Guys. Guuuuuyys. Holy shit, this book. Every now and then you find a book that just…resonates with you, right? This one is one of those, for me. I never know where I’m going to find myself when I get into a new book, but this story sucked me right in. I’m going to try and not make this review an entire page of me babbling incoherent nonsense about how much I loved it, but I really can’t guarantee anything. 😉
Is the Living Blade real or just a legend?
With it… Prince Bashan could win back his kingdom.
Master Telen Diaz can free himself of the burden from his past.
Owen Smith sees a once-in-a-lifetime chance to gain untold knowledge.
… but for Noraya Smith, the Living Blade will bring nothing but suffering and sorrow.
“It was a good thing to say. My lord could mean anything. Good day, for instance. Or, I understand and follow your implied order. I know my place. Or it could just mean fuck you.”
This story follows Nora and her twin brother Owen, who are orphans who were found and taken in by a village blacksmith when they were young. Twins are highly mistrusted in this world, and Nora especially has been having a tough time at home of late, so they’ve run away from their home village and within the day are ambushed by Bashan, a famously exiled prince, and his company of not-so-merry men, including the mysterious half-wight pilgrim Telen Diaz. The prince is on a quest to find the legendary ‘Living Blade’ so that he can take the throne from his half-sister the Empress, per prophecy. Nora and Owen get more or less sucked into going along on this quest.
I love Nora. So. Much. She’s everything I love in a strong female lead. She’s snarky, she swears a lot, she’s brave when she needs to be but not coldly. Not unemotionally so. There was more than one instance in this book where Nora did something not just badass, but unexpectedly badass, leaving me with an ‘oh snap!’ on my lips. Note to self: husband does not like random ‘oh snap!’s in the middle of the night that wake him up. Pssshh, as if it’s my fault. He should be a heavier sleeper, being married to a woman that exclaims shit in the middle of the night and all.
Telen Diaz is also a great character, who does what he thinks is right. He (mostly) follows the code of the pilgrims (which is “Punish the wicked. Protect the innocent. Guide the lost.”). He is there to help Nora though a very difficult situation, but he doesn’t jump in like a dashing rescuer saving the damsel in distress, because Nora isn’t exactly a damsel in distress. He saves her life, only because her life was in danger in such a fashion that saving herself wasn’t an option. Then he teaches her how to fight. The relationship between Diaz and Nora and how it changes throughout the story was really well done. We got to see a bit of this through Diaz’ eyes too, which was cool. I’d love to know what exactly a wight is though, in relation to humans. They are referred to as ‘Lords and Ladies’ a couple of times so I assumed elvish?
Bashan, while not exactly an antagonist, was a good counter to Nora. He’s portrayed exactly in a way that I would expect a prince to act towards a common born woman who has problems with authority figures (however he took this to another level in one or two instances). Nora acts towards him exactly as I would expect a snarky woman who has problems with authority figures to act towards someone who treats her like dirt. The *actual* antagonist is loathable on a level that I can’t actually explain in words. Seriously though. Part 3 of this book was a rollercoaster of feels. One with loops.
In the end, this was one of those books that I loved so much that I got angry when real life interfered with my reading of it. I would have read this thing through in one sitting if I could have. Things that have happened that have prevented me from finishing this book in one sitting:
- Fell asleep and dropped my kindle on my face. (I DON’T NEED SLEEzzzzz yes I do. I definitely do).
- Driving to work ><;
- Had to actually do work at work (UGH, LAAAAME)
- Driving home from work….
- Had to take one of my dogs to the vet (UGH, YOU’RE SO NEEDY, TESLA).
- Husband takes me out for dinner at my favorite restaurant (UGH, I GUESS I’LL GO SINCE THERE ARE ENCHILADAS IN THE DEAL).
- Food coma/fell asleep again (DAMN YOU ENCHILADAS!)
I’ll wrap this up now. It’s getting ridiculous >.>
DAT ENDING THO. Actually, nevermind ending. DAT ENTIRE BOOK 3 OF THIS BOOK THO. FUCK. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?! I need to know what happens now. My feels need to repair a bit. I have all the questions and all the hopes.
More than one twist that was legitimately surprising AF, characters that I love, and others that I love to hate. An interesting world that I’m excited to see more of…. how can I wait until MARCH?!