Check Out the Rascals and Rogues

Science Fiction and Fantasy novels are full of mischievous aliens, from heroic captains who simply cannot stay on the right side of the law to scary assassins who bring justice out of the shadows. Because this Trope is so popular, authors sometimes don’t have the ability to surprise and excite readers with new twists of this old tune, and it takes a clever mind to turn it into something exciting, but Suzanne Palmer Finder and Sam Syke’s seven blades in black do just that.

This is the kind of Sci-Fi you would get if Pierce Brown’s “Firefly” and “Red Rising” had a baby — a trip full of adrenaline and flight with a heavy side of political intrigue. Set against the backdrop of the Cernee space Colony, Palmer’s debut Novel follows Repo man Fergus Ferguson as he attempts to accomplish a seemingly simple Mission: find (and recover) the stolen Venetia spaceship sword from a Local business boss, Arum Gilger. When the colony is suddenly involved in a civil debate, Fergus must weigh his work against protecting the lives of the natives who — unfortunately — are important to him.

Palmer offers a story that pays to the rogue archetype so widespread in space without feeling like an outdated copycat. When Fergus Ferguson moves from one end of Cernee to the other, we are spoiled not only by frantic action scenes, daring escapes and tense plots, but also by the overwhelming uncertainty of what it would be like to live in a human colony on the outskirts of the stranger.not-known. This contrast reinforces an already complex (and not always predictable) plot that captivates readers and draws them towards the unlikely and disturbing end of the book.

Like Finder, Sykes’ first entry in the Grave of Empires Trilogy is a simple story at first glance. Sal, the cacophony, is about to be executed, but refuses to leave until someone hears his last words — even if it means that an officer of the revolution is listening to him and arrives even after his own ostentatious passed away. Part revolver and part finishing bill, seven blades in black is a classic and original revenge story. Sykes brilliantly weaves a story of adventure, loss and revenge that takes place against the backdrop of a landscape torn apart by decades of magical debates between The Magical Empire and the revolution led by its former slaves.

What draws the most attention to Seven Blades in Black is not the characters, although Sal and his companions are beautifully worked and much more nuanced than it seems at first glance. Nor is it the magic system that is both complex and thoughtful in its execution. It’s not even the mind-blowing plot that makes the novel’s 700 pages feel like they’re in flight. Instead, it’s the depth of the world Sykes has built that makes Seven Blades in Black so compelling. Sykes doesn’t hesitate to ask more questions about his world than he answers, letting readers know that there are more adventures around the corner. This ability to immerse readers in a new world without explaining things is difficult in the first book of a series, but Sykes deftly adapts to the occasion.

Although they are radically different in terms of atmosphere and sound, Finder and Seven Blades in Black offer fantastic and fantastic stories that will delight you. Both would be a good choice for those who like villains, villains and high-octane adventures.

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