Lots of Bang for your Fantasy Buck
“Swift Reprisal” is an epic fantasy adventure in every sense of the word. At nearly 700 pages, you’re getting quite a bit of adventure for your $4.99. The books length might actually be considered a detriment as that little status bar at the bottom of the kindle screen moves along with almost indiscernible progress. I wonder if Ian Blackport might have been better off breaking this up into three or more novels just to make it a little more kindle friendly (and to increase his profits).
The book begins with the betrayal of House Erodin by the Venshals. We see a castle sacked and all the nobility slaughtered except for the young Layera. Layera embarks on a quest to reunite with her father and brother, who are away at war, and to get vengeance on the Venshals.
For those of you who prefer a strong female character, Layera is that. She’s handy with both a bow and a blade, although she’s real enough to show a very well-developed vulnerability. I liked the character development, and found Blackport’s choices in crafting her set a nice tone. Arya Stark comes to mind, although Layera is a little older I believe (at least she reads that way).
“Swift Reprisal” is a very descriptive book, and at times I felt the text bogged down somewhat. It reminded me of David Eddings, an author who I know enjoys tremendous popularity, and yet leaves me a little uninspired. Blackport uses a lot of gerunds, and they started to ring in my ear a bit. He’s also inclined to give you lists of adjectives. For example, a soldier speaks his dying words through a mass of “frothy spittle.” My preference would have been to trim down the text and eliminate some of the description...but I think it’s fair to mention that I don’t enjoy the readership of authors like David Eddings, so consider that when you weigh my opinion.
I’m giving this book four stars because it is a well-thought out and well-developed adventure. It’s certainly a great value for the amount of story you get for the price. It will be great fun for readers who enjoy extremely verbose writing. If you like sharp, quick prose you aren’t going to enjoy this, but if you revel in the details, smells, and feelings of the settings of a fantasy novel—you’re going to love “Swift Reprisal.” I have no doubt this book will find an enthusiastic, loyal following.
Get your copy here.