Blade of Dream by Daniel Abraham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Previous Review of Age of Ash
This is the second of the series about the City of Kithamar … and the exquisite world-building continues here revealing even more of the dark tapestry of intrigue and hidden horrors … and I loved this as much as the first book. It had been awhile since I had read the first book and I foundered a bit until it became clear that this was the same story told from a different perspective (and did not continue from where the first book left off). Despite being roughing the same story, these books need to be read in order and preferably back to back as I did not have such a clear memory of everything after the long delay between the two. This means that some of the book felt oddly familiar with just a few minor details added making the first half of the book a very slow start, even after I got my bearings within the over all story. Fortunately the second half picks up speed making it more difficult to put down.
This story focuses and Garreth Left, merchant scion come city watch (bluecoat) and Elaine a Sal, heir to city throne … as the star crossed lovers try and make the best of what they have, neither being truly free to do what they want. In many ways, this was a more traditional story than the first and I enjoyed the relationship between the two protagonists more as a result. Beyond that, the supporting characters were also fantastic and generally unique and each played important roles as the story of the “Thread of Kithamar” unfolds to reveal the malevolent “hunger” born from the passions of the city inhabitants. In fact, it was the idea that the gods are created and sustained by how we live and behave that I found particularly interesting … especially how these gods grow or diminish in power and the hints about how they in turn control and influence those who gave birth to them. So while there was a very satisfying ending … the story is obviously not complete (so we wait on the 3rd of the trilogy where I once again assume it shall pick up where the other two left off … the Prince is Dead … long live the Prince).
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
#BladeOfDream #Kithamar #NetGalley
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My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.