The Mortal Blade book review
The Mortal Blade is one of those book that, while well written, didn’t impart a strong impression on me. The writing is solid, most of the main characters well constructed, and the pacing is quick but steady. Its setting is a more standard sword and sorcery fantasy, which I was ready for after a selection of rather dark gunpowder fantasy from this year’s SFPBO.
The story is primarily character-driven plot, with the overarching plot being only distantly present through the majority of the narrative and separate from our main characters until the climax of the book. The character narratives are a mixed bag; some lack concrete objectives while being complex with strong emotional pallets and internal conflicts, while one had a clear objective while being difficult to like or root for that objective. Of the characters, I liked Aila the best as the first part of her narrative effectively combines both objective and emotional investment, but toward the second half of the book she becomes less interesting as the romance and the somewhat generic conflict paired with it takes center stage.
There are several good moments and plot lines throughout the book, from Corthie’s sister subplot, to Maddie and Blackrose’ relationship, and the chapters themselves rarely dragged or failed to entertain me.
The ending was a strong and a surprise (given the tone of the book up until that point) but didn’t really inspire interest in me to continue the series.