Susan Sarnio made a choice, and will spend the rest of her life as the only female Death. Last year she was bullied and ostracized. Now, to her complete bewilderment, four Deaths vie for her affection. Yet, something is terribly wrong at the College of Deaths. When a ship carrying scythe metal is attacked, many blame the newly-freed Elementals, but Susan knows the Elementals are innocent.
Shadows from the distant past come to light. Dragons circle the horizon, blood spills, and nothing is what it seems. Susan and her friends struggle to stop a war. They search for the fabled First Scythe, hoping to sway the balance, but who is the true enemy?
Christopher Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.
Mannino is currently working on an adult high fantasy series.
I'd like to thank the author for giving me a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much! This book was so so so so good.
Sword of Deaths is the sequel to School of Deaths (an awesome book that everyone should read). Three ships carrying mortamant, which is very precious to the Deaths, have been burned. The Deaths assume it was the Elementals' doing, while Susan and her friends are positive the 'Mentals had nothing to do with it. Further investigation led them to more clues and more information about the Deaths' history, as well as Dragons. Basically Susan and her friends go on more fun adventures and we get to follow along.
Do not let my shitty description of the book discourage you. I am a terrible writer.
I loved this so much! I didn't like it as much as School of Deaths. Probably because the first book was a bit lighter. Sword of Deaths was, in my opinion, pretty dark. People died and things happened and we're going a lot deeper into the story. The plot was intricately woven with great twists, one in particular I didn't see coming. I loved the world building. The author described the sceneries so awesomely and I could totally picture the images. Susan really progressed as a character. I feel like she is more confident and a lot stronger. Frank and Michi were okay. Will also developed a lot, again, more confident. And also,
One thing I didn't like about the book were the scenes at the beginning where Frank and Will vied for Susan's attention. Like holding both of her hands and offering lessons and glaring at one another. Personally, I think it seemed a bit immature. I'm also disappointed that but that has nothing to do with the writing.
Overall, I think this is such a great book! The series deserve so much more and more people should read it! The ending was such a cliffhanger. I can't wait to read the next book...in one year *sobs*.
I don’t give 5 stars very often and, I’ll admit, fantasy fiction is the most likely to get 5 stars from me. School of Deaths and Sword of Death, Books One and Two in the Scythe Wielder Series by Christopher Mannino, both warranted 5 stars in my opinion. Mr. Mannino has built a complex and unique world based on a “monster” we haven’t seen much of in the world of fantasy yet - the Grim Reaper. But ol’ Grim isn’t just one skeletal dude, a la Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. No, the Reapers are humans from all walks of life, plucked from the Mortal World usually around age 13 and sent to school in the World of Deaths to learn their new career. In Book One, we meet Susan Sarnio - the first female Death in a million years. Things didn’t go well the last time there was a female Death. Ripped from her family and thrust into a bizarre world (who knew that the World of Deaths smelled like strawberries?!), Susan finds herself navigating Death school, being an outcast and PUBERTY.
Along the way, Suzie makes friends and helps bring positive change to the World of Deaths time and time again. Friendships grow and change and the author doesn’t ignore the tensions that come from there being only one female in the school. Susan gets a lot of attention - both good and bad. There is more to the series than just Susan navigating a world as the only girl though. In addition to the Deaths, this land also has Elementals, a magical race of humanoids, and Dragons. The conflicts that arise between these three species fuels a lot of the intrigue and action in the Scythe Wielder series. Susan and her friends must race to stop another war with the Dragons - the original Reapers.
I thoroughly enjoyed both books. The world built is an intriguing and altogether believable one with likeable heroines and heros and perfectly villainous malefactors. It’s definitely written to be suitable for a teen reader and I have recommended the books to my fantasy fiction-loving 12 year old son. One reason I love ebooks is the ability to have them with me all the time (on my smartphone) and to be able to steal time here and there to keep reading an interesting book. I definitely was sneaking reading time with these books every change I could get and now I’m anxiously awaiting the final book in the series! All right, Mr. Mannino! Get to cracking on that last book!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.
This one flows well after the first – similar structure and quick speed with continued development of the magical world and characters! If you enjoyed the first book then I think you’ll have fun with this one too! There are a couple points that I do want to share though.
First, I have to commend the author on a great job creating the fantasy world of Deaths in both books. It is clearly well thought out with incredible detail. This book allows a bit more development of issues in the first book but also delves into the history as well. Even in the second book, I still found the world of Deaths to be unique and enjoyable…though I will confess that I sometimes skip some setting details (that’s on me, not the author though).
Next, this time the author alternates view points by chapter. Each character name is listed so it isn’t confusing. It does spread out the action a bit but it also grows characters other than Suzie so that made it interesting for me.
One final thing worth noting – there is no resolution to this book! There's a great build-up and definitely a cliffhanger ending that leads me to believe the final book will be exciting!! However, I do hate waiting for resolution. The first book provided a concrete ending even as it set up for the next one. This one does not provide that! I won’t go into detail but definitely plan to read the final one for the full story! Unfortunately, the final book won’t be out until next year which makes me a little sad!
Bottom line - a unique story of teenagers in a magical world with action and character development! It's a quick, fun read for more than just teenagers!
This book Was Given To Me By The Author In Exchange For An Honest Review
Amazing Book! Christopher is an incredible author! I loved this one even more then the first! I couldn't put it down. the characters were more colourful, the adventures more dangerous and heartstopping, and the twists and turns of the mystery and intrigue were even more edge of your seat!
I really loved the character of Susan in the first book and loved how her character has grown in this one. Being the only female death isn't just an obstacle for her anymore she sees it as a challenge and she sets out to make the most of it. We get to see her and all her friends grow and mature a lot and I love how it all plays out. Christopher is a master of storytelling and I really loved being right there with Susan and her friends as the story played out.
Frank was my fav character from the first book and I loved his character in this book as well! watching him come out of his shell and explore who he was meant to be was really an amazing thing to read.
As a HUGE fan of reaper stories this series is one of the best I have read. I can't wait to read the next one! The villains in this one were even more incredible then the last and I can't wait to see what Christopher has up his sleeve for the next one!
if you haven't read this incredible series make sure to get your copies today!
***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fansite: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.ng ***
Who knew the life of a Death could be so exciting?
In Christopher Mannino's first book, we were introduced to the young and resilient Susan Sarnio, who was literally plucked from her normal life and dropped into the all-male world of Deaths, who are tasked with the job of ferrying dead souls to the hereafter. To make matters worse, Susan is the first female Death in a MILLION YEARS.
In Book Two, Sword of Deaths, after a year of facing bullying and prejudice, Susan has established herself as a force to be reckoned with. Now 14, she has grown in confidence and womanliness, and is now the object of several boys' affections (that just HAD to happen at some point). But the School of Deaths' wicked former headmaster is still making trouble, trying to resurrect and ancient war between Deaths and Dragons, and Susan and her good friends Will and Frank are sent on a dangerous mission to obtain a substance vital to the Deaths' existence.
I love how the POV switches between all three main characters. We feel Susan's burgeoning womanhood, Will's growing infatuation, and the Elemental Frank's decreasing ability to control the terrible power surging within his veins. As someone who writes in multiple POV, I commend Mr. Mannino on doing this well.
(And Hollywood, if you're listening, can you PLEASE make this into a movie? I would love to see a boskery match! I think it'd be even cooler than Quiddich! YEAH, I SAID IT!)
Title: Sword of Deaths Author: Christopher Mannino Genre: YA/Fantasy Format: Ebook Pages: 263 Rating: 4.5/5
Setting: The world of Deaths
Main Characters: Suzie/Susan, Billy/Will
Supporting Characters: Frank, Michi
Summary: This is the second book in the series and starts the day after the first book ends. Susan (she wants to be called that now) did not pass the final test after her first year so she did not get to go back home to earth. She still misses her parents but this is now home and she has come to accept that fact. She is still the only female death, still ridiculed and unwanted by many but she’s finding her way. On a trip to the port city Mors a boat carrying the metal that they use to create the scythes has been attacked, many think it’s the ‘mentals (elementals who have different powers), but Susan and her friends are positive that it was dragons. So onto a search for a million year old relic that can hopefully save them.
Thoughts: I loved how this started pretty much where book 1 left off. Hard to put down and a very enjoyable read. Susan and her friends are such great characters, they still have their young teenage moments but that should be expected since they are 14 to 16 years old. Great book about finding the strength to stand up for what you believe in.
I received a copy from the publisher for an honest review
Now we are talking… horny teenagers realizing there is only one female results in a love-pentagon. Well, being honest, the real romantic interests are two, the other two are crushes that could have been avoided, but it kind of shows the point that, being the only female, Suzie will get a lot of unwanted attraction.
The problem was that Suzie felt flattered by the attention, she even sounded as if she was toying with the boys at times. And worst of all, she chose the one I didn’t…. that’s why I hate love triangles!
Ok, rant about the love-pentagon over, moving on with the story. Again, when we thought there are no more mysteries, more of them appear. To the unanswered questions from the last book (why is suzie here? What is a dragon key?) another one is added: the mystery of the first scythe, which is mentioned many times along the name Lovethar during the great war. Moreover, supply ships of scythe metal are being targeted resulting in reapings being cut short and messing the whole world up.
I’m still bothered by the “a million years” thing and I still imagine the characters being older, but I just went with the flow and enjoyed it.
We uncover more about the history of the world and the origin of the Deaths and…. IT ENDS WITH A CLIFFHANGER. The story is amazing but if you don’t want to wait until 2017 to read the conclusion don’t start it. I just found out that the third book won’t be released until next year… I’m so disappointed :(
WOW WOW WOW Christopher just doesn't cease to amaze me!!!
I will start by saying - if you have NOT read School of Deaths (which is the 1st book in The Scythe Wielder's Secret Book series) you really need to read it before you read the Sword of Deaths!!!!
The Sword of Deaths picks up right where School of Deaths left off. We continue on with the story of Suzie, Billy and Frank as deaths and their training. It's hard to write much about this story without giving it all away. BUT - I will say this, these books are so captivating, that you will find it hard to stop reading until you read the end.
I will warn you - that there is a cliff hanger at the end of this book and you will end up like me - patiently (yeah right) waiting for the final volume of the series to be available. (Daughter of Deaths)
I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.
This was my favorite so far. It’s great that the author attributed each chapter to a character. We can follow different points of view of different characters along the novel. It allows us to get a better feeling of the world.
Suzie has friends and she will earn more respect from the Deaths’, but it’s not easy. She has to deal with sexist teachers and bullies.
Suzie has a lot of qualities and strengths so she’s not easily defeated. She finds her place among the boy, sports, reaping, classes’ assignments, secrets, missions… and in the middle of the eminent war. This book had a great pace. The author added excellent new characters.
I can already see the fan art emerging from these series of shy, jealous, lovely boys and boyfriends and gorgeous, spunky and funny girls.
Susan has had to make some big decisions for such a young age... I was so excited to see a book two on this series. Book two she is growing into this part. She has now excepted her life in this in between place. She dives into the histories and tries to figure out the missing pieces about who plays what roll in this world. Susan also realizes her feelings for Will (not going by Billy any longer) and realizes she has all these boys looking at her because she's the only female Death. Oh what could go wrong there. This is full of mystery and danger and adventures you don't expect. Loved it. Oh.... And one more thing, dragons.... Oh yes. There are dragons!! Enjoy!! This was given to me for my honest opinion... You got it. :)
This is fast-moving story, full of allegory and intrigue. Suzy, the main character, faces a lot of discrimination and must out do all the other Deaths to prove herself. She is the perfect female super-hero. My only complaint is if you had not read the first book, it would be hard to catch up with this one. So read Book 1 first! I enjoyed the interplay between the teen characters and the change in point-of-view. It was interesting learning Frank's motives and feelings, particularly for Suzy. This is a great read and a fast moving story. You'll be waiting with bated breath for Book 3.
I would like to thank MuseItUp Publishing for a copy of this e-book to review. Though I received this e-book for free, that has no impact upon the honesty of my review.
Goodreads Teaser: "Susan Sarnio made a choice, and will spend the rest of her life as the only female Death. Last year she was bullied and ostracized. Now, to her complete bewilderment, four Deaths via for her affection. Yet, something is terribly wrong at the College of Deaths. When a ship Carr scythe metal is attacked, many blame the newly-freed Elementals, but Susan knows the Elementals are innocent.
Shadows from the distant past come to light. Dragons circle the horizon, blood spills, and nothing is what it seems. Susan and her friends struggle to stop a war. They search for the fabled First Scythe, hoping to sway the balance, but who is the true enemy?"
Continuing in the same vein as the first book, this one is rich with colorful characters, interesting challenges, and thoughtful messages embedded within the story itself. Suzie, now going by her full name of Susan, finds yet another mystery to be unraveled right along with the unfinished mystery from book one. Only this time she's got her legs underneath her, so to speak; starting from a much more powerful position Susan once again is the central figure in the ongoing saga that is no longer just the College of Deaths, but now involves the world of Deaths.
At the tender age of fourteen Susan is still struggling to eke out a place in a society that's been devoid of women for a million years. And now she's got the added challenge of coping with multiple admirers, though that does help balance out the considerable grief she still faces from those who've long become accustomed to an all male society. Billy, Frank, and two others vie for her affections, while still trying to find the right balance of remaining her friend should she chose one of them. And while there is romance, it is very age appropriate, again going no further than sweet kisses (which may in many cases be somewhat idealistic in the world today's teens must navigate).
While many of the core characters continue to develop, Frank steps into the next largest role. Much of this book bounces between following the development of both Susan and Frank. As they grow into themselves they propel the story forward, tackling old and new challenges alike. The intrinsic strength of each of these teenagers is surprising and a nice affirmation that young adults can be powerful and strong on individual levels. Though they may lean on each other from time to time, they are also able to better stand on their own than they did just one short year ago. Part of the challenge they all face is who to trust among their peers, among the adults in their lives, and how far they can trust their own judgment. It's a nicely framed situation that reflects the balance all teens struggle to find as they grow older and more independent.
Ending with a solid cliffhanger, this middle book of the trilogy is a lovely addition to the series. The characters continue to be well thought out and developed, as does the plot they are following. The arc of this story is nice and smooth, with the action and introspection well blended to avoid a glut of one or the other in any section of the book. As the dust settles it's clear that this entry is not only well thought out but well written, leaving this reader looking forward to the conclusion of the trilogy, as I'm sure it won't disappoint.
This book picks up where the first one stopped, which is right after Suzie fails to pass the test that will take her home. Suzie had been instrumental in having the last headmaster removed after she helped expose his association with Dragons. This has not made her any new friends though. In fact, this could have made her even more of a pariah, especially now that she is stuck in this world permanently. There are so many things happening that it is amazing Christopher Mannino was able to fit them all together into a single book! I am under the impression that the final book is going to be extremely interesting, because everything seems to be culminating towards an awesome ending!
Suzie is now 14 years old and has decided to change her name to Susan, while Billy now wants to be called Will. As the only female death in this world, it is inevitable that someone has a crush on her. Unfortunately for her it is both Frank and Billy, which makes it a bit awkward and uncomfortable for her, especially when they are fighting to get her attention. Suzie is no longer obsessed with the Dragon Key, but has become very interested in Grym the First Scythe. Susan learns about this and more about Lovethar’s history from her million-year-old diary (would love to get my hands on that if it were real!!!), which she received as a birthday gift from Frank.
The Mentals are still being treated as expendable commodities rather than living beings and are also being blamed for everything bad that happens to the Deaths. Sindril, the former headmaster, is now more intent than ever on capturing Susan at any cost, attacking the school and the surrounding areas with the help of Dragons long unseen. Mortament, the metal that makes up the Scythes the Deaths desperately need to do their job is in short supply, making their reapings extremely difficult, as well as dangerous. The Mentals are again being blamed for this shortage, despite the sightings of Dragons with Sindril on the offensive. War seems to be inevitable. The question is, why does Sindril want to capture Susan so badly, and what do any of these events have to do with her?
Did I mention that there are so many things happening in this book? I can’t tell you any more though, so you will just have to read the book to find out!
My first thought after finished reading the book: Was I at the last page? What happens next? I need more!
Thank you Book Publicity Services for sending me a copy of this book in exchange of my honest review!
Sword of Deaths is the sequel to the uniquely written story of School of Deaths. However, I adore School of Deaths more not only because of its fantastic world building and plot planning but it's like an upgraded version of the first book with more mysteries and adventures.
Since the brief introduction of the dragons in School of Deaths, I would expect them to come into the main story line in this sequel. Even though their appearances are not so frequent in this book, the dragons add up a lot of surprises and excitement in the story especially in knowing their power and abilities.
You might have wondered why I used the word "upgraded" for Sword of Deaths. Perhaps due to the age of the main protagonist - Suzie (Susan Sarnio) is 13-year-old in School of Deaths, I categorized this book as a middle-grade fantasy novel. In Sword of Deaths, not only the characters have grown up to become more matured, the overall atmosphere of the story is darker too. And most importantly, I didn't compare it to Harry Potter series anymore which I personally think that the author did a great job in presenting the book with its distinctive characteristics to stand out among the YA fantasy novels.
Looking back to our main characters, Susan, Will (formerly known as Billy) and Frank have grown up a lot in terms of mentality. I particularly love the new name of Will as it makes him seems stronger and more reliable as Susan's companion. And though we learnt about Frank's ability in School of Deaths, the power that he possesses now becomes dangerous if he doesn't know how to control it. Similarly, Susan's unbreakable bond with Grym makes her powerful and yet might put her into great danger too.
The unexpected twist of plot at the end of the book really surprised me a lot with this huge cliffhanger that makes me want to read the third book - Daughter of Deaths immediately! So, if you haven't read this series, please please get a copy and start reading it!
This review is originally posted on my blog: http://wp.me/p6Uw1h-oM. Check out my blog for an international giveaway hosted by Christopher Mannino!
*I want to thank the author and publisher for letting me read the second book of The Sword of Deaths for free in exchange for an honest review*
I was ecstatic when I found out that I didn't have to wait for the second book to come out. It feels like this book is a mixture of fantasy and self-discovery (and a little bit of puberty?). There were boys vying for the affections of Suzie (which I'm not surprised about). I just wasn't sure about the new character in this book (Tom). It was like he was just there and then he was gone. *winks I guess, I wished we knew a little bit more about the new kid?
Anyway, the story continues with Suzie as our main character. But at some points throughout the novel, were given a chance to read the book in different perspectives from other characters. I was most excited when I was reading Frank's parts because he finally takes notice of his powers. Apparently, he's more powerful than what the readers might have imagined. At the same time, he seems torn between his feelings for Suzie and Michi (new character). In the first book, I was really shipping Frank and Suzie, but I guess I thought that he was her cousin?
There is also some character development on Suzie as she continues to excel using a scythe. There were some new characters, but I'm interested to learn more about Rayn. I was suspicious about his role in the story. There were some scenes where I don't want to completely trust him.
The book was interesting, although it wasn't as good as the first book. My excitement sort of dwindled (near the end), then BAM! Cliff hanger! I can't wait for the last book! Who knew a book about reapers would be so interesting?
What if you were dead, but still had life, in an unusual sort of world? What if you were the only female in this world and had to work extra hard to prove yourself?
In SWORD OF DEATHS, Book 2 in the Scythe Wielders’ Secret Series, Author Christopher Mannino’s novel for young adults, Suzie Sarnio finds herself in such a situation. She is a Death, the only female death. Frank is an Elemental (Mental) in disguise. Deaths hate Mentals. Suzie knows Frank is a Mental; he’s also her friend, and they must keep his secret. She has another secret too: she likes Billy, also a Death. Add dragons, the enemies of Deaths into the picture, and you have a story with plenty of action and danger.
The author has created interesting characters who are simply trying to survive and to do their jobs. They are grim reapers, you see. My favorite character is Frank. He’s brave, kind, and I just like him. The reader sees the story through different points of view of the characters, which is neat.
I need to read the first book in the series now so maybe I’ll understand some of the things that happen in SWORD OF DEATHS that were a bit confusing to me. I think meeting the characters earlier would help me to understand their world and them and their goals better. This is a good novel, especially for fantasy lovers.
Thank you, Mr. Mannino, for this review copy in return for my honest opinion! Suzie, Will, and Frank are back after Suzie, having no other acceptable choice, purposely failed her final test thereby choosing to stay in the World of Deaths until she fades or ceases to exist. We meet a new boy and watch as Suzie comes into her own as a teacher to Tom and a potential flame to almost every other boy in sight. A girl from Frank's past arrives and causes a little hiccup in the affections Frank feels for Suzie. After a confrontation in which Suzie stood up for herself, Billy decides it is time to grow up and the first step is to change his name to a more grown up name, Will. Suzie follows suit and decides to go by Susan. This second book of the series is a book of constant change for all of the main characters. They grow and become more mature. Unlike adults, they allow change and become stronger for it.
I like how this book has chapters that follow one of the kids POV at a time. This one also seemed to be more suspenseful than the first holding me in its clutches until I finished and left me begging for more. It did leave us with a cliff-hanger and I hope it will be worth the wait. If the author continues the way he has started, following books will far exceed my expectations.
I was so engrossed in the first book that I couldn't wait for this one to come out. I was very excited to see where the friendships were going between Susan, Will and Frank. Although got confused a few times when I put the book down and picked it back up; the characters re-naming themselves made me have to stop and think about who "Will" was. I do think there was a bit too much emphasis put on Will and Susan's relationship. When the book started they had been holding hands and there was a kiss or two, so as a reader I thought they had already begun their relationship.
As soon as the story stopped focusing on Susan's relationship status, it got more interesting. I loved how strong Susan had become once she started to accept her fate as a Death. The story from there only got better.
The story changed direction a great deal when the characters were split up and had their own story-lines going. I found myself anxious to see what was going to happen next with Frank, but at the same time too interested in what was happening to Will and Susan to look ahead. The author did a great job. I am eagerly waiting for the conclusion of this story, if only to see how the author will explain Dragon's in the 'skin' of men.
I Love this series the first book School of deaths was a great start of it and this is the second book and I thought it sounds good well it was great! I love Susan Frank and Billy they are strong characters each with a strong story on them self. Susan (Suzie) is the first female death in a men world in a long, long time. Which result that she is picked on a lot, but positive attention as well. The Deaths are attacked and Suzie wouldn't be Suzie if she stood up fr the mentals knowing they are innocent. It all comes to another war when the Dragons come. Suzie and her friends think to know who is behind it all, they try the hardest to save their world ad proof the Mentals are innocent.
I hope you all will enjoy this series as much a I did as I said the characters are great. lots of adventure in it and it can be read by YA and up. Look forwards to book three. I received a free copy of the book for a honest review.
After reading this book, I realized I liked it even more than the first and I loved the first. In this book, Christopher alternates the POVs and I LOVED it. It made it more appealing because you were able to follow Susan and Will as Deaths and you got insight into the Elementals side from Frank. Deaths are trying to repair their relationship with the Elementals, while on the brink of war with the Dragons. Suzie seeks out answers to solve the growing problems between Deaths, Elementals, and Dragons. With Will and Frank at her side, anythings possible. I loved the growing relationships between the characters and that Suzie is starting to get the tiniest bit more respect even as a girl. Each character grows in their own way and it was interesting watching them mold into who they are. This book has the perfect amount of action, romance, and adventure once again. I eagerly await the third!!!
This book was just as good, if not better, than the first book in this series. I love this series so far. I don't get to read many books about the grim reaper so I try as many as I can find. I love all the characters in the book. The character of Susan has evolved in this next book in the series and I love to see that one great characters. This has it all for me, danger, adventure and so much more. I will keep my eyes open for the next book in the series. * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
A superb addition the this series by Christopher Mannino! There is plenty of events and details to keep your attention and draw you further into the world of deaths. I find the characters to be very interesting and the addition of the dragon threat is very intriguing. You are also never going to believe what Susan and her friends come across along the way!
Fantastic followup to book one, which I suggest you read first as Sword of Death begins right where it left off.
Being the first female death is problematic, especially since she is.the first one in like a million years. In the first book she was picked on and ridiculed but it didn't stop Susan for staying on
This year she has 5 boys on her side trying to create drama and all that jazz. Oh teenage love!! That's not all!! A ship load of metals are stolen and everyone points their fingers at the elementals. Susan knows different.
Chris' continuation is no short of spectacular. His characters continued to develop and not just Susan. Side characters are almost real!! A true wordsmith can bring pages to life and Chris Mannino has perfectly executed that task. Ummmm... no pun intended.
5 stars and a tip of my Nerd Girl hat.
*This review was done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official
I loved the first book in this series, and so it wasn't all that difficult to convince me to read the sequel.
In some ways, this book is a little different than the first one. For instance, the first book was told entirely from Susan's perspective. This time around, the story is told from POV's of Susan and her two best friends and sidekicks, Billy and Frank. This book is bigger than its predecessor in terms of world-building and history. The characters get to explore this world outside of the college walls. And it's a world that is worth exploring.
There are more subplots here than in the first book too; more conflicts that are waiting to be resolved. And Mannino does a good job balancing all these stories. There is that familiar sense of mystery and danger hiding in plain sight. Aside from Billy and Frank, you don't really know who you can trust. And that plot twist in the end is quite horrifying I had a lot of fun with this book. It's fun and entertaining, and the story is captivating.
That being said, there are some aspects of this book that don't work for me. It's a little slow at times, and there are parts in the book where not much happens. But the part that does not work for me at all is the romance. As the boys in the college get used to having a girl among their ranks, their hormones overtake their bigotry and all of a sudden they realise that they have a girl at their school! And suddenly, Susan becomes the object of affection of not one but four boys. But is Susan interested in any of them? And if so, who is this lucky guy?
Maybe it's just me. I'm not a fan of teenage romance trope as a whole, so to me this subplot is the least interesting part of the story. I don't think that it contributes anything to the plot. The story itself is intriguing enough on its own, without the added element of romance to spice it up.
Sword of Deaths is also the first book that I will be rating with my new patented rating system. I'm just kidding, I'm really ripping off other better book reviewers. Basically, I'm going to rate different parts of the book individually before doing some math and summing up the total score. This way, I hope my ratings will be less arbitrary and more motivated.
This book was awesome! If you liked the first one get this one and join the characters for some more adventures. The first book "School of Deaths" was really good. Okay with that out of the way I do have one beef with this book even though it was great.
I loved this book, but not the ending. It ends with a huge cliffhanger. There is very little resolution, and it leaves you in the middle of the story. That's fine for the end of a chapter, but not the end of a book. There were loose story strings left dangling that should have been tied up. It feels like a cheap way to get you to read the next book where as the first book wrapped up in a good place and resolved a lot of things. I really enjoyed this book and would have given it 5 stars, but I gave it 4 because of the cliffhanger ending. Don't get me wrong, it was awesome and I can't wait to read the next one, but that's not how you end a book. Not cool man, not cool. :) Other than that it was just as good as the first book and was a really fun read that I still highly recommend.
You get to know the main character, Susan Sarnio, and her friends a lot more. They are tested even harder and face bigger challenges than in the first book. Mannino does a great job of raising the steaks a ton in this novel. A new school year starts up and with it come new characters and new adventures. Also there is a little romance in this book that wasn't there in the first one. I really liked the new characters and how they interacted with the ones I already knew from the last book. New powers are revealed, for more than one character, and that was really fun to see. Also we get to meet dragons up close and personal! I loved that. I also liked how we were introduced to new places in the land of deaths.
The steaks are raised to the point in this book where the actions of the characters could change history. This made for a really exciting story—I just wish I could have gotten the whole story in this book instead of reading to the start of the climax just to have the book end on me.
The scenes where they play their sport with scythes called Boskery were really fun and well done. There were also many scenes in this book where they explore places other than the school in the world of deaths. Those scenes were awesome.
I'm excited to read the next book in the series, and even though I think it was a cheap trick to leave us hanging with the ending I really enjoyed this book.
I received a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
The Sword of Deaths picks up directly where School of Deaths left off with Suzie and her pals Billy and Frank at the College of Deaths. With Sindrel gone and things seeming to calm down at the college, the friends decide to take a trip to a neighboring city where they visit an amusement park. There, they witness a ship carrying mortament (an element mined to make the scythe's they use to reap souls) ablaze. They learn that more shipments of scythe metal are being destroyed by dragons. Dragons haven't been seen since the battle a million years ago where the dragons and deaths fought over who would reap the souls and carry them to the land of in-between. With mortament now running low, tensions run high as the deaths are forced to use impure scythes, making reapings very difficult. Susan and Will go on an excursion to find a new source of mortament while Frank returns to his hometown. Frank's mother passes away after he learns she battled with a dragon, while his own power threatens to overpower him because of his grief. Susan learns Grym, the first scythe in bracelet form, has now bonded with her by protecting her against an attack by Sindrel while on their journey. Will and Susan face their own difficulties as they find out that the men who were overshadowing their journey, were in fact dragons in disguise who've now learned where the hidden mortament supply is located.
This book ends as a cliffhanger and Im sure will resume in the next book as the impending battle between dragons and deaths. You'll see Susan (Suzie), Will (Billy) and Frank/Plamen mature significantly in this book. They make new friends and face new dangers together as their continuing journey unravels. I enjoyed seeing Susan and Will's relationship begin to blossom in this book despite the turmoil around them. I am interested in seeing how Frank will control his growing powers in the next book, as well as what will become of Susan, being the only female death. I would not recommend reading this book unless you've read the first in the series, School of Deaths. I would recommend to anyone who loves fantasy and young adult genres.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I was given a print copy of Sword of Deaths, by Christopher Mannino for review.
Sword of Deaths the second book in The Scythe Wielder's Secret trilogy.
Although no great plot complication is resolved in Sword of Deaths, I still liked this story very much. It focuses on character building, maturing the main characters. A good thing considering our heroes are teenagers, a time of rapid changes both physically (especially for Suzie, oops, Susan) and emotionally. The story does span a few years after all. I was actually worried that the characters would remain stuck in their original molds, not growing and changing, both as a result of the situations in which they find themselves, and their physical maturity. I mean what do we really expect; one female and thousands (millions?) of males? Did we think no one would notice, or take an interest? Puh-lease!
The story line is advanced without just repeating the formula of the first book. There is plenty of the action, violence, and intrigue we expect from this story, while developing the main characters, making them, for me at least, more interesting. There is a little more exploration of their sexuality. Expecting the characters to remain prepubescent innocents in the world of deaths just would not be reasonable or believable. So, hats off to author Christopher Mannino for letting the characters grow with the story.
Don't misunderstand, by focusing on the development of the characters Mannino does not let the excitement diminish. All our favorites from book one are there, 'mentals, pompous, weird, and just plain goofy teachers. There is heart break, love, murder, mayhem, mystery and chaos enough for all.
The big negative for me is (drum roll please), the cliffhanger ending. Sorry Mister Mannino, I just don't like 'em.
The big plus? Mini spoiler; the dragons are making their presence known. I found Sword of Deaths by Christopher Mannino to be a great continuation of the story and bridge to what I expect will be an exciting conclusion to the story. I look forward to the finale. Enjoy!
This was another great installment in this trilogy. For some reason, these books just fly by so fast. I had two hours yesterday morning before work and managed to read almost half of the book in that time. Same with the first book in the trilogy. I guess that sounds average, but i read super slow and usually get distracted after 15 minutes. I think this is because of how interesting the story is and how fast the pacing is. There isn’t much in the story that gets boring. Every scene has a purpose and i think that keeps me moving along pretty fast.
The characters in this second book are awesome. Some of the characters from book one have not returned but some have and there are many new characters. For our main characters, i think they all grew a lot in book two. There are a few instances with each character that i recognized as being much more mature than book one. Both books span about a year a piece, so the end of book two is roughly two years after the start of book 1 & i really think you can tell that by the growth in each character.
The story line continues from right after book one. I remember thinking in book one that the story maybe be leading to something particular and i was correct, sort of. It definitely had more surprises than i expected and some things were just a shock…like the roommate. From the story in this book and the ending, i think i know what the last book holds, and i’m super excited to check it out later this month.
Overall, I really like this book and series as a whole. This is the first series in a while where I'm excited for the next book. There are a few more mature scenes (deaths) but i think this book is still appropriate for younger readers. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes Harry Potter or other fantasy elements, esp Dragons. I look forward to finishing the trilogy and checking out other works by this Author.