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Inga Alenir is a Swordbearer. She is the latest in a long line of women to inherit a magical weapon called Deathbringer. She’s also dead, murdered on her wedding day by the ruthless and covetous noblewoman Yenda Avard, who steals the sword after killing Inga and her entire family.

And yet, some secrets won’t stay buried. Deathbringer has a will and a consciousness of its own, and even has the power to raise Inga from the dead for a short time. It warns her that she has one week to find and retrieve the sword before death reclaims her—permanently. With each day bringing her doom and final demise ever closer, Inga will have to see just how far she’s willing to go to achieve her vengeance.

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Book Information

  • Title: Deathbringer
  • Series: The Spellsword Saga #1
  • Author: Blake Carpenter
  • Page Count: 330
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: 3.75/5.0
  • Date Read: April 15th, 2024

Opening Thoughts

Deathbringer by Blake Carpenter was my thirty-seventh read from my personal SPFBO-9 TBR. This one was a bit of a flyer when I selected it for my list last year. The cover was intriguing. With that being said, I’ve since noticed there is a different cover. I’m not sure if this alternate cover is newer or just a different version but knowing what I do now, I think this alternate cover does give a better depiction of this story. I try not to let covers being a true deciding factor of whether I read a book or not. I would be liar though if I said there isn’t some influence from this and I’m not sure if I would have seen this other cover if I still would have put it on this list.

With that being said, this one took me a bit of time to really get into and I wasn’t sure if I would continue until probably about a third of the way in. I am glad that I did. This might not be a favorite read of min this year but it was still worth the time it took.

Pacing

The pacing honestly started out a bit slow for me. I think the opening scene kind of caught me off guard. I just wasn’t expecting such a scene with a title such as Deathbringer. After that it took me a considerable bit to really get into this one and decide that I was going to continue along with it, which I’m ultimately glad that I did.  I didn’t have any issues with names or locations within this read. However, there were a handful of editing issues sprinkled throughout. I don’t feel this was a major issue but it did trip me up a couple of times as I reread the part to understand the actual intent.

World Building

The world building was really interesting in Deathbringer. The cultural twist as far as sexism roles kept things interesting though it did seem to get a bit redundant from time to time. I liked the idea it just seemed like it was thrown in the readers face a couple too many times. The fact that we had a good mix of social castes, regions and cultures certain made for a nicely fleshed out world though. We also get a bit of history brought up regarding the wars, leaders and weaponry of years past which is nice.

Character Development

The character development was solid. Inga has her world turned upside down very quickly to start the story. She then ends up hyper focused on her goal throughout most of the remainder of the story until she truly begins to understand her gift or as some may say her curse. There were some really good supporting characters throughout the story as well. For those that survived book one, I’m interested to see what comes of them. Most importantly is what this all means for Inga though. Will she try to return to a more modest life similar to those before her wedding day, or will she begin to rebuild a long dead clan and have some true influence over the world.

Roundup & Recommendation

Overall, I am still glad that I stuck this one out. It’s certainly an adventurous story with some interesting characters. There is some poor treatment of characters either outright or eluded to and plenty of characters looking down on others due to sex or social standing which can get annoying at times. I do feel these moments did help contribute to the vibe the author was going with for the story though. I am interested to see where the story goes in the second book, even if it might not be a priority anytime soon.

I would recommend Deathbringer to readers who enjoy fantasy stories with a good amount of magic and a bit of darker culture with a twist. Especially if you’re tired of the usual over dominate male characters taking advantage of female characters portrayed as weaker. That is the big twist for me in this read. Those tables are turned 180 degrees in this world.

Scoring

World Building 4/5
Pacing 3/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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