My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Review: The Fireborne Blade

The Fireborne Blade The Fireborne Blade by Charlotte Bond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This novella didn’t quite work for me. To begin with, each of the nearly two dozen chapters of 170 some odd pages means that each was painfully short and the PoV changes fairly rapid. Not a fan. Add to that the six (6) info dump chapters presented as parts of a reference called “The Demise and Demesne of Dragons” that was used to wedge in most of the world-building and the four (4) flashback chapters that are needed to give the plot twist its punch, and you are left with a short story that simply tries to do too much in very little space … which is a shame, because what world building there was I found interesting for the most part. To be fair … a lot of readers might actually see this as a plus. At any rate, what is left is not enough to actually develop the characters, especially given that my initial reaction to all them was fairly strong dislike … so we are left with trope based caricatures that make the whole work feel like RPGLit (Not my favorite genre). I can’t help but wonder if this would have been better as a full length novel … the pieces are all there, just left undeveloped.

The basic story is a knight on a quest to retrieve a magic sword from a dragon (killing said dragon in the process). From the interwoven encyclopedia the reader is left with the impression that this is a fairly common pastime for knights, if quite dangerous. In this particular case, the knight is a woman who apparently disgraced herself over some imagined slight and thinks this legendary sword will return her into the good graces of the king … not exactly sure how that is supposed to work, but then again, I don’t really understand the whole motivation of the knight here to begin with … it comes across and a super contrived and poorly constructed plot device. Of course … every knight has a squire, even disgraced knights … but this squire is a tad off from the beginning, so it should come as no surprise this because an important factor at the end … which frankly seemed a bit rushed and deus ex machina to be honest (might have avoided that with more room to build up the final conflict, but then again, maybe not). There are some stylistic choices that didn’t seem consistent to me as well, and that detracted from the over all quality of the book, making seem like a debut story …

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheFireborneBlade #NetGalley

View all my reviews

No comments:

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.