The Sword Chronicles: Child of the Empire by Michaelbrent Collings
In this action-packed tale of deception and bloodlust, a teenage girl discovers she has a Gift worthy of an Empire.
Title: The Sword Chronicles: Child of the Empire
Author: Michaelbrent Collings
Series: none listed at this time
Publish Date: December 3, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Received from the author in exchange for a review.
Publisher’s Description: She is a Dog – one of the many children and teens across the empire of Ansborn who have been sentenced to fight in the arenas. There they fight in battle after battle until they die for the sport of the people of Ansborn – an empire built atop the peaks of five mountains.
But one day she picks up a knife… and everything changes.
She discovers she is a Greater Gift – one of a handful of magic users with powers so great they have only two choices: to join the Empire as one of its premier assassins, or die as a threat to the Empire itself.
She is no longer a Dog. Now, she is Sword. And she will soon realize that in this Empire, not all is what it seems. Good and evil collide, and she can never be sure whom to trust – not even herself.
She holds life in her hands for some. Brings death by her blade to others.
She is a killer.
She is a savior.
She is Sword.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
I loved the premise of this. When I first read the summary, I immediately thought of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen, so I requested it pretty quickly. The crossing of all the genres is what really drew me in. You’ve got a mixture of D&D type of swordplay and magic, a bit of steampunk weaponry and vehicles, abilities that are a combination of both magic and science, and some Asian flair and politics.
The hard part for me was that I couldn’t relate to the lead character, Sword, as well as I could the others. For the first half of the story, she narrates and although she’s led a tough life, so has pretty much everyone else in the entire book. I was more excited to read the later point of views of characters like Smoke and Rune, whose powers were pretty cool.
There’s an endless stream of abilities ranging from epic weapon prowess to teleportation, a Siren’s call to time travel, even the control of plants, each unique and given a certain name. Some of the names get confusing – like I really still don’t understand what a Push does – but most are pretty understandable.
The thing I didn’t like was that halfway through, it suddenly gets rushed. The plot literally jumps forward, especially towards the end, leaving a LOT of plot holes and secrets that get explained in one or two sentences. Although I admire what the author was trying to do, I wished more time would have been spent on the ending rather than the plot set up at the beginning. I understand the need for world building, but the ending could have used the same amount of care. Also, the editing starts out the same way – great writing and excellent descriptions, but then a third of the way through, a lot of typos show up, which makes me wonder the writer was in a huge hurry to get the story done and focusing on getting it finished instead of making it a really good ending. And I really don’t want to think that…
But I still enjoyed the story nevertheless. Smoke gets points for being my favorite character and I enjoyed the time Sword spent with each “family.” This gets a three from me.
If you like this book…