Nightblade’s Honor, Ryan Kirk – Book Review

Hello humans! Sometimes in life, we read books that we don’t enjoy. Sometimes we then forget that we didn’t enjoy them and request the sequel on Netgalley. Sometimes we are too stubborn to DNF things and end up very frustrated. We live and we learn and we write the reviews…

Remember back when I reviewed Nightblade’s Vengeance and got very frustrated? Well, this is the story of how history repeats itself…

nightblades honor ryan kirk

Goodreads Summary:

In the riveting sequel to Nightblade’s Vengeance, the nightblades must choose a side, and the Kingdom will either rise again… or shatter into pieces.

With the realm on the brink of war, the once-celebrated blades have become an easy target for the rage of its devastated citizens. The nightblade warrior Asa’s lifelong quest for vengeance is over, but now she finds herself on the run from the people she sought to protect. As Asa forges a new course of action in an uncertain world, her path crosses with that of a young noblewoman.

Mari knows that great opportunity lies in the heart of chaos. If the Kingdom is to rise again, Mari will need support, and she can think of no group better than the nightblades. But the nightblades have been betrayed before, and gaining their trust will not be easy.

Mari wants to save the Kingdom. Asa wants to save the people. Both are willing to risk everything. But do their quests make them allies… or enemies?

Find Nightblade’s Honour on Goodreads

Content warning: violence, some gore.

As with the first book in this series, my main problem is how stilted the writing feels. What could take a line or two of description instead takes pages and pages? It makes the whole book feel very robotic and slows the pace down considerably. Interestingly, the parts where I would have welcomed a bit more description seem to have been skimmed over. Perhaps the author and I just have different ideas of what was important in this story?

I will applaud some of the female characters in this story, Asa is a lot more tolerable in the sequel, I felt as though she grew somewhat between the two novels, she certainly didn’t miss any massively obvious plot points as she had done in the first book! Then we have the addition of Mari who is everything I like in a female leader, she is wise, she has her priorities in order and she never gives up. I would have liked to have seen more of her deliberations and her ways of working through problems as that is what interests me. Mari was certainly the strongest character throughout this story, which was interesting as she was a new addition.

A huge portion of this book is given over to politics and the issues that arise from the events of the first book. If you like politics, that might be wonderful for you. It isn’t quite to my tastes, particularly since the worldbuilding isn’t strong enough that you can fully comprehend what is going on. I think stronger worldbuilding would have rendered a lot of the explanations of political relationships moot, thus making the book more concise and a lot stronger.

This book is also far too long, I’m not opposed to a lengthy book, Name of the Wind is one of my favourites, but Name of the Wind is also a book that has a huge amount of variation so you don’t get bored. In Nightblade’s Honour there are changes but broadly speaking the book goes from battle to travel to battle to travel and so on. There is a very slow build-up to the final chapters but after a while, I got very fed up with reading about people hitting each other with swords in different locations.

The concept of the Blade’s powers felt very underplayed in this sequel, I’m not sure whether this was to not make the Blades seem overpowered or some other reason, but to downplay the strongest element of the first book, these interesting magical powers, felt like the wrong choice to me. I would have liked to learn even more about these powers and the way they could be used in a world where people are turning against the blades.

In part this book just wasn’t to my tastes, I’m sure some people will very much enjoy this series more than I did, but I do think there are some elements that needed more editing and cutting down while others needed more work done to build them up.

My rating: 2/5 stars

I received a digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

What say you? Do you DNF books you don’t like or are you as stubborn as me? Let me know in the comments below!

J

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