However Many Must Die (The Blood Scouts #1), by Phil Williams

The Book

However Many Must Die
Series: The Blood Scouts
Pages: 509
Age Group: Adult
Published on 10/10/2023
Publisher: Self-Published
Military Fantasy
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Wild Wish was trained to do one thing: kill.

Saved from a lonely backwater existence by a global war, Wish couldn't believe her luck when she got into the Blood Scouts. Now she gets to share tents with an all-female platoon of night-stalking, giant-slaying, boat-sinking, battle-swaying legends in the making.

The problem is, they keep dying.

And they've been given their worst assignment yet.The enemy Dread Corps are combining magics deep within the nightmare lands of Low Slane, to unleash a weapon that could sway the entire war. It's up to the Blood Scouts to stop them – with a journey that gets more dangerous with every step.

Far behind enemy lines, death hangs in the air. Monsters lurk around every corner.

Are Wish's skills – and positive attitude – enough to keep her Blood Scouts alive?

Or will the cost of survival finally break her?  

My Review

However Many Must Die is the first book in the military fantasy series The Blood Scouts, written by Phil Williams. A novel that it is inspired partly by the WWI, giving a new twist to the quest adventures, following the steps of the Blood Scouts, the only feminine group in the Stanclif army, in their fight against the bloody country of Drail; a grim story that hides an incredible tale of comaraderie. 

Wild Wish is a member of this company, and while being in the middle of the war, she feels as she has found the group of friends she always wanted; she was a country girl who escaped her life to join the Blood Scouts. Her wish is to keep all the group alive so they can continue as friends living on the imaginary farm she has.
However, after a battle where the Blood Scouts prove their importance and skill, while losing a member in the field, they discover rumours about Drail preparing a devastating weapon that will change war's course; Wild Wish and the Scouts will find themselves travelling deep into the Drailish country to find the truth about this weapon and stop it if possible.

Even if Williams has written an epic fantasy story with a really original setting, as this kind of inspiration is not commonly used in the genre, what is hidden behind the Blood Scouts' quest is a tale about comaraderie and true friendships, how those that met by chance have ended trusting and becoming real friends. But in this grim setting, they will also suffer the worst parts of war, including the loss of many dear friends, and the trauma of dealing with difficult situations; our best example to observe it will be Wild Wish, who acts as our main character. Williams manages to portray who extreme moments can change people.

We also have a second character which will act as the counterpart to Wild Wish, Maringdale, a Purification mage working for the Drail Empire; a selfish and individualistic person, partly due to the culture she has grown in. She's also pushed to the extreme, as the Empire doesn't tolerate the incompetence or even being average.

Apart from an excellent characterisation, William has managed to create a really interesting fantasy world, blending the WWI industrialization with creatures that are closer to the fantasy genre; a bloody empire against nations trying to resist and finish a war. It feels like a new twist to the military fantasy genre.

However Many Must Die is an excellent book, a story that is a direct punch to your feelings, and that won't let anybody indifferent. I need more Blood Scouts' books as soon as possible, because this one was absolutely marvelous.

The Author/s

Phil Williams

Phil Williams

Phil Williams writes contemporary fantasy and dystopian fiction and non-fiction grammar guides. His novels include the interconnected Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers, the post-apocalyptic Estalia saga and the action-packed Faergrowe series. He also runs the website English Lessons Brighton, and writes reference books to help foreign learners master the nuances of English.

Phil lives with his wife by the coast in Sussex, UK, and now spends a great deal of time walking his impossibly fluffy dog, Herbert.