If you liked The Lord of the Rings, but wanted more brutality, check out Warhammer: Forge of War. Set in the Warhammer Universe (which incorporates decades of tabletop and video games, as well as novels and graphic novels), Forge of War pits a human/dwarf alliance against the forces of Chaos.
The story opens pre-battle showing the relationship between the Greatswords, artillery, dwarves and mages – it’s an uncomfortable mixture, but all are united against the forces of Chaos. However, Chaos breaks the army, scattering the survivors into the nearby woods – where things get worse.
Unlike most ongoing series, Forge of War is completely accessible to newcomers. It’s a violent book, but the violence accompanies an interesting story which combines familiar archetypes with interesting plot twists. With Warhammer’s military setting, there are the expected themes of duty, honor and loyalty, but the story ends on the broader theme of doing what’s right in the face of overwhelming odds.