by Aaron de Orive
& Martha Wells
Now you’ve read the overall premise, my review should make more sense:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Blade singer surprised me in a good way for a book starring a boy who made so many bad choices at the beginning. Flying home on a plane, I chose to read instead of watching Malificent. Even though Manny had lost his parents and had a bully pushing him towards the dark side, I was starting to regret not watching the movie until magic transported Manny to another world. I was hooked soon after he landed in the body of a goblin boy who had made even more bad decisions. It didn’t take long for Manny to regret his own bad choices when he had to deal with the results of the goblin’s.
The timing of Manny’s transport wasn’t coincidence. In a hotbed of human and faerie conflicts, the Chevaliers (think Musketeers) were fighting a losing battle against a powerful witch gang leader set on overthrowing the crown (not a spoiler because it’s in the blurb). Manny met Seely and Unseely: magical folk who can change from one to the other depending on behavior, not always by choice because of deprivation and human prejudice. Oberon, Mab, and even Merlin figured in the history, and the plot had plenty of twists. I loved how the authors connected Manny’s longing for his dead mother and father with characters he met in the other world. They also did a good job with the good guy/bad guy character mix; some on both sides didn’t fit the mold.
It didn’t matter that I was stuck on a plane. I read in one sitting because the pacing kept me turning pages right up until the last one. (spoiler warning) However, once the goblin boy started giving advice, I kept wondering why he wasn’t upset about Manny taking over his body. And when it became evident the goblin used Manny’s body during that time, I wondered how the goblin’s mind could be two places at once. And if the goblin was aware of what Manny was doing, why didn’t the reverse hold true? Those are the only problems besides comma splices. I doubt most tweens will notice either. They will notice lots of action, a satisfying character arc, and puzzles to solve. For adults, I give 4 stars. However, I try to rate books according to the target audience, so I’m giving 5. Great for reluctant readers. Blade Singer will sing to their souls like it did to mine. Assuming the authors address the body switching issues in the next book, I’ll be waiting for the coin toss. I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Authors: