Review: City of Blades
Oh man. I should really not have scheduled a book review on the same day I'm trying to marry the love of my life. Lessons learned.
These novels by Robert Bennet tread tremulous ground. Stories of a imperial force occupying native lands because they had literally killed their Gods. And of course the natives are Viking like and the imperials are an Indian analog.
This isn't the first entry in the series and Bennet has alsready shown he has a deft hand with these sensitive topics, while still being able to weave in deeper character and personal themes.
In this entry in the series the novel is focused more on the military characters of the previous novels and how they try to adapt the new peace created from the end of the first novel, and the impending conflict shown in the first few pages of the novel.
Who fights who and why. When is you enemy no longer your enemy. When is the conquered nation an ally and not a slave. These are big questions, for both sides of the novel, but the handling is done at the personal character level.
The heart of the novel is in its characters and it's easy to slide past the big messages of the novel and float in a great story and passionate dialogue. It's easy to enjoy these stories but if you aren't a lover of fantasy you might hit the wall when the miracles and fantastic creatures start appearing.
There's also a fair amount of gore and violent action though I wouldn't put this in the range of Grimdark as the book stays optimistic for the most part, and the hope of the main characters, old and new, are what drew me through the thickening plot.
City of Blades gets four out of five stars.