Book Review: Redemption’s Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Redemption's Blade 1

Synopsis: Ten years ago, the renegade demigod known as the Kinslayer returned. His armies of monsters issued from the pits of the earth, spearheaded by his brutal Yorughan soldiers. He won every battle, leaving burnt earth and corruption behind. Thrones toppled and cities fell as he drove all before him. And then he died. A handful of lucky heroes and some traitors amongst his own, and the great Kinslayer was no more.

Celestaine was one such hero and now she has tasked herself to correct the worst excesses of the Kinslayer and bring light back to her torn-up world. With two Yorughan companions she faces fanatics, war criminals and the monsters and minions the Kinslayer left behind as the fragile alliances of the war break down into feuding, greed and mistrust.

The Kinslayer may be gone, but he cast a long shadow she may never truly escape.

Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky

Title: Redemption’s Blade

Publisher: Rebellion

Date: 2018

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The synopsis of Redemption’s Blade caught my eye on Netgalley. I’m on the lookout for new fantasy authors and thought I would give it a go.

Technically, I enjoyed this book. There were clearly defined characters, complicated relationships that made the interaction interesting, a developed fantastical world with some magic and gods thrown in to keep it entertaining. I thought the writing style was strong and the dialogue realistic.

The plot drew my attention: this isn’t a story about the battle against evil. It’s about what happens after that and how people are supposed to deal with peace and avoid prejudice against those who used to be the enemy. Personally, I’m not sure I’ve come across anything that takes that view before. It felt like the forgotten piece of fantasy: what happens once the impossible odds have been defeated and I enjoyed it.

For some reason, however, this book lacked a spark for me. I liked the characters, I could connect with them, but I never developed strong feelings for them. I didn’t have any strong thoughts either way about the situations they got themselves into, or hold my breath waiting to see how they would get out of them.

“Heroes and monsters. Woman, how do you end up friends of your enemies and enemies of your friends so much?”

Celestaine is the main protagonist, a war hero who doesn’t know what to do with herself now the war is over. She’s determined to help those who have suffered in the war, but soon realises she is still seeking glory rather than a genuine desire to help.

She travels with creatures not entirely human. Nedlam and Heno are Yoggs, creatures that used to serve the enemy through no choice of their own. Amkulyah used to have wings and made me think of an elf. Ralas is human, but cursed to never die, regardless of what injuries befall him. Catt and Fisher are certainly not what they seem.

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Perhaps one reason why I couldn’t connect with the book was because it took me a little while to figure out the world. The reader is thrust straight into the post-war fantasy world, which is fine. But there are a lot of terms, creatures and references thrown around in the initial chapters that came across a little too strong in order to figure out what was going on. Rather than connecting with the characters, I spent the first few chapters figuring out the world and by then, they were off on an adventure while I scrambled to work out their motives.

The dialogue was realistic throughout though, and on more than one occasion made me laugh. Once you get your head around the world, it is complex and thorough, with a sprawling landscape and more magical creatures that I can remember.

This was a good book – it passed the time on the commute and I enjoyed it. But it didn’t get my heart racing and I could easily put it down. That could just be me: has anyone else read this and got an opinion? I would love to know what you thought.

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: Redemption’s Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky

  1. I don’t tend to go for many Fantasy books. I love that there is a female protagonist though. I love a book that makes me laugh. Whilst this does sound interesting and I do like creatures and monsters. I don’t think it is a book I will buy full price, I would pick it up in a charity shop though however! This has been a really good book review!! x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never read a fantasy book before as I always think they will be too complicated. I think I’d struggle to figure out the world too if it is complex with lots going on. Although it sounds like a great way to escape from reality for a bit and go on an adventure! Thank you for sharing Lindsey, such a well written and detailed review 💖 xx

    Bexa |

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you! If they are written well, it shouldn’t be hard to accept the world, but it’s when they are not quite right it can be hard work for certain! Definitely a fun adventure though!

      Liked by 1 person

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