The Runes of Engagement
by Tobias S. Buckell and Dave Klecha
ISBN: 978-1-61696-416-0 (print); 978-1-61696-417-7 (digital)
Published: June 4, 2024
Available Format(s): Trade paperback and digital formats
The Lord of the Rings meets Slaughterhouse-Five by way of World of Warcraft in this delirious mashup pitting the U. S. military against legendary monsters from fantasy novels and roleplaying games. From science fiction award-winner and an author, ex-Marine, and extreme amateur-landscaper, comes a riotous fantasy/military science fiction adventure that will delight fans of Terry Pratchett, J. R. R. Tolkien, and John Scalzi.
Of course, no one was prepared for the day when orcs, trolls, and dragons fell from portals in the sky. But the world fought back against the invaders as best it could, with soldiers, tactical weapons, and even some rudimentary magic.
Now a tough, but not-quite-prepared platoon of Marines is trapped on the wrong side of the portals. The enchanting landscape looks like Middle Earth, but—to the dismay of the nerdiest soldiers—is nothing like the Middle Earth they had loved.
This so-called fantasy world has much to throw at the soldiers: legendary monsters, extremely rude trees, a mysterious orphan, treacherous mercenaries, and even a cranky, sort of helpful Ranger.
As their supplies dwindle and the terrain becomes even more hostile, the squad must also escort a VIP (Very Important Princess). She could be the key to a strategic alliance between the worlds, but only if the Marines can just make it home.