Author: W.P.Wiles Publisher: angryrobotbooks
I would like to thank angryrobotbooks and Caroline Lamb for the opportunity to read this novel in return for an honest review.
I will start my review by saying that I have mixed views on this novel – some parts are interesting and thoughtful with some interesting characters to hold the story together. Unfortunately, the first 100 pages or so were a little slow and they almost put me off the novel altogether. Which would have been an absolute shame because I would have missed out on the world building and awesome character development beyond these pages.
I would prefer to highlight the positives about a novel so I will start with the good qualities about The Last Blade Priest. The novel focusing around two groups of people – one is a pair of builders who possess the abilities to see the structure of the stone around them, allowing them to utilise this in their craftsman-ship. As with most fantasy novels, one of the character possesses abilities far greater than originally thought. I really enjoyed the magic system here, the author kept with this idea of seeing minerals within everything around them but allowed this character to then manipulate those minerals. These abilities are thought to have disappeared long ago and viewed in a negative light, so it was interesting how Wiles used this to play on the story and how other characters would see these abilities. The other group consisted of the two Last Blade Priests, who are tasked with protecting the mountain. Betrayal and back-stabbing play a huge part within their story. The two characters also play a Gemini role against each other, one swearing away from violence and the other embracing it. I loved this concept and I think Wiles wrote their story lines fantastically. The character known as Anton, who is the pacifist, held some of my favourite characters within the novel.
The four main characters – Inar, Duna, Anton and Elecy – were all excellent from start to finish. Their journeys all held twists and turns, contained deep characters moments and blended together well within the story. I enjoyed how the characters came in pairs, with the female in each pair being the more active and daring, whilst the males were calmer and more gentle. Wiles did an excellent job playing both the personalities and the pairing between each other well, their stories developed together but at the same time it was clear the different directions their stories would take.
Overall, I did end up enjoying my time with The Last Blade Priest. With an engaging plot, good characters and an interesting magic system, it is a shame the novel is plagued with pacing issues and a start that just barely held my interest.