Warning: If you have not read “Nightblade” by Garrett Robinson, do not read this review unless you want spoilers!
I’m back with another book review, and this one is kind of special. Why? Well…
I am pleased to announce, along with this review, that I have joined Team Legacy, a group where you can read their books in advance for free and, in return, write an honest review for them! If you’ve come here from Amazon to read the full review, welcome to the blog! I will be continually posting sections of book reviews for Team Legacy on Amazon, as that is the condition for posting reviews for their books, but the full reviews will always be on this blog (I asked them beforehand if this was okay, and they said yes). Due to Amazon guidelines, I can’t post the URL to the full review on the Amazon reviews, so make sure to follow this blog to read the full review!
Without further ado, let’s take a look at “Nightblade” by Garrett Robinson to see what it’s about:
“Fight for your dream or they will take it from you.
Loren dreams of escaping her cruel parents and becoming a great thief: Nightblade, a warrior of darkness and a champion of the light. Following the fugitive sorcerer Xain out of her forest home, she wears a stolen noble’s cloak of fine black cloth and carries a dagger the world has not seen in centuries—a blade that can turn enemies to allies when she least expects it.
Yet something keeps her from using that dagger to take a life.
Soon she crosses paths with the smuggler family of Yerrin, invoking their wrath by stealing their most precious treasure. Yerrin’s reach is long, and they will not stop until they silence Loren forever.
If she can survive, Loren may become the most infamous thief in the world. But if she fails, she will be only the first to burn in a war that threatens all the nine lands.”
If there was someone I really loved in this book, it was the protagonist Loren herself. Having been abused by both her parents, when she finds a way to escape by joining Xain, she takes it immediately, even if that means leaving the one friend that was good to her, Chet. She even gets to stand up to her abusive dad, too, before leaving, and I love how it’s clear that the book does not romanticize abuse. Another form of abuse is hinted at, with Auntie and the older boys that work for her, but I might be spoiling too much at once if I mention this. However, that too is also not romanticized, with Gem making that clear to us as readers, as well as to Loren.
Throughout her travels, Loren is resourceful, being able to outwit constables and fend off a bear (and a later a snake) by herself. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty to get what she wants…well, except for actually killing people and stealing from corpses, of course. Luckily, her wit and quick thinking ensures so far that she never had to actually kill anyone so far, and it doesn’t take her long to really become a thief. She was definitely one of the strongest characters in the book overall due to these traits.
Jordel and Gem were both interesting as well, and though Jordel has basically been the one character who’s definitely more on Loren’s side other than Gem, it makes me wonder more about who he is and what he wants. Same goes for Gem, especially now that he’s basically defected from Auntie and her guild. Corin also is of interest—clearly, he knows more about these specific masters associated with the dagger that Loren has, and that makes me wonder where exactly Corin’s loyalties lie. Hopefully that’s something to be discovered next book for sure!
Figuring out who the real villains of the book were was interesting to figure out while reading. Literally anyone could become an ally or foe to Loren, and this extends to not just the Yerrin family and Auntie and her guild of thieves, but even the constables Corin and Bern, as well as Xain and Annis. The only two people that seem to definitely be Loren’s allies are Jordel and Gem, and I’m interested in seeing how Loren allying with them goes in the next book.
Assuming they do get back together with Xain and Annis in the next book, I’m already imagining Loren being the one that urges everyone to do things, Jordel being the guy with healing potions and knowledge on hand, Gem being the quick-thinking, impulsive one, with Annis being the princess-now-out-travelling-for-the-first-time character, and poor Xain is the exasperated father figure trying to keep the kids in line.
I admit that though the pacing of the book was good, a lot of the time the plot was carried by…well, a lot of dialogue. Sometimes it was needed, to let some characters catch up with what the heck was going on, but at the same time it could get a little excessive. That’s my only complaint about the writing style, however, and it’s a very minor one.
If there is anything this book leaves overall, it’s a lot of questions. Not in the sense of being confused about what is going on the whole time, but it’s enough to make you definitely want to read the next book. Is this the last we’ll see of Damaris or Auntie? How will Jordel, Gem and our main heroine Loren catch up with Xain and Annis?
Overall, 5 out of 5 stars! This was a great first beginning to the series, and I can’t wait to read the next one. If you want a resourceful female protagonist, character-driven plot and you’re fine with your fantasy being a little dialogue-heavy, definitely check this out!