It’s Book Review Wednesday, and I’m bringing to you another mythical creature: a book I give a 5-star rating to! I reviewed another of this author’s books, but I found myself enjoying this one MUCH more…

 

The Sword Chronicles: Child of the Empire

She is a Dog – one of the many children and teens across the empire of Ansborn who have been sentenced to fight in the arenas. There they fight in battle after battle until they die for the sport of the people of Ansborn – an empire built atop the peaks of five mountains.

But one day she picks up a knife… and everything changes.

She discovers she is a Greater Gift – one of a handful of magic users with powers so great they have only two choices: to join the Empire as one of its premier assassins, or die as a threat to the Empire itself.

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She is no longer a Dog. Now, she is Sword. And she will soon realize that in this Empire, not all is what it seems. Good and evil collide, and she can never be sure whom to trust – not even herself.

She holds life in her hands for some. Brings death by her blade to others.

She is a killer.
She is a savior.

She is Sword.

 

My Review: 5 Stars

I’m a fantasy reader through and through, and I love discovering books that bring fantasy worlds to life in new and unique ways. This book does just that!

The world created by the author is original, yet just familiar enough that the reader is immediately at home in the fantasy realm. From politics to religion to economics to human nature, the book treads familiar ground in a new and unique way.

The character of Sword is interesting (if not the most unique), but it’s the people around her that really make the story worth reading. All of her fellow “Blessed/Cursed Ones” have their own individual flavor and personality that I found highly enjoyable.

The plot itself isn’t the most unique, but it still held me captive throughout the book. The writing was top-notch, with no grammar or punctuation mistakes. All in all, it was a book I highly enjoyed, and one I would recommend to all fantasy readers.

My only serious complaint: it’s a standalone and not a series. I would have loved to learn more about the world and characters in the book!

Here’s a Taste:

The second her fingers touched the knife, something happened.

It was something like the times when a shockstick slammed down on her. A thrumming, pounding pulse that ran from the knife to her fingers to her hand and arm. It settled deep in her chest, a fire that would not be quenched.

She remembered, for an instant, her Dream. The Man and the Woman, reaching for her. She felt as though she was loved again.

Then one of the other Pack jumped at her. She moved, unaware of how she was moving, of what she was doing. She was only vaguely conscious of the dirt floor of the arena kicking below her feet, her arm moving so fast she couldn’t see it.

The Dog who had jumped at her continued his jump. Only she wasn’t there, and when he landed he was holding his stomach.

Not holding it. Holding it together.

He stumbled. Fell. Blood ran into the sand.

She spun. Two more Dogs rushed her. Three. They fell as one.

She did not know what she was doing. Her arm was its own master, the knife its own creature, a beast that sought only to drink the blood of her enemies.

Four Dogs down. Then five. Ten.

The last three circled her. No hesitation in spite of all that had just happened, because a good Dog never hesitated. Never thought, just attacked, just killed or died.

They leaped.

They fell.

And she did not have to look to know that all who had stood against her were dead.

It had all happened fast. So fast that the crowd had utterly hushed. Shocked to silence by the impossible ferocity and skill they had just witnessed.

And it had happened so fast that apparently the Riflemen had been stunned to inaction.

But not anymore.

She heard the shot.

She moved.

Something numbed her hand.

Another shot.

Again her hand tingled.

The hush that had spread over the arena somehow intensified.

A single voice whispered into the silence, “Gods’ Charity, she blocked them. She blocked the bullets.”

 

About the Author:

Michaelbrent Collings is an internationally-bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award-nominee, and one of the top indie horror writers in the US. He is also a produced screenwriter and (most important) a father and husband to a great family.

Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sword-Chronicles-Child-Empire-ebook/dp/B018X2H2F2/

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5915037

Read his thoughts on his website: http://michaelbrentcollings.com

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