Author: Ilona Andrews (AKA Ilona and Andrew Gordon)
Received: Read for free online
I read Sweep of the Blade for free on Ilona Andrews’ website. When the edited version is released for purchase I’m going to reread it and will likely update my review then.
Sweep of the Blade is the latest novel in the Innkeeper Chronicles. Technically it’s 3.5 in the series; mainly because this one does not follow Diana on her adventure. Instead, this whole book is from Maud’s perspective, which was a fun change of pace.
Sweep of the Blade was intended to be a novella, but somehow the authorlords (as their fandom teasingly calls them) ended up with a full novel on their hands. I’m personally thrilled by this. For one thing, it meant I didn’t have to see the book end too quickly. And for another I prefer that the story take as long as needed, flowing organically.
The whole novel released for free on a weekly bases. I think it’s probably still posted, but it’ll likely get taken down when Ilona and Andrew Gordon have time to start editing the massive beast they created. On the bright side, after that point, you can buy the novel from them. It’ll have extra parts that they’ve not comfortable including online as a bonus. Plus you get to support the authors. Win/win, right?
I honestly wasn’t sure how I felt at first, knowing that the newest Innkeeper novel wouldn’t be following Diana. I had grown pretty attached to her character, as well as the quest she was on. So I was conflicted about the switch. On the one hand, I liked Maud well enough and was curious about her story, and on the other I wanted the main plot to move forward.
In the end, though, it wasn’t my call and I decided to just go with trusting the authors. And I’m so glad I did. I loved Maud’s story. It was brilliant to get to see more about her, and alongside that, we got to see more of Arland and the vampires.
The vampire politics and plotting may very well have been some of my favorite scenes in this novel. I couldn’t have been happier reading about all the plots they were sorting through, and all the schemes Maud witnessed happening all around her. It was everything I expected for the vampires and more.
The fight scenes in this novel were of epic proportions. Sometimes fights brought out because vampires are arrogant, stubborn, and prone to getting angry. Other times because something completely unpredictable occurred. And of course, there are the fights that were carefully plotted and anticipated. They all were wonderfully written.
There were cameos I really didn’t expect but probably should have. I don’t think it’d be an Innkeeper novel without an appearance from Nuan Cee, for example. I was delighted to see him and his adorable (but fierce) family.
I know some people have a tendency to skip .5s in a series, but in this case, I’d urge you to reconsider. Maud is an amazing and fun character. And while a lot of the plot may not have been relevant to Diana’s quest, I promise you that there’s enough there for it to be worth it.