Book Review: Triumff


Triumff Her Majesty’s Hero by Dan Abnett
Angry Robot

331 pages


It is the year 2010.  Her Divine Majesty, Queen Elizabeth XXX sits upon the throne.  Great Britain’s vast Empire is run by Alchemy and Superstition.  Now Sir Rupert Triumff, dashing swordsman, has uncovered a vile plot to dethrone her glorious majesty.  For the honour of the nation: to arms!

(back cover)


The best way I can describe Triumff is to call it fun.  Swashbuckling, scheming, likeable characters, and humour drip from the pages.  If that was not enough, Abnett also created a very interesting setting for the story.  If you are looking for something unique and off the beaten path, this is a great read.

The world of Triumff is based upon an alternate history where Elizabeth I and Philip of Spain married and then conquered vast swathes of the Earth creating an empire driven by the arte.  Even though the story takes place in the present, technology and culture are similar to the 18th century as magic became the great discovery of the renaissance rather than science or philosophy.

The result of all of this is that the empire is dependent upon mercantilism and alchemy and many are out to make it rich by exploration and colonization.  Sir Rupert Triumff, famous as a naval hero, has just returned from a trip where he discovered the new continent of Australia (modern and sophisticated) and due to his own scheming and the plans of others finds himself in an absolute mess.

The Good

This is not your typical fantasy story.  It is a fun swashbuckler loaded with jokes and irreverent characters.  Triumff and his exploits are hilarious and well done.  This is exactly the right kind of book to shake up your reading pile.

I came away impressed by Dan Abnett’s vision for the setting of the story.  There isn’t anything else like it.  The world building is masterfully done and combined with the tone of the story creates a unique and enjoyable experience.

The Bad

The story is a bit slow to get rolling and the text is dense with various in world references to events affecting the background of the setting.  The language and slang are also extremely British.  I struggled at times navigating between some of the passages.  It may be difficult for some readers to adapt to the stylistic approach Abnett took for this novel.

Final Word

Triumff is fun and loaded with excitement and great characters.  The setting for the novel is one of a kind and entertaining in all of the right ways.


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