Kelly McCullough’s FALLEN BLADE saga is a fun and fast moving fantasy series. I love a series that can incorporate humor along with the requisite action, magic and evil bad guys who need to be defeated. McCullough keeps things mockingly amusing by never letting the hero’s head get too big.
Crossed Blades tells the story of Aral, one time Blade of Namara before her fall. Since the death of his goddess, Aral’s life has been sad and dark, but the arrival of certain people and events are forcing him to drag himself out of the low life he has sunk to. With his new quasi-apprentice Faran keeping him on his toes, Aral is not yet ready to run into Jax, another former Blade of Namara, and his ex-fiancé. But Jax needs help. She has been through hard times and people who she is responsible for are in danger. Despite the risks and their unpleasant history, she has come to Tien looking for Aral.
Crossed Blades contains some really wonderful story telling. Not only does McCullough do a good job of keeping some very heavy plot elements light, he manages to shine a ray of hope and possibility into Aral’s miserable life. There are some sad elements, some soul-searching and the growing pains of a man who is being drawn back from the abyss to face a future that may have meaning where he had previously not dared to hope.
I enjoy the FALLEN BLADE books because they are quick, but meaty enough in terms of plot and adventure to be interesting. They’re not so ponderous that you can’t just float along with the story. This is not a series set on the grand scale of epic fantasy; it’s about a man, his friends, and enjoying the adventure that his life is becoming.
Fallen Blade — (2011-2015) Publisher: Once a fabled Blade of Namara, Aral Kingslayer fought for justice and his goddess alongside his familiar, a living shadow called Triss. Now with their goddess murdered and her temple destroyed, they are among the last of their kind. Surviving on the fringes of society, Aral becomes a drunken, broken, and wanted man, working whatever shadowy deal comes his way. Until a mysterious woman hires him to deliver a secret message-one that can either redeem him or doom him.