Blades of Magic: Crown Service, Book 1 (Unabridged)
by Terah Edun
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Blades of Magic by Terah Edun is a rich epic fantasy perfect for fans of The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Mistborn. It is not a peaceful time in the Algardis Empire. War is raging between the mages and seventeen-year-old Sara Fairchild will be right in the middle of it. She just doesn't know it yet. Sara is the daughter of a disgraced imperial commander, executed for desertion. Sara is also the best duelist and hand-to-hand combatant in Sandrin. She lives quietly with her family's shame but when challenged about her family's honor, her opponent inevitably loses. On the night she finds out her father's true last actions, she takes the Mercenary Guilds' vows to serve in the emperor's army. Using her quick wits and fierce fighting skills, she earns a spot in the first division. There she discovers secrets the mages on both sides would prefer stay hidden. Dark enemies hunt her and soon it's not just Sara questioning the motivation behind this war. While fighting mages, blackmailing merchants and discovering new friends, Sara comes across something she's never had before - passion. The question is - can she fight for her empress against a mage who might unwittingly claim her heart? This is year one of the Initiate Wars. Sara is hoping it doesn't become the year she dies. On the night she finds out her father's true last actions, she takes the Mercenary Guilds' vows to serve in the emperor's army. Using her quick wits and fierce fighting skills, she earns a spot in the first division. There she discovers secrets the mages on both sides would prefer stay hidden. Dark enemies hunt her and soon it's not just Sara questioning the motivation behind this war.
a lot of potential that it didn’t live up to
Blades of Magic by Terah Edun is the first in a series called Crown Service. Sara is a Fairchild. Her father was a well-known family of battle mages. These are mages with the power to strengthen themselves to improve their abilities. Sara’s father was executed as a traitor and she’s determined to find out why. In the meantime, her family’s standing in the community has fallen and her friends have deserted her. To put food on the table she has to take up a job as a guard for artifacts collected by a dangerous criminal. While on the job, she meets Ezekiel, the artifact curator, and they band together as they attempt to figure out the mystery of why Sara’s father was executed.
This novel was seemingly written in the style of an epic with the main character being invincible and on a quest. However, overall, I felt that the book had a lot of potential that it didn’t live up to. The plot was interesting and there was enough conflict and mystery to drive it forward. Even the broad actions of the characters made sense and were interesting and fun to follow. However, I felt that the world building was lacking. It was hard to get a sense of the characters surroundings and when Sara said certain words like ‘wench’ periodically, it felt out of place most of the time. Sara’s complete disregard for and even relish in killing people with no remorse was difficult to understand and personally off-putting as a young adult novel. Sara also seemed to have no weakness that she admitted to and so she didn’t develop as the novel progressed. The novel ends in a rather abrupt cliff-hanger and there was no closure.
Unfortunately, I felt that the narration by Sylvia Roldn Dohi made the novel worse for me. The voice of Sara was probably supposed to be abrasive, but it came off as pout-y to me and that made me dislike the character even more. The other characters were narrated fine. The production quality was good. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult fiction filled with adventure, violence, and a plot centered on a quest.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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