Aaron DeOrive, Martha Wells
Published: 1st January 2014
Cloak and Dagger Studios
Age: Middle Grade, Young Adult
From: CBB Book Promotions
Manuel “Manny” Boreaux, a troubled adolescent from Texas, is magically transported into the body of a goblin pickpocket in an alternate world inhabited by faerie creatures. Manny must quickly adapt to the danger all around him and try to find a way to get back home, a feat complicated by the pickpocket’s association with a notorious gang of thieves. But when Manny uncovers a plot to assassinate a young king, he must enlist the aid of an elf cavalier and a cat burglar to thwart a Sidhe witch’s scheme to ignite a civil war between humans and the Fae.
What I liked: For me, Blade Singer was entirely different from most fantasy books I’ve read. Manny is a character who isn’t a goody-goody two shoes like most of the fantasy heroes I’ve read about. He lies, he steals, but he does have a conscience and does feel bad about it. We learn through conversation about the death of Manny’s parents because his Tia Licha (his aunt), believes that’s why he’s acting out and getting in trouble. Fast forward to Mann going to a bookstore and finding himself getting to a town called Lutetia in the body of a goblin. Yes, a goblin. Right off the bat when he wakes up trouble starts brewing because he’s a goblin. Think running through street to escape guards kinda trouble. He does everything he can to understand what’s happening and I loved it. The distinction between how the humans and Sidhe (Fae) live and look is very strong, the variety of Fae we were given was astounding, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Plus, everything was handled so realistically and felt alive. For me, THIS book is an example of a fantastic fantasy realm. Not too much worldbuilding, we get what we need for the story to be set but still want to know more even though we’re reading it. Plus the twist! The twist was amazing!
What I didn’t liked: There’s really not much that I didn’t. It was so well done there are literally only a few instances where I went “Convenient much?” But I still kept reading. The only other complaint was that the story was to short once I finished, I really wanted more.
Overall Review: Blade Singer is a fantastic example of how wonderful fantasy can be no matter the targeted age. Manny is a character with heart who also deals with his own morality issues about how things should be. I loved the cast of characters we were given, and Gaudulfus was my favorite by far. There was also a variety of fantasy species, but it was never overwhelming, these were species I had read about before and knew. The twist on the Unseelie court and how they gain members of the Seelie court was something I had never read before and gave it its own freshness to it, something different from all other fantasy books that I’ve read before to give it its own uniqueness. It appeals to more than just teenagers, it appeals to fantasy lovers. How things are done and handled are good, the execution of things was fantastic, and the cast of characters felt real. The characters referenced things that gave them a past, that gave them purpose and motivation to act as they do. It was nothing sort of something I can’t wait to read again.
Recommend?: To fantasy lovers of all ages! You’ll love Manny and the world we’re given!
My rating: 4.5/5
About the authors
A graduate of the University of Texas’ film program, Aaron de Orive began his professional writing career in the video game industry, serving as a lead or senior writer on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, Tabula Rasa, Anarchy Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. He is also the creator of the fantasy role-playing game SHARD: World of the False Dawn. Blade Singer is his first novel. Aaron lives in Austin with his wife, daughter, and two very spoiled terriers.
Martha Wells is the author of a number of fantasy novels, including The Cloud Roads, The Siren Depths, The Wizard Hunters, Wheel of the Infinite, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her YA fantasy, Emilie and the Hollow World, was published by Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry in April 2013, and the sequel, Emilie and the Sky World, was released in March 2014. Two collections of Books of the Raksura novellas will be published in September 2014 and Fall 2015. She has had short stories in Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Stargate Magazine, and Lightspeed Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, The Year’s Best Fantasy #7, Tales of the Emerald Serpent and The Other Half of the Sky. She has essays in the nonfiction anthologies Farscape Forever, Mapping the World of Harry Potter, and Chicks Unravel Time. She has also written media-tie-in novels, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement, and a Star Wars novel, Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge.
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Review by Bri