Review: Sword and Shadow by Michelle Sagara
Severn is a mystery that I want to unravel so badly. Reading this book, I am both elated and devastated. He is a boy who grew up without a past into a young man with deep regrets. He regrets how his actions have impacted someone he loves so deeply. I like how he still believes he did the right thing. I can't argue that point because I am on his side. There are some people who have to make tough choices and do the dirty work that others, more delicate people cannot handle. The fact that Severn is able to carry these out at a very young age is impressive. In this book, we learn just how wonderfully special, Severn is and why.
Severn's first time through the West March is through here. Seeing his experiences from his eyes this second time for me makes the West March and learning more about the hallion is fascinating. Whereas the original series tends to drag the plot out over many books, I felt as if this series is more potent with more reveals in a tightly written context. There is very little fluff in this book. Zoning out or skipping a few sentences could cause a reader to miss key elements that explain this world better.
Severn continues to surprise and exceed most people's expectations. His childhood training has provided him with an excellent foundation for critical thinking. I kind of wish more children were raised the same as he was ... with a teacher that teaching in a style reminiscent of Chinese teachers I've had. Severn receives several shocking encounters that leave him both happy and sad. I feel the same emotions for him. Whilst I understand why this is happening and all the special events happening to him, I cannot help but feel bereft due to the sacrifices he must make. Sacrifices those who love him must make.
It seems Severn's life is not fully his own and he will always be a critical player in this universe. I am wondering where this will all head and if the Shadows will ever be explained and defeated. I am in love with both the original series and this spin-off. I highly recommend this book for high fantasy readers. This tale is complex, well written, multilayered, and packed with emotion.
*provided by Edelweiss