Source: NetGalley! Many thanks to the publisher as always!
TL;DR: Honestly, if you’re keeping up with this series this is a must read. Stronger than the third for sure.
Plot: Very interesting, tense, and keeps you reading
Characters: I wish we had more of a few of our established characters, but our newest addition to the ‘party’ has me very intrigued.
Setting: Super creepy, very different from the other books
Magic: The newest sword has a predictable magic (just based on that cover) but I love it all the same.
Pilgrim and Seeker are continuing their journey chasing down the Seven Swords in To Blackfyre Keep. This book takes place a short time after the ending of City of Songs, and our party has grown to a group of fourth (plus a fuzzy kitty) and opens with a bang. I can’t give too big a summary of this book or the previous ones if you haven’t read it but I recommend them greatly. It’s a series of short novellas in the classic quest format of a man and his compatriots seeking seven demon possessed swords.
To Blackfyre Keep is an excellent addition to the series. In fact it may be one of my favorite so far, which I do chalk up to the fact that’s very action and tense where the past two have seemed a bit more city set and had a hair more politics. Pilgrim and the crew get themselves hired on as ‘mercenaries’ to help a young lord take back a Keep that they also need to investigate. Quickly it becomes obvious there is dark magic at work here, at the Blackfyre Keep of the title. I’ll give you a hint – the cover is pretty literal.
One of the highlights of this book for me was there were far more displays of power by the one sword in particular we hadn’t seen much of (the most recent addition to the group from the last book). The abilities the demon within it has are fascinating and the snips of it’s personality we hear about are also fun (and the flexibility of the gender of this demon immediately made it a favorite of mine). Additionally we find out about another sword, that is borne by the character the group is chasing – and it sounds horrifying. The tension is raised with this knowledge drop and we see the toll this takes on one particular person in particular.
Finally the conclusion of this story introduces us to a new party member – one who may have far more secrets than they started out with. This was the strongest book for me since the first one, which is hard to say since I have genuinely loved all these short books. Keep in mind all of these are roughly under 200 pages so everything is a fast drop or punch of information by Mr. Ryan handles it beautifully and the end story feels vivid and real.
5 Demon Cursed Blades out of 5