determined to keep her down. It is very well paced & I finished it in a day as I just couldn't out it d I am no author and not gifted with the talents of words. That being said, here is my honest review. I bought an ARC as part of the kickstarter campaign as it appealed greatly to me. I was not given anything by the author or publisher. "The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey" by Shawn Speakman is an amazing bit of science fantasy about a young woman fighting society, inner demons, & external foes determined to keep her down. It is very well paced & I finished it in a day as I just couldn't out it down. Kudos to Shawn on a wonderful telling and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new beginning of what I hope to be an exciting series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian Noonan

    Ok, so I'm following Robin Hobb on this one. I guess that means I need to learn to write because she's going to get all the follows. Ah well... Where do I start with this one? I got a hold of the full ARC somehow and read the full novel, same as Robin/Megan. It's a very solid mix of sci-fi and fantasy. Usually for me and for a lot of people, that is a difficult mixing. So when in doubt, punch the reader in the mouth 257 times (once per page) and keep punching until they can't help but like it. ...o Ok, so I'm following Robin Hobb on this one. I guess that means I need to learn to write because she's going to get all the follows. Ah well... Where do I start with this one? I got a hold of the full ARC somehow and read the full novel, same as Robin/Megan. It's a very solid mix of sci-fi and fantasy. Usually for me and for a lot of people, that is a difficult mixing. So when in doubt, punch the reader in the mouth 257 times (once per page) and keep punching until they can't help but like it. ...or something like that. He sure as heck tried. This thing is a ride and it blew past the possible incongruity of some fantastical elements being mixed with technology with sheer action -- and for me, it really worked.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    I’ve read the ARC. This is a fantastic new series by Shawn Speakman. I had to read slowly because I wanted to savor every word. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roger Sandri

    I rarely read sci-fi, but the first snippet I saw Shawn post had me intrigued. The book didn’t disappoint. It’s more character driven than about technology, with several awesome and relatable characters. Antiquity is a strong girl, but I must admit that Sadiya is my favorite. It’s so refreshing to see Arabic characters in a positive light. As for the plot, it’s an enjoyable romp, rather like a cross between Pacific Rim and Shannara. Anything that feels predictable is more gratifying when it happen I rarely read sci-fi, but the first snippet I saw Shawn post had me intrigued. The book didn’t disappoint. It’s more character driven than about technology, with several awesome and relatable characters. Antiquity is a strong girl, but I must admit that Sadiya is my favorite. It’s so refreshing to see Arabic characters in a positive light. As for the plot, it’s an enjoyable romp, rather like a cross between Pacific Rim and Shannara. Anything that feels predictable is more gratifying when it happens than disappointing. While this is the first sci-fi novel I’ve read in a long time, it certainly isn’t going to be the last. Shawn’s writing has me excited for more installments in this world.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rick Brown

    I really enjoyed this book. A fast-paced fun sci-fi/fantasy adventure on a future Earth where a society from the stars has invaded and defeated humans. Enter Antiquity Grey, the great-granddaughter of the last leader of free earth, who makes a discovery that puts her on a path that may change the fate of her friends, family, home town and humanity itself. Did I mention giant robots and dragons? Oh yes. Can't wait to read more. I really enjoyed this book. A fast-paced fun sci-fi/fantasy adventure on a future Earth where a society from the stars has invaded and defeated humans. Enter Antiquity Grey, the great-granddaughter of the last leader of free earth, who makes a discovery that puts her on a path that may change the fate of her friends, family, home town and humanity itself. Did I mention giant robots and dragons? Oh yes. Can't wait to read more.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Arnoud Visser

    A fast science fiction story which mixes many classic themes in a single book, moving from one part of the world to another in a single chapter. Yet, the combination is nice of known themes and it is if you are reading the script of an action movie.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    Not grabbing me. Stopping 135 pages in...

  17. 5 out of 5

    James

    3.75

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lira

  19. 4 out of 5

    Evenstar Deane

  20. 5 out of 5

    christopher

  21. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  22. 5 out of 5

    Catalin

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robert Parks

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vince

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Kirwin

  29. 5 out of 5

    OTIS

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dan K

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