I wanted to make it a point to review more ARCs this year (as an unofficial goal), and the fact that I now own a kindle is making that a lot easier for me! So today I get to share my review for The Bard’s Blade by Brian D Anderson!
The Bard’s Blade
by Brian D Anderson
Series: The Sorcerer’s Song #1
Release date: January 28th 2020
Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Mariyah enjoys a simple life in Vylari, a land magically sealed off from the outside world, where fear and hatred are all but unknown. There she’s a renowned wine maker and her betrothed, Lem, is a musician of rare talent. Their destiny has never been in question. Whatever life brings, they will face it together.
But destiny has a way of choosing its own path, and when a stranger crosses the wards into Vylari for the first time in centuries, the two are faced with a terrible prophecy. For beyond the borders, an ancient evil is returning, its age-old prison shattered.
The two must leave their home behind, and in doing so will face sorcerers and thieves, con-men and assassins, treachery and greed. How far down this path will they have to go to stop the rising darkness and save their home? And how much of themselves will they have to give up along the way?
Thank you so much to the author and the publisher for this ARC! All thoughts here are my own.
I had high hopes for this book after seeing so many promising early reviews, so when I was approved for an ARC copy of this book I was thrilled! Sadly this book wasn’t the 5 star read that I had hoped it would be for me, and at times I had to really push myself to continue reading. There were a lot of things that were hit or miss for me, and even just a few days after finishing it I’m struggling to find the words to really say what about this book I did and didn’t like.
I really enjoyed learning about this world and how it worked, but because both Lem and Mariyah are new to the world they are in it isn’t very clear what is going on and who is who, which for most people isn’t a problem, but I’m one of those people who doesn’t mind info-dumps and long descriptions, so I felt like it was a little lacking in this book but I understand the reason for that. I’m still quite confused as to the kingdoms and cities throughout this world, even by the end when both our characters are getting a better grasp on the world they live in.
I did like the characters of Lem and Mariyah, but sometimes I felt like their actions were a little strange when you consider what they’ve been through and where they come from. For example (without giving away spoilers), where Mariyah ends up and what she is learning by the end of the book was a little surprising because she didn’t really fight it as much as I would’ve thought she would, and same thing with Lem and what he has to do to survive.
I also appreciated the writing style, which was simplistic and made this book so easy to read. I usually tend to like books that have a more straightforward writing style, and that definitely describes this book and I think that it helped with the story. I would say that this book is more character driven, which could also be a reason I wasn’t connecting with the story. I like when there’s a lot of action and things happening, versus all character development with less focus on the plot. Towards the end of this book the plot did definitely picked up a lot and I became much more invested in the story.
What really stood out to me as being something that I wanted to learn more about and would read the next book for is the religious groups and how that plays a role in this world, which for me is surprising because I usually don’t like books that have an overzealous religion in it. I’m thinking that we will learn more about this aspect of this world in the next book, considering where we left off in this first book.
Overall, for me this was an okay book but I think if you are looking for an easy to read, light fantasy novel that focuses on the characters, then this could be for you! This does read more like a YA novel than an adult novel so keep that in mind as well. I think that I would be interested in seeing where this story goes in the next book!