We Are The Dead (The Last War #1) by Mike Shackle

The Prayer of the Shulka

We are the dead who serve all who live.
We are the dead who fight.
We are the dead who guard tomorrow.
We are the dead who protect our land, our monarch, our clan.

We are the dead who stand in the light.
We are the dead who face the night.
We are the dead whom evil fears.
We are the Shulka and we are the dead.

We are the dead.
We are the dead.
We are the dead.
We are the dead.

We are Shulka and we are the dead.

The book began with the above prayer, I remember thinking how morbid it is, but while reading the book, I understood what it meant. It doesn’t mean they want to die. Rather, it means they are willing to die for justice to reign.

Since this is a war fantasy, many well-depicted fight scenes exist. The magic wasn’t well explained, but I still loved it. The plot, even though it wasn’t, was well executed, which is what makes a good read.

Despite the pros, I had one issue with this book- the characters were not well depicted. All I got was age, build and gender, nothing on skin color and eyes.

The world-building is good, but I’ve seen better. I love how the author described the world, especially Tinnstra and Dren’s part. The book is written third person perspective of four characters. Two of those four were annoying in the book’s first half.

We Are The Dead started with the invasion of the Jia by the Egril where the Jia have long warred with their neighbors, the Egril. Because the Jia always win they become arrogant and complacent. The Jia have an elite warrior/soldier known as the Shulka.

However, the latest invasion sees the Egril triumph, and they now occupy the Jia land and reign as tyrants. All the people of Jia live in fear, as there’s basically no law and order under the Egril reign.

I really love the character development of Dren and Tinnstra. The two of them are what I call realistic characters. Tinnstra was so scared of everything, and Dren was an arrogant, self absorb fool.

Jax and Yas are brave; they are both adults and willing to help their people. Jax is a Shulka who lost an arm during the invasion and is also the resistance leader. Yas is the mother of Ro, who is just eighteen months. They both have lost people and are willing to make the world better than it is.

The other characters are also great, and I love that they all have great personalities. Others include Zorique, Kaine, Darus, Kara, Quist, Kara, Hasan, Greener, Gris, and many others.

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