Acclaimed author Sam Sykes returns with a brilliant new epic fantasy set in the Scar, where the magical, decadent Imperium battles the upstart, technologically-savvy Revolution, SEVEN BLADES IN BLACK follows the exploits of Sal the Cacophony, the most famous and dangerous of all the rogue mages.
‘Seven Blades in Black offers villains that are as memorable and unique as the heroes’ Robin Hobb
Among humans, none have power like mages. And among mages, none have will like Sal the Cacophony. Once revered, now vagrant, she walks a wasteland scarred by generations of magical warfare.
The Scar, a land torn between powerful empires, is where rogue mages go to disappear, disgraced soldiers go to die and Sal went with a blade, a gun and a list of names she intended to use both on.
But vengeance is a flame swift extinguished. Betrayed by those she trusted most, her magic torn from her and awaiting execution, Sal the Cacophony has one last tale to tell before they take her head. All she has left is her name, her story and the weapon she used to carved both.
It's a big story, grand on scale and packed with themes that range from the rich/poor divide to racial intolerance and simple greed. It's also a rollicking read, a ripping yarn spent in the company of desperate, damaged, yet ultimately sympathetic individuals. Sykes's love of his characters shines through in his writing, making The City Stained Red his finest book yet.
There's plenty of slapstick humour despite the darkness and that familiar sense of wondrous adventure that lurks just around the corner is still here. Still, "The City Stained Red" somehow fells like a better and more streamlined version of its predecessors....Sykes tells just enough to make you eager for more. Well, consider the job done - I'm ready for the sequel.
Upcoming 4 Me
With skillful worldbuilding, unexpected humor, and characters real enough to touch, this is easily Sykes's best book to date
With playful language, distinctly drawn characters, and a cavalcade of action in service to a coherent plot, this book is a winner. I'll be reading the other books about Lenk and the gang while awaiting the next volume in the Bring Down Heaven trilogy
Sam Sykes has crafted a splendid adventure story here, and I really had times where I could not put the book down and forced myself with eyes so tired to read one more chapter, and then another.
von Igelfeld Entertainments