- Series: The Sword Chronicles
- Paperback: 610 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1519672942
- ISBN-13: 978-1519672940
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,946,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sword Chronicles: Child of the Empire (Volume 1) Paperback – December 4, 2015
"Epic fantasy meets superheroes, with lots of action and great characters. The Sword Chronicles is dark yet hopeful, and very entertaining. Collings is a great storyteller." - Larry Correia, New York Times bestselling author of Monster Hunter International and Son of the Black Sword
"... intense... one slice of action after another... a great book and what looks to be an interesting start of a series that could be amazing." - Game Industry News
About the Author
Michaelbrent Collings is a #1 bestselling novelist and screenwriter, and has spent years as one of Amazon's Most Popular Horror Writers. His bestsellers include The Colony Saga, Strangers, Darkbound, Apparition, The Haunted, The Loon, and the YA fantasy series The Billy Saga. He hopes someday to develop superpowers, and maybe get a cool robot arm. Michaelbrent has a wife and several kids, all of whom are much better looking than he is (though he admits that's a low bar to set), and much MUCH cooler than he is (also a low bar). He also has a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MichaelbrentCollings and can be followed on Twitter through his username @mbcollings. Sign up at http://eepurl.com/VHuvX for advance notice of MbC's new releases, sales, and freebies. You will also be kept safe when the Glorious Revolution begins! MWA-hahahahaha!
Top customer reviews
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What I loved about the story was the books main character “Sword”. I loved her struggle to understand the circumstances around her and her willingness to try and do the right thing even if it cost her. I also enjoyed Collins’ approach to the story. The main characters had to depth to them. Each flawed for their own reasons and also fighting for their own reasons. For the majority of the characters, it was not a fight of good versus evil but rather a fight of good versus good. Just that one side didn’t have the whole truth to work from. The books primary antagonist, was dark and mysterious for most of the story and I thought the twist that Collins used at the end with that character was good – even if not completely unexpected.
The one thing that keeps this one at a four star rating for me instead of a full five stars is the powers of the blessed/cursed ones. With each of these characters having their own “gift” and each of those “gifts” being different, it was almost like reading a fantasy version of X-Men. Like all of the characters could have just as easily been mutants instead of gifted magic users. I think the story would have been better served to cut down on the number of different abilities of the characters and instead focus a little more on the will and fortitude of the characters themselves. Some of the battles and escapes were made a little too convenient strictly because of the special abilities endowed to the characters in that particular scene.
Aside from that, a very enjoyable book. I’ll certainly read the sequel when it comes out.
The only downside to THAT being, well, when the same thing happened at the end of the second, the third wasn’t ready yet and here I was all spoiled and sulky and stuff. So, hurry it up!
And why had I not gotten around to the first for so long? I confess, it’s because I’ve become something of a persnickety snob, especially about fantasy. The main reason I was willing to give it a shot was because, hey, it’s Michaelbrent; he’s yet to turn out any sort of a dud. I figured I could trust him to at the very least produce a coherent, well-written story.
Then of course he has to go and blow my socks off. These books aren’t so much ‘fantasy’ as they are superheroes-in-a-fantasyesque-setting … they steer clear of many of the usual pitfalls (not overloaded with outrageously unpronounceable names, minimal info-dumps, ecology/economy/social systems that don’t implode under even the most cursory critical eye … oh I could go on and on.
Here, though, I don’t have to. Yeah, maybe there are occasional elements that got my squinty side-eye but all considered, remarkably few. And/or, the story and characters and writing were all so good, I mightn’t have been bothered even if there were.
The first book opens in the Kennels, where orphaned or unwanted slave-children are raised as Dogs, to pit-fight bare-handed in Packs for their very survival. There, we meet our then-nameless heroine, whose world changes the day someone tosses a knife into the pit.
Turns out, she’s one of the rare people gifted with unusual abilities. In her case, it’s a knack with melee weapons, and it’s enough to mark her as a Blessed One, the land’s most privileged and elite. But, like many gifts, there’s a catch. She – now known as Sword – and her fellow Blessed Ones are expected to serve as the Emperor’s personal private strike force.
Not a bad gig. She makes friends, she finds a family of sorts, it’s a new life beyond her wildest dreams. Until Sword begins to have doubts. Not all of the Blessed Ones seem so benign. And then there’s the so-called Cursed Ones, their opposite number, who aren’t just boogeymen out of childrens’ stories.
It all presents Sword with a pretty big problem. After all, as has been said, with great power, etcetera etcetera. Her decisions will ultimately affect far more than just herself. The fate of an entire Empire will hang in the balance, and I can hardly wait to see what happens next!