I’ll miss Aral Kingslayer

Darkened Blade by Kelly McCullough

Aral is called upon by the shade of his goddess to perform one last task in her name and the name of Justice. Aral gathers about himself the last remaining Blades for a thrust at the Son of Heaven and his risen horde. As the time draws closer the decision weighs more heavily on Aral, who must decide the greater evil – to do nothing and let evil flourish or to intervene and knowingly cause the death of until innocent lives?

I like McCullough’s work with the Fallen Blade series because while it smacks of some very traditional fantasy series it also spends a lot of time questioning the underlying logic of the systems involved. Not only does it question the ethics behind blind obedience to a deity or superior but also the ramifications to the populace affected by the choices people might make. It is also a series about redemption and I, for one, would like to believe in most people’s ability to redeem themselves and others.

While I miss Tien and the adventures Aral has had there in the past this story carries us from the Sylvani Empire through Varya to the ruins of the order and on from there. We get to spend some time with Siri, Jax, Faran, and even Kelos as they work together to avoid armies and risen across the eleven kingdoms. And generally try not to kill each other.

I am sad that we don’t get one more adventure or interaction with Captain Fei, but the book was a strong ending to a very enjoyable series. I think the Blades of Namara need a vacation or a hug after this round. They’ll receive a bit of a break from the written word as this is the last planned installment of the series, sadly.

I’ll miss Aral Kingslayer.

If you haven’t read McCullough’s works and enjoy assassins, magic, familiars, and a world of deities and world building that span millennia then dive in with Broken Blade. Think a little more linear and traditional Vlad Taltos by Steven Brust if you need something to situate it in the genre.

I am sure after some time passes I’m going to have to reread this series.


About Brandon

Just call me B, or Brandon. Either is fine. I like to think of myself as an American nomad. I have moved so many times I have lost count. Worked in warehouses and cubicles, had a corner office in Hawaii, and spent some time in India. I find that as different and varied as people are across the country and the world they are still really the same. I remember people that have had a good story to share. I hope I can share some of their and some of my stories with you. I am working on reviewing and some other creative projects with my partner. Find me on Twitter @bmcrew2
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One Response to I’ll miss Aral Kingslayer

  1. wondernaut says:

    I hope that one day Kelly McCullough will come back with new adventues of Blades. I’ve finished Darkened Blade today and while I think it’s nice ending to the story it still leaves open door for multiple amazing adventures of Aral and other Blades. Book written from Faran perspective would be cool 🙂

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