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Nightblade: A Book of Underrealm (The Nightblade Epic 1) Paperback – June 23, 2016
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Top Customer Reviews
The Nightblade series follows the namesake, who regularly goes by the name Loren of the family Nelda. Who is the best. She's so wonderfully rounded, a balance of clever and naive, and the series watches her learn more and become more purposed in her actions. At first she's just sorta flailing about and her best moments are when she's pressed for quick decisions. The world is deep, and you get to experience just how far it reaches as Loren learns about it herself. There's a good mix of action with sneaking about, so no one would get too bored with any part of the story. The fifth book, Weremage, is the weakest entry in the series, but even that one is still pretty dang good.
Plus there's a lil' representation for everyone. It's awesome.
The magic seems like it'll be good but so far it's not defined at all. Wizards are apparently outlawed but there is at least one 'mystic' which appears to be highly regarded. Not sure if the next book(s) will define the magic system more (I hope so as I personally enjoy well defined magic systems rather than just 'they wave their hands and it works')
ok amount of action, some of which happens kind of around the main pov character rather than to her, or with her.
Good enough book that i'll pick up the next one to see how it goes.
Loren of family Nelda lives near the forest and hates the life she has. When she aids a man on the run in the forest, she uses it as an opportunity to escape her village. She flails about when abandoned, and is drawn to shady characters that at least get her to the main town. Unfortunately, she blunders into one disaster after another and has to fight her way out of bad situations in order to retrieve the mysterious knife she calls Nightblade. Others know what it means, even if she doesn't, and she is going to be caught in a much larger story.
The language used in the book is a bit difficult to get into. It's a mix of modern descriptions and archaic-sounding phrasing that is likely meant to make you feel like this is a Medieval-esque type of fantasy world. There is magic in this world, which is generally understated, as well as black market dealings and shady guilds. Once we get to the city, the book really seems to get its bearings. Maybe the language feels less stilted and awkward at that point, or I've gotten used to it. The action sequences are well described, and I wanted to laugh in several spots when Loren just plays along with other characters as if she knows what they're talking about when clearly she has no idea what's going on.
It very much plays out like someone's RPG campaign so some of the tropes used will be very familiar. This is the start of a trilogy but has a neat enough ending that you can stop here if you're not overly fond of the characters. They aren't necessarily heroes doing heroic things, but they're not evil and there's a massive story that Loren has fallen into. The world building is excellent, even if some of the characters themselves fall a little flat.
The quest begins quickly and progresses through various obstacles slowly enough for the reader to follow them and quickly enough to keep the reader engaged and wanting more. I am eagerly awaiting reading more in this world. The author has me completely invested in learning what happens next to all five of the characters that we will continue to see in the continuation of Loren's story.