The start of a new fantasy adventure from Brian D. Anderson, bestselling author of The Godling Chronicles and Dragonvein series.
Mariyah enjoys a simple life in Vylari, a land magically sealed off from the outside world, where fear and hatred are all but unknown. There she’s a renowned wine maker and her betrothed, Lem, is a musician of rare talent. Their destiny has never been in question. Whatever life brings, they will face it together.
But destiny has a way of choosing its own path, and when a stranger crosses the wards into Vylari for the first time in centuries, the two are faced with a terrible prophecy. For beyond the borders, an ancient evil is returning, its age-old prison shattered.
The two must leave their home behind, and in doing so will face sorcerers and thieves, con-men and assassins, treachery and greed. How far down this path will they have to go to stop the rising darkness and save their home? And how much of themselves will they have to give up along the way?
Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of The Bard’s Blade (The Sorcerer’s Song #1) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.
The Bard’s Blade is an immersive, emotionally charged novel full of music, magic, thievery, and betrayal. What it lacks in grandiose battles and hack-n-slashery, it makes up for in engrossing storytelling. This is the perfect novel for those who are continuing to wallow in their six (6) year Kingkiller Chronicle puddle of sorrow; or maybe you read the Witcher books/saw the Netflix series and want more Dandelion. Pick your poison.
What I enjoyed most about Anderson’s newest/upcoming release was how easy it was to become completely engaged with the main characters early on. From the beginning, you are automatically thrown into the land of Vylari and introduced to Mariyah, who becomes one of the two (2) main storylines. Her betrothed, Lem, comes into the picture just a short time later and the story-line progresses rather swiftly from that point on. What is never truly lost is their love and passion for one another, though their distance puts a massive strain on both. There are also several minor characters that play fairly major roles, but I’ll let you come across them in your read-through. I’m also a sucker for chapter intros that include snippets from religious texts. I just find it so fascinating when an author goes out of their way to include a little extra something something to their work.
What I could’ve used more of was a slower pace in the beginning and more insight into the “skills” our protagonists come to learn over the course of the year in which the novel takes place. I felt like there were some things that could’ve been explained/expanded upon that would’ve added more to the story and given the reader a little more insight into the characters’ development, though in no way does the lack of these things detract from your enjoyment. I also felt that there was a bit of repetition happening throughout the mid-point of the story and with some of the character interactions, but I digress.
All in all, while The Bard’s Blade has fairly simplistic prose and a story-line that isn’t too weighty in terms of digestion, it was just so dang hard to put down. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever read a 400+ page book so quickly. Doesn’t that tell you something?