Title: The Bard’s Blade
Author: Brian D. Anderson
Genre: Fantasy- Adult
Release Date: January 28th, 2020
Publisher: Tor Books
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?
I want to start out by saying that this book was a strong first entry into a series. It kept my attention and was fast paced. The first thing that really stood out to me was how simplistic the writing style, and not in a bad way. It was an easy story to follow and get immersed in. This is one of those books that reminds me what I love about reading fantasy and what it is to me. This was a read full of entertainment and escapism for me and it was exactly what I needed right now. It did not try too hard to be something it wasn’t. It is just an all around solid first entry into a fun fantasy story.
I fell in love with the character of Mariyah from the first moment we meet her. She is the perfect mix of a lovesick young woman, as well as a strong and independent woman. I feel like she is one of the most relateable and well written female characters I have read in quite some time. I also really enjoyed Lem. Although he does some horrible things, we can understand why he did them and his bad choices never made me love him any less.
My overall feelings for this story have changes a million times, there were points in the story I was sure it was a 5 star book, there was a time after I read it where I rated it a 3 stars. The more time I put between me and this book the more it has stuck with me and the more I am realizing that I really enjoyed the experience I had reading this story. It is definitely a solid 4 star read for me. I think really the only thing holding me back from giving it that last star is that I wish it was longer. The whole time that you are reading this story there is this sense of looming doom and in this first entry we never really get any explanation of development of this. I think there is so much to happen in this story and the first book felt so much like the tiniest introduction.
Overall I am excited to continue on with book 2 when it is released later on in 2020.
*Thank you Tor Books and Brian D. Anderson for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review*