Blades of the Old Empire
ANGRY ROBOT Ltd
Pub Date: Jan 7 2014
Blades of the Old Empire is a really good fantasy novel with a really bad beginning. I was immediately put off by the first chapter or so. The characters were presented rapid fire during a fight scene and while this is typically a good way to start your novel; in this case it was very badly done. I was found it difficult to care about what was going on because I didn’t know who any of the characters were and while the pseudo-Arabian Knights style is not actually present in the book; the first chapter does the book no favors in this respect.
The actual work is interesting and has some really incredible areas. Mostly dealing with the Majat a sect of warriors who sell their swords through a guild to any who can pay their price. The concept itself seems a bit ridiculous and I will be very interested to see how and if the author fleshes the whole concept out in later books. But what I did like was her use of these characters and their personalities in the book. The main two non-Majat characters Kyth(a prince) and Ellah(a lady in waiting?) Were both pretty stereotypical. The politics in the book were also pretty wrote and typical. The Majat storyline that is interwoven throughout these very typical fantasy tropes is excellent and certainly worth reading the book for. In fact, as the book progress most of the uninteresting, typical things fall mostly to the wayside and the main Majat story takes over. Which is good… But I really would have preferred the author not take so much time to get to their destination.
While I didn’t love the book by any means, there was plenty of good to outweigh the boring and typical. The reader just has to take the time to get there. If you take the time, I’m sure you’ll like the book as much as I did.