Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: The Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams

The Sharpest Blade
(Shadow Reader #3)
Sandy Williams
Release: December 31, 2013
Add to Goodreads   Buy at Amazon
Torn between two worlds.
Torn between two lives.

McKenzie Lewis’s ability to read the shadows has put her—and …those she loves—in harm’s way again and again. The violence must end, but will the cost of peace be more devastating than anyone ever imagined?

After ten years of turmoil, the life McKenzie has always longed for may finally be within her grasp. No one is swinging a sword at her head or asking her to track the fae, and she finally has a regular—albeit boring—job. But when a ruthless enemy strikes against her friends, McKenzie abandons her attempt at normalcy and rushes back to the Realm.

With the fae she loves and the fae she’s tied to pulling her in different directions, McKenzie must uncover the truth behind the war and accept the painful sacrifices that must be made to end it. Armed with dangerous secrets and with powerful allies at her side, her actions will either rip the Realm apart—or save it.

Man, I've loved this series. The Shadow Reader series is one of my favorites in urban fantasy and this final book, The Sharpest Blade is no exception. When we left McKenzie, Aren, and Kyol I was more than a little pissed. Events at the end of book two had led to McKenzie's near death and Kyol forming a life bond with her to save her life, which in turn led to Aren deciding he and McKenzie couldn't be together. Now, if you recall my previous reviews of this series, I have a wee tiny ridiculously in love with him crush on Aren. In the first book he won me over with his tousled hair, haphazard smile, and some of the most gripping and romantic quotes in the world. So, clearly, in the McKenzie/Aren/Kyol love triangle I have always been Team Aren. However, this is one love triangle where both men are equally suitable for the heroine and even though my heart fully belongs to Aren I must say that my heart breaks for Kyol many times in this series.

In The Sharpest Blade we get to see how the trio deals with the life bond. McKenzie is in love with Aren and hurting because he's keeping his distance, but Kyol can feel all of her emotions through the life bond and he's hurting from her rejection. Good lord, everyone is hurting in this book! There are a lot of emotions and tension in this one. I love it! (Something must be wrong with me...) The emotional turmoil is stressful and at times annoying, as it should be, but never overdone and made for some great moments. McKenzie shares wonderful scenes with both of the men in her life and the reader can really see what she saw in Kyol and what she sees in Aren (even though both men act like tools at varying times in this book).

Aside from a wonderful romance, there's also the adventure of the Fae Realm. Every time the characters enter the Realm, and honestly quite often when they're just minding their own business in the human world, there is a battle to be had. The seemingly never-ending plight of Lena and her supporters to officially win the throne makes for a truly engaging read. And, as in all battles, there are some losses. There was a moment in The Sharpest Blade where my Kindle almost met with dry wall, but I survived and came out happy by the end of the book.

Prepare yourself to swoon, to cry, to smile, to hold your breath, to lean in close to your book. Just prepare yourself.

Recommended for fans of: love triangles, Aren, Fae, Aren, combat with swords, Aren, and small ferret-like creatures that eat Goldfish. And Aren.

This review is based on an advance copy of the book provided by the publisher. 

  5 / 5 stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis #1)
The Shattered Dark (McKenzie Lewis #2)

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