Series: Tower and Knife Trilogy #2
Published on November 13, 2012
Published by Night Shade Books
Format: eBook, 365 pages
Goodreads • Amazon • Book Depository
First sentence: Aldryth looked out over the sands of Cerana.
I read The Emperor’s Knife last week. If you have read my review, you probably noticed that although some concepts and ideas were very original, when you calculate all the flaws the book was just an average read to me.
So I tentatively started reading Knife Sworn. After all this book would be a deal-breaker to me, it will decide if I will continue to read Tower and Knife trilogy or give up.
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the Knife Sworn. It’s surprising to see how much Mazarkis Williams‘s style matured and improved in a year. While I was reading, I felt like he read my review and worked on all the things that really bothered me in The Emperor’s Knife. Of course, that is not possible, except if he does not own time traveling machine. 🙂
All the good things from The Emperor’s Knife are still here in Knife Sworn: character driven story and show don’t tell principle of writing. But switches between different points of view are not so sudden anymore. There is less tension because of a chapter per character concept, but I feel it was worth it because the story flow feels much smoother now.
Whose point of view we now have, since half of them were killed in the first book?
- Sarmin is the main storyteller of course. He is now the emperor and he tries to apply all those ideals of peace to his country. To spice up the things and give us some different perspectives and views of events, we also have Grada, Nessaket, and Rushes (a servant girl).
- You all for sure remember Grada. I complained how I simply could not understand insta-love between Sarmin and her. I hoped that listening to the story from her point of view would help, but I still don’t understand and do not like her very much.
- Nessaket, on the other hand, was a real surprise. We get to know what drives her actions and I think that you could never look at her and think of her as power-grabbing stops-at-nothing b…h again. Mazarkis Williams really managed to breathe a soul to her character.
Knife Sworn touches some interesting subjects. It shows us that seizing and getting control of the empire is the easy part. Healing & ruling it fairly are the hard ones. What will Sarmin do, when the best advice he gets is: “You should find a new place, Sarmin emperor. This one is undone.”
“How a man who could not rule himself might speak for a nation and heal the emptiness that threatened to consume them all?”
Read the book to find out. 😉
Knife Sworn does not end in a real cliffhanger but there are a lot of revelations and new decisions in the end that I can’t wait for the next book to be released. I need to find out what will happen next!
I recommend this book to lovers of high fantasy or fantasy in middle-eastern setting.