Review: A Pilgrimage of Swords by Anthony Ryan

Rating: ★★★★☆


It is two hundred years since the deity known as the Absolved went mad and destroyed the Kingdom of Alnachim, transforming it into the Execration, a blasted wasteland filled with nameless terrors. For decades, desperate souls have made pilgrimage to the centre of this cursed land to seek the Mad God’s favour, their fate always unknown. 

Now a veteran warrior known only as Pilgrim, armed with a fabled blade inhabited by the soul of a taunting demon, must join with six others to make the last journey to the heart of the Execration. Allied with a youthful priest, a beast-charmer, a duplicitous scholar, an effete actor and two exiled lovers, Pilgrim must survive madness, malevolent spirits, unnatural monsters and the ever-present risk of treachery, all so that the Mad God might hear his prayer and, perhaps, grant redemption. But can sins such as his ever be forgiven?


Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A mysterious warrior carrying a sword imbued with a demon, a beast charmer, a priest, a scholar, an actor, a wife, and a husband go on a journey across a place called “The Execration” to make their petitions to a Mad God. What could go wrong?

Anthony Ryan’s first in a series of novellas was a fast paced, edgy journey that by the end I didnt want to stop reading. Getting to know the world through the eyes and discussions of the characters as they crossed the Execration was one of my favorite parts of the story.

Our characters were all unique and fun to get to know. Pilgrim had the most depth and back story and therefore the best arc of any of the characters. I really enjoyed him. Seeker and Player were also well done and very intriguing.

What an ending! I was debating between 3 and 4 stars for this one and the ending solidified it at 4 stars and made me want more of this world and these characters. Pilgrimage of Swords is definitely worth a read!

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