Let me start my review with a brief detour to the list of the most awesome fantasy swords. Excalibur
from Arthurian legends.Stormbringer
from Elric saga by Michael Moorcock. Dragnipur
from Malazan series by Steven Erikson.Callandor
from Wheel of Time epic by Robert Jordan.Lightsaber
from Star Wars movies.Masamune
from Japanese folklore.Gurthang
from Silmarillion classic by J.R.R. Tolkien.
For people unfamiliar with the book let me introduce you to Nightblood: it is a sword which can hold pretty well on its own against any one of the above. It also happened to be one of the best characters in the novel.
Two kingdoms have an uneasy truth between them, but some forces within one of them make everything in their power to start an all-out war. The only hope for peace the other kingdom has? Two sisters with one of them mixed up in the conflict for a good old reason of literally being in the wrong place at the wrong time and another one being misguided into helping the first.
I am afraid I finally began sounding like a broken record, but avoid reading the book blurb as this one gives huge spoiler right in line 3
. Was it really necessary?
I already mentioned Nightblood being one of the best characters as a novel's strength. In also has a very interesting view on religion in general. Some of the characters have really good sense of humor which makes even boring parts less boring. I do not need to mention interesting world and magic system: it is Brandon Sanderson we are talking about.
Coming to the novel's weaknesses I already mentioned one: Nightblood is one of the best characters. If the sword is the best character, what does it make actual people of the story? Boring, that is what. Take humor from Lightsong; you will end up with a character who does not do anything at all until the end of the novel. Exciting, is not it? Vivenna is equally boring and she does not even have Lightsong's humor to boot. To be fair she does become interesting in the very last part of the book.
Brandon Snaderson is an undisputed master of one-on-one combat scenes. Look at the first book of Mistborn trilogy or that of Reckoners series as a proof. This time he does not use his strength as such scenes only appear during the last 20 pages or so.
What really saves this book from mediocre rating is a series of plot twist in the end - one of which is casually spoiled in the blurb as I mentioned.
My final verdict: decent book with some interesting ideas and discussions, but lower that the usual author's standards; 3.5 stars