"Just a tad short of brilliant,
Not as complex/gritty as The Black Company by Glen Cook - it's much more reminiscent of The Empire of the East by Fred Saberhagen (which is a compliment - btw). The mix of magic/technology and faintly familiar localities is clever, but the mercenaries aren't (in the main) mercenary in any way - which takes some of the flavour away. Our guide (Flank Hawk) has a secret, which is lucky because he's just a bit short of heroic charisma - his new friend is one of those 'knows everybody significant' guys, but there are intimations of future deeds, but as one of the group - not as his own man (why am I thinking 'Hobbit'?)."
I've never read the Black Company by Glen Cook, but I've heard of it. I did read twice and very much enjoy Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East, the novels set before the Book of Swords series. I can see where the reader/reviewer came up with the opinions provided.
I'm not sure I'd describe my writing as 'a tad short of brilliant.' I'd tend to think (or hope for) 'really good,' but I'll take a compliment where I can get it. It's always satisfying to know that a reader out there enjoyed the story wrote. It means I'm doing more than a few things right.
It's difficult to contact reviewers to say thanks, but I very much appreciate Niolc Tiddler's willingness to take a chance on my novel and to post a review.