Petrik's Reviews > The Bard's Blade

The Bard's Blade by Brian D. Anderson
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
59458347
's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: owned-ebooks, favorites

ARC provided by the author and publisher—Tor Books—in exchange for an honest review.

Simply exquisite, gripping, and tension-packed; The Bard’s Blade by Brian D. Anderson is an enthralling start to a series.

I’ll be honest and say that it wasn’t the premise of the book that got my attention; it was Felix Ortiz’s gorgeous cover artwork that grabbed me, and I’m truly grateful for it because the quality of the content in this book lived up to the exterior. I’m both blessed—because I get to read this early—and cursed—because I have to wait even longer for the next book—enough that the author and publisher sent me an early copy to review. Thank you and congratulations, Tor Books, you have found a winner here; consider giving The Bard’s Blade the same scale of promotion and advertisement you did for The Ruin of Kings.

“Never allow the wickedness of others to dictate who you are.”


The Bard’s Blade is the first book in The Sorcerer’s Song series by Brian Anderson. We follow the perspective of two main characters: Mariyah and Lem. Mariyah is a wine maker that loves her simple and casual life in Vylari, a land magically sealed with an impenetrable barrier from the outside world. Mariyah is betrothed to Lem, a super talented musician (bard) and they’re enamored with each other, believing that whatever comes their way, they’ll get through it if they face it together. A dangerous truth from Lamoria—the world outside Vylari—somehow managed to came through and it ended up changing their lives; dire circumstances force them to live in Lamoria and it’s a vastly different world compared to Vylari in almost every possible way. In a way, The Bard’s Blade sits in the middle of the classic—destiny, rumors of ancient evil resurfacing—and modern fantasy genres; it’s certainly comfortable and familiar territory that somehow also felt refreshing to read for me. Among many aspects, the factor that made reading this book so damn entertaining and engrossing were the incredible characterizations given to the characters in both main and supporting roles.

“Those in power in this age have fought and killed over nothing more important than to whom they offer their prayers.”


The narrative in The Bard’s Blade is told in multi third-person limited narration. Anderson spectacularly nailed each character’s voice from each respective character’s first appearance, and these voices plus their characterizations gradually developed and grew on me. The characterizations were so utterly well-written that even without their name being mentioned in the text, I would still have known whose perspective I was reading. More than anything else, I have always loved reading character-driven books; once the vital characterizations clicked for me, every other aspect of a story became a backdrop for the characters to shine against and that’s what I’m looking for in my reading criteria. That’s exactly what happened in The Bard’s Blade. Both Lem and Mariyah are such kind-hearted and inherently good characters that are living in a harsh world, and my empathy for them was magnificently lit. Also, the side characters, especially Farley and Lady Camdon, help bring colors and various intrigues to the main characters’ journeys and struggles.

“If I can imagine a fate worse than death it would be to live alone. People need one another as much as they need food and drink.”


The Bard’s Blade doesn’t have many descriptive battle scenes, but this doesn’t mean that it’s lacking in breathtaking sequences; the last few chapters, especially, were very intense even though there weren’t any battle scenes in it. Compared to Vylari, Lamoria is a much dangerous environment that’s heavily ridden with fanaticism and different cultures that the main characters have never encountered before. The torrent of pain that the characters endured and the tenacity they had to accumulate to survive their misfortune made the scenes in the book emotionally palpable. I also found Anderson’s prose to be incredibly engaging and accessible, but it was his descriptions of music that elevated the writing from great to being noteworthy—pun fully intended, I have no shame.

“It was partially the reason he loved music: the way it connected with people, creating joy, sorrow, mirth, and every other emotion the heart could possibly hold. When he played, he was the shepherd and the people, his flock.”


I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now. As of this moment, I’ve read more or less three hundred fantasy books, and it’s insane how few musician main characters are in the genre. This isn’t an exaggeration; excluding The Bard’s Blade, the only fantasy series I’ve read that has bard or musicians as the main character were The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss, The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett, and Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames. That’s it. The Bard’s Blade included, that makes it four series! Only FOUR! Music is such an integral part of many people’s lives and I truly believe that there’s still tons of unexplored potential for it to gleam in fantasy. Anderson’s portrayal of music in The Bard’s Blade was executed wonderfully, serving as a balance to tone down the severity and violence that the characters suffered; its role as a moment of respite felt like finding yourself in a bonfire or a save point after hours of difficult dungeon raiding in a video game.

“Toil without intent holds no virtue. Do not waste your labors on frivolous pursuits. Time ill spent cannot be recovered.”


To counter the aforementioned quote, reading this book was time wisely spent: the tranquil moments transitioned to heart-pounding events seamlessly; the superb characterizations made the empathetic main characters linger in my mind after I closed the last page of the book; the pacing was imbued with an ebb and flow tempo that made me beg for an encore when the final note had played. The alluring song that Anderson orchestrated with his words enchanted me, and I absolutely loved every second of reading The Bard’s Blade. There’s still half a year before this book is officially released, make the smart decision by pre-ordering it so you can read this riveting book as soon as it's released.

Official release date: 28th January 2020

You can pre-order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping)

The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
167 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Bard's Blade.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

June 25, 2019 – Shelved
July 26, 2019 – Started Reading
July 29, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー Wow Petrik! As usual your wonderfully written reviews make me so excited to read the books.


Petrik Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー wrote: "Wow Petrik! As usual your wonderfully written reviews make me so excited to read the books."

Thank you so much, Jen! This one was awesome, I think many readers will love it too! :)


message 3: by Samir (new) - added it

Samir Great review! This sounds like something I would enjoy. I'm gonna give it a try, for sure.


Petrik Samir wrote: "Great review! This sounds like something I would enjoy. I'm gonna give it a try, for sure."

Thanks, Samir! Woohoo, I think you'll like this one! Fingerscrossed! :)


message 5: by jess (new)

jess There is also the Wars of Light & Shadow that features the musician Arithon. So put The Curse of the Mistwraith on your to-read list!


Petrik Jess wrote: "There is also the Wars of Light & Shadow that features the musician Arithon. So put The Curse of the Mistwraith on your to-read list!"

Ohhh I didn't know that at all. I'll check it out. Thanks for letting me know, Jess! :)


message 7: by Veronica (new) - added it

Veronica Sounds good! But January 2020???


James Tivendale Veronica wrote: "Sounds good! But January 2020???"

Petrik is one of the cool kids, Veronica and gets to read stuff early :) - PS. This book is awesome.

Nice review, Petrik my man! :)


message 9: by David S (new) - added it

David S (David's Book Meanderings) Great review as always Petrik. Man, cover artists have been killing it lately. I've seen so many beautiful covers this year alone. This has officially moved up my tbr


Petrik Veronica wrote: "Sounds good! But January 2020???"

It's still a while I know! But so good, definitely put it on your radar for now! :D


Petrik James wrote: "Veronica wrote: "Sounds good! But January 2020???"

Petrik is one of the cool kids, Veronica and gets to read stuff early :) - PS. This book is awesome.

Nice review, Petrik my man! :)"


Thanks, James!


Petrik David's wrote: "Great review as always Petrik. Man, cover artists have been killing it lately. I've seen so many beautiful covers this year alone. This has officially moved up my tbr"

Thanks, man! I agree so much, and I'm happy with it. I'm so tired of seeing the same raven, snake, or dude with hood from shutterstocks appearing on so many cover. It's a good thing that a lot of publishers starts to use original illustrations from these brilliant artists as a cover art!


Eon ♒Windrunner♒  Lovely review Petrik. It really is crazy how few fantasy books we have that have music as a main element.


Petrik Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Lovely review Petrik. It really is crazy how few fantasy books we have that have music as a main element."

Thanks, Eon! I know right? I demand for more! The story have to be good though! :D


Eon ♒Windrunner♒  Petrik wrote: "Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Lovely review Petrik. It really is crazy how few fantasy books we have that have music as a main element."

Thanks, Eon! I know right? I demand for more! The story have to ..."


Of course, yes. We don't ask much :D


Petrik Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Lovely review Petrik. It really is crazy how few fantasy books we have that have music as a main element."

Thanks, Eon! I know right? I demand for more! The..."


We're not greedy at all... Amazing cover art too please! xD


Eon ♒Windrunner♒  Petrik wrote: "Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Lovely review Petrik. It really is crazy how few fantasy books we have that have music as a main element."

Thanks, Eon! I know righ..."


We are so easy to please :)


Petrik Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Eon ♒Windrunner♒ wrote: "Lovely review Petrik. It really is crazy how few fantasy books we have that have music as a main element."

Thanks, E..."


xD


message 19: by Maia (new) - added it

Maia Great review, Petrik!
Btw, if you like music in books, you should check out The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett, I haven't read it yet, but Celeste's review was the first thing on my mind when I read your review :)


Petrik Maia wrote: "Great review, Petrik!
Btw, if you like music in books, you should check out The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett, I haven't read it yet, but Celeste's review was the first thing on my mind when I ..."


Thank you, Maia! Yeah, Celeste told me to read it too! It seems like I wasn't in the right mood for that book though. I dunno whether Bennett's writing there wasn't as polished as now or I just don't like that the setting is on Earth. Maybe I'll try it again one day! :)


message 21: by Ambrine O. (new)

Ambrine O. Damn it Petrik I’m going to spend all my money on books because of you and your wonderful reviews 😂👌🏼


Petrik Ambrine O. wrote: "Damn it Petrik I’m going to spend all my money on books because of you and your wonderful reviews 😂👌🏼"

Thank you, Ambrine! And whoops! xD


message 23: by Mili (new)

Mili Wow amazing review Petrik! I am hooked 😆!


Petrik Mili wrote: "Wow amazing review Petrik! I am hooked 😆!"

Thank you, Mili!! Get this one, I think you'll love it! :)


message 25: by Mili (new)

Mili Of course I will! 😁


Petrik Mili wrote: "Of course I will! 😁"

Yayyy! :)


back to top