Review of Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina


February 2, 2014 by mmileti


This book will be available in the U.S. on February 25, 2014, and in the U.K. on March 6, 2014.


            The Blades of the Old Empire is the first book in the new Majat Code Series.  It is an epic fantasy that follows Kythan Dorn, a young prince with rare elemental magic, and his companions.  Kyth’s life changes forever when mysterious men from a cult was outlawed centuries ago attack him and his friends, and it turns out these men have strange powers of their own.  When the Kaddim cult realizes that their power works neither on Kyth or his Majat Warrior bodyguard Kara, Kyth and Kara end up at the top of the Kaddim’s hit list.  Kyth, his stepbrother Alder, and Kara go on a mission to find support from the grasslands, trying to avoid the schemes of the Kaddim along the way.  At the same time Kyth’s friend Ellah goes with his father and the Keepers, hoping to learn some of the Keeper healing secrets, and how to enhance her own ability to tell whether or not someone speaks the truth.   Unless Kyth and his father can get support from other leaders in the land, the church, which has been infiltrated by the Kaddim cult, will execute Kyth because of his powers and depose his father from the throne.

            I realize that this description of the plot sounds a bit convoluted, but the author plops the reader right down in the middle of the story, and it takes a while to discern what exactly is happening in the story.  This makes it hard to do a short description because I had very little backstory to explain before having to relate the setup of the plot. This is not necessarily a bad thing.  There are many amazing books like The Black Company or the Malazan books that put reader down in the middle of the action with little to no explaination.  Blades of the Empire is an enjoyable book, and once you get familiar with the characters and the setting, it is easy to route for the protagonists and against the antagonists.  The book is also a fast paced read, and it contains plenty of action.  The Majat Warriors in particular are very fascinating characters, and I would love to learn more about them in further books.  There are also many hints of an older, not quite extinct society, which could be expanded upon a lot more as the series goes on.  There is also an element of romance to this book, and I liked that it was tasteful and did not completely overwhelm the story line.  This book is action packed from the very first page, and is a good start to a series that I will look forward to reading more of.

            I would have enjoyed this book a bit more if there had been more world building.  The story went so fast that I did not feel immersed in the world, and I would have liked to be a little more familiar with each character.  The plotline was explained sufficiently, and after a while the plot was easy to follow, but it was not explained with the level of detail that I am partial to, or that I think most readers require to bring them into the story.

            Overall, this was an entertaining, but not completely engaging story.  The series does have a lot of potential, and I plan on reading the next book in the Majat Code series to see if there is more world building.  I would rate this book a 7/10.

            I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.


2 thoughts on “Review of Blades of the Old Empire by Anna Kashina

  1. Nathan says:

    Reading this one right now. I admit the first chapter has me wondering, it was a bit cartoonish. But I hope I get a payoff from my persiverence.

    Good to here the romance doesn’t overwhelm everything because it is being heavelly foreshadowed so far.

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If you would like to submit a book for review, or you have any questions about Avid Reviews, you can contact me by email: mrmileti(at)gmail(dot)com

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