Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Swordheart by T. Kingfisher: review

5/5 stars on Goodreads

Swordheart by T. Kingfisher

Swordheart is another wonderful fantasy romance by T. Kingfisher, set in her World of the White Rat between Clockataur War and The Saint of Steel books. Paladins and a gnole are featured, as well as the Vagrant Hills and the great people of the White Rat.

Halla has, to her utter surprise, inherited her late husband’s late great-uncle Silas, of whom she’s been taking care for years. His family doesn’t approve, and they lock her in her room until she agrees to marry Cousin Alvar to get the money. He has clammy hands and is very disagreeable too, not to mention her horrible mother, so she’d rather die. The problem is, she doesn’t quite know how to throw herself into a sword. Less so, when a man appears from it when she draws it.

Sarkis is a mercenary from centuries past who has been cursed into a sword, not quite dead but not truly living either, to obey and protect whoever draws the sword. That it turns out to be Halla is somewhat bemusing to him, but since she clearly needs help, he’s there to provide.

Together they flee the house and through the country to plea her case at the temple of the White Rat. It turns out to be a surprising and LONG journey up and down the same road. I’m not entirely sure the book needed all the twists and turns thrown at the pair, a much shorter book would’ve sufficed, but they were entertaining and there was never a dull moment in the book.

And of course, there’s romance. But how is one to romance an ancient sword who might disappear in the blink of an eye? Especially when one is not very experienced in the romance department, despite being a widow.

This was a great book. Both Sarkis and Halla were wonderful, mature characters and they suited each other surprisingly well, despite being the opposites of each other. Brindle the gnole was delightful and Zale the lawyer of the White Rat a good addition to the story. Villains were villainous, though I’m not sure what purpose the priests of the Hanged Mother served other than slowing down the story. They don’t even show up in the latter series.

There’s a promise of two more books in this series, and I wish they existed. But as this one is four years old already, and the author has written several other books since without returning to the swords, I’m not entirely hopeful. I’ll read them though, if they are ever written.

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