Scorpion - Aleksandr Voinov I think this has become my favorite of all of Aleksandr Voinov's books.

I got lost along with the Scorpions.
It's a gritty, raw, and visceral story. Voinov can tell a story about soldiers and fighting and courage and loyalty like no other. Kendras remains a steadfast, practical warrior throughout-his only passion is reserved for the officer, Andrastes. I felt detached from him as a character initially, but was still thoroughly invested in his journey. At first, I felt his relationship with the officer was superficial, based only on Kendras' hero-worship of him. However, as Kendras began to see past the seemingly perfect and stoic facade of the officer, I enjoyed seeing them both shift and change in their roles but still remain loyal and passionate to each other.
Steel was a character to be pitied in the end, if only for his uninhibited desire for Kendras and his poor choices. He started off as an interesting and strong character, only to gradually fade and weaken. Steel lacked leadership and loyalty, qualities that might have earned at least Kendras' respect if not returned feelings. I'm not sure what about Kendras made Steel so focused on having him-well, I suppose Steel saw in Kendras what he could never be himself. I started out liking him, but as his characterization and actions grew weaker, began to see why the officer was a more suitable match.