Kaell is a swordsman bonded to the ancient gods and can fight for them alone. Bonded warriors are doomed to die young as they are trained to fight the monstrous, blood-sucking ghouls.
But Kaell doesn’t fear for his life.
All he wants is his Lord’s love. However, Lord Vraymorg is unwilling to acknowledge his feelings towards Kaell for love means pain. But Kaell is also the “19th Bladesman” prophesied to bring down a banished God.
When this foul god escapes from his prison, what havoc shall he wreak? Can Kaell thwart him? Because “if Kaell breaks, the kingdom breaks with him”. The 19th Bladesman, the first book in the Shadow Sword series, by S. J. Hartland is a remarkable fantasy novel.
S. J. Hartland has created a magnificent world in this epic fantasy tome.
S. J. Hartland has created a magnificent world in The 19th Bladesman, an epic fantasy tome.Tweet
However, don’t let the book’s length deter you from picking it up. The captivating storyline ensured that I made short work of it in a week.
Due to fantastic worldbuilding aided by a delicate balance between showing and telling and a brisk pace, I was completely immersed in The 19th Bladesman.
All the characters, right from the protagonist to even the ordinary soldier, are engaging and memorable. Everyone’s motives for their actions are intriguing whether you agree with them or not. Every character has depth, and almost all are gray. Seemingly ethical ones do treacherous acts in the name of duty, while the villains perform kind deeds which tug at your heart.
Further, the action scenes are splendid. I could visualize every parry and hear every clank of the clashing swords. Twists abound in this novel; the plot thickens with every page, but I found no difficulty in following it.
The multiple points of view enrich this novel by showcasing the thoughts of every major player in Hartland’s world. The first book, with an unexpected ending, allows only a glimpse into this complex world, and I am already eager for more. The Shadow Sword series is a welcome new addition to the fantasy genre, and I recommend it to every fantasy fan.
Get the book on Amazon.
I reviewed this book for Readers’ Favorite and received a nominal fee. This in no way affects my opinion about this book. I opted to post the review on my blog.
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