The Swords of Blood and Gold is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy, mystery, and thriller subgenres. It is intended for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author JCR Paulino. This stunning debut novel combines the historical treasure hunting atmosphere of Indiana Jones with a tense modern murder plot. We meet the protagonist and deep-sea diver Jon Sherman when he’s thrown into a world with supernatural killers and a dangerous weapon that could bring death to countless others. As Jon discovers his purpose and hidden potential in a world he never even knew existed, the adventure develops into a thrilling and emotive tale of treasure, love, loss, and impending doom.
This debut novel offers a lot for fantasy fans to sink their teeth into and such promise for whatever comes next from author JCR Paulino. I particularly enjoyed the pacing of the plot and the unraveling mystery, and how it was balanced with our protagonist and his total lack of knowledge at the opening of the tale. Jon’s fish-out-of-water cross-cultural experience is expertly pitched to celebrate the mystique of Chinese legend without making a gimmick out of it. The investigative journey settles the story into a believable kind of magical realism that makes it all the more exciting when the action heats up. I also felt that the development of the whole cast of characters was dealt with in great detail and using engaging original dialogue. Overall, The Swords of Blood and Gold is a superb work of fantasy fiction with action, adventure, and atmosphere on every single page.
From the very start, this book had me hooked. I was completely enthralled, drawn into the pages as vibrant characters and passion filled the pages in a gripping and intense plot. The Swords of Blood and Gold went from a genre I don’t read often straight to my recommended reading list, and I never recommend a book lightly. I loved the immersive storytelling; you’re not only whisked away on a terrifying ride of justice, love, loss, and hardship but on an epic and mystical adventure that keeps you glued to the pages. It’s the kind of book you want to read in a single sitting, JCR Paulino has a way of weaving a scene, growing the characters, and ensuring the reader is fully invested. The meeting of worlds, past and present, through fables and the supernatural was brilliant as a threat forged in ancient times endangers the lives of everyone Jon cares for. You share the grief and loss, celebrate the victories, and when the book ends, you have to take a moment to appreciate the magnificence of what you’ve just read. I’ll certainly be looking out for more books from this author.