Book Review: Seven Blades In Black by Sam Sykes

Publishing Date: April 2019

Publisher: Orbit

ISBN: 9780316363433

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.4/5

Publisher’s Description: Betrayed by those she trusts most and her magic ripped from her, all Sal the Cacophony has left is her name, her story, and the weapon she used to carve both. But she has a will stronger than magic, and knows exactly where to go.
The Scar, a land torn between powerful empires, where rogue mages go to disappear, disgraced soldiers go to die and Sal went with a blade, a gun, and a list of seven names.
Revenge will be its own reward.

Review: This novel follows the revenge trail of Sal from an emotional and narcissistic /self-deprecating view of the world. Her emotions rule her actions to the detriment of others without recourse. Sal is in a constant state of moving through, and creating, catastrophic situations while knowing that the outcomes will be disastrous to friend and foe. The problem with this world view is that it is not believable. To be that aware of yourself and the motivations of others and act without regard, is really steeped in stupidity, and Sal was not written as a stupid person. Quite the opposite. She is obstinate for sure, but not lacking in deductive skills. The question is, can revenge really drive a novel to a conclusive and satisfactory endpoint?

This novel has some spectacular world building and well developed supporting characters. There are some progression issues with the novel, namely how the author forgets to load Cacophony within a scene, to name a few.  What I really enjoyed was Sal’s dynamic perspective that was at once myopic and self-aware. This is also a very long novel that I never tired of. Sal can go on for quite a bit with self-recriminatory drivel, but does not veer too far off the path.

The only big disappointment for me is that Sal was not gifted a return of the “reddish cloud”. So gird your loins as there is a sequel in store.

One thought on “Book Review: Seven Blades In Black by Sam Sykes

  1. Not reading your review because I have an ARC of this one and want to go in fresh, but I will come back after I’ve read it.

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