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Steel Victory

Publisher’s Description

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 recently read alternate history and steampunk fantasy Steel Victory (Steel Empires, #1) by US author J.L. Gribble.

Steel Victory follows several protagonists including Victory, a vampire and leader of her free city state Limani and her human adopted-daughter Toria – a mage bonded to another mage to form a warrior pair. They are still in training and not yet combat ready but soon must face the realities of war whether they’re ready or not.

Victory is embroiled in the rising of an anti-Fae alliance within the council that governs the city and also within the populous itself. Brutal assaults and banning of Fae individuals from businesses sees injustice and discrimination made plain.

While the Roman army marches on the Limani, Victory is forced to battle on two fronts: a physical war looming and an internal Civil War brewing.


Gribble’s vast world building skilfully uses alternate history and fantasy that is highly detailed while still fast-paced. The clever plot weaves history and magic and is a masterstroke by Gribble.


Highly recommended to fantasy readers, alternate history, occult, LGBTQI and readers who enjoy skilful and vast world-building. A great read!

** This is my personal opinion and does not reflect any judging decisions **