Blackstone weaves the characters’ complex journeys into a broad view of the hunt for soulblades and the consequences that arise when they are found. The novel is ostensibly titled after Tyr, who opens the story with his quest to find a soulblade and be knighted, but all the central characters wind up as bladeseekers in a way, and the interlocking effects of their actions strengthen the overall narrative. Most compelling is the unnamed character whose backstory and character development unfold slowly, and the many unanswered questions about her will leave readers craving the next installment.
The story is dark at times, especially with some of the battle deaths. The setting is vividly rendered with crisp depictions of bold landscapes and dangerous weather. Readers will glimpse each character’s motivation and loyalties through the articulation of their internal thoughts and conflicts, with unexpected players generating the biggest impact in the end. Blackstone succeeds in fully fleshing out characters and building a sinister world of magic with dire consequences. Full of combat, quests, and soul-searching, this thoughtful fantasy asks readers to question both history and destiny.
Takeaway: This action-packed and thoughtful fantasy quest story will enchant readers with its charming characters and surprising revelations.
Great for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, Rick Riordan.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A