Well this was bloody fun. I mean that in the literal sense. Scythian Dawn imagines an alternative Earth history where humans are kept in an eternal Dark Age by aliens. Anytime a civilization gets too powerful, it is razed.
The hero of the story is Princess Arixa of Scythia. A Princess who gave up princessy comforts to become the leader of a war band, she encounters friendlier aliens, learns the bad aliens’ plans for the city she abandoned, and sets out not to save just her people but all mankind.
She’s tough and that toughness slips into being a tyrant sometimes, or at least duplicitous. But it fits. She was raised to rule and to fight, she (mostly) doesn’t doubt her victory or death is the right course for humanity.
The book has lots of funny one liners, and believable characters. Her horde is barbaric, and it works because they would be. The contrast of a culture that is distantly bloody (the evil aliens) and the barbarians who are in your face bloody is well done.
If you like shoot em up sci-fi, I think you’ll like this. I read it in a day and bought the next book.