The Ragged Blade Review

The Ragged Blade Review | Christopher Ruz

Are you looking for an adventure fantasy novel? My The Ragged Blade review explores my thoughts on feelings on this book. It had a great premise, but something stopped me from completely connecting to the story… not sure if it was the pacing, or the characters, or even the writing. Still, it was an enjoyable book for the most part.

Publisher: Parvus Press LLC | Date: 2019 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: As a young mercenary, Richard followed a mysterious Magician on a quest to steal a treasure from a demon and overthrow a king. The two men started their journey as strangers, became lovers along the way, and ended as master and loyal soldier.

Twenty years later, that kingdom is steadily falling into ruin and Richard has realized that time and power have twisted the Magician into more monster than man – children disappear nightly into his dungeons and the only things that leave are terrible creatures crafted in the shadows.

To save his own daughter, Richard flees into the desert wastes where magic boils beneath the sand and monsters walk the dunes in the shape of men. He will return to the burning heart of the desert and restore the demon’s treasure, or die in the trying.

What Richard doesn’t know is that Ana is the key to the Magician’s plans and he and his favorite monster will lay waste to the world to get her back.

I received The Ragged Blade from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Ragged Blade review

The Ragged Blade Review

It’s always tricky writing reviews for books that didn’t evoke any strong feelings. The Ragged Blade is a solid novel, but it never got my heart racing and I never felt completely gripped. That being said, it did have some strong elements working for it.

Plot

The plot is quite basic: a man is on the run from his ex-lover with his daughter. But said ex-lover is a powerful magician who is hunting them, determined to get them back. But who is the price: Richard, or his daughter, Anna?

The narration is told in two parts: the majority follows Anna and Richard as they flee across wastelands and into hostile environments to escape their pursuer. But interspersed along the way is the past; we get glimpses of the adventure that ultimately leads Richard to this point many years ago: how the magician seduced him, the peril they had to face and hints of the life he’s led in-between.

Characters

Richard is a solid protagonist: he will do whatever it takes to protect his daughter – sacrifice who he must, kill who he must, as long as his little girl is safe. He faces up to mistakes he has made in the past and isn’t above admitting when he’s wrong or acting immorally.

The past helps flesh out Richard’s character. You understand how he was taken in by the magician and it offers great character development from the naïve boy he was then compared to the protective father he is now.

But I found it hard to connect with him. There’s no flaw I can put my finger on, I just wasn’t as emotionally invested in these characters as I’d like to be. They’ve all been through a lot and yet I never felt their emotions in the way I wanted to.

“She thinks of nothing but today because today is all she owns. I see it in her eyes. Are you the same?”

The Ragged Blade by Christopher Ruz

Pacing

As with any book where there is a lot of travelling, it felt slow-paced. There are fights and flights scattered throughout: escaping the magician’s pet monster, uncovering a priest as a liar that break it up, but the characters never feel as if they are in true danger – you know somehow they are going to get out of it.

It was also never clear the difference between magic and chemistry – and which character had the power to do what. It needed more clarity at times to help readers understand the rules of the world.

Without any spoilers, I liked the ending. Considering the power of the magician and the hold he has on Richard’s head and heart; I wasn’t sure how events were going to come to a close. It was a plausible ending, leaving enough questions that I’m considering the second book to see if it gives more answers.

Final Thoughts

I still have questions. There are still things I want to know that weren’t covered. I’d continue reading but not have my hopes up to be blown away. Sometimes you don’t need a book that makes your heart race, but it did feel something was lacking here and I’m not sure what.

Is this your kind of book? Have you read The Ragged Blade?

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26 thoughts on “The Ragged Blade Review | Christopher Ruz

  1. Ahh, this is one of those books. Didn’t love them but didn’t hate them as well – in short, no string feelings. Good review. 🙂 Hope your next read will be great.

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  2. Great review. Such a shame you didn’t connect with the characters. The pace is also so important to keep you in there, isn’t it?!

    Lots of love, Helen x
    ttps://www.whathelenloves.com

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  3. Ooooh I love a good fantasy novel! It is a shame that it didn’t evoke any strong emotions but I’m glad it was a pleasant read all of the same. I haven’t read any fantasy novels because I tend to get so gripped that I abandon everything else so maybe this is a good book for me…

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  4. Aww! This plot started to sound really good with the LGBTQ+ but then it warped! Sorry that you weren’t as gripped as you hoped.

    Daisy xoxo

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