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Seven Blades in Black

By: Sam Sykes
Narrated by: Daisy May
Length: 20 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

Regular price: $30.79

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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed author Sam Sykes returns with a brilliant new epic fantasy that introduces an unforgettable outcast mage caught between two warring empires.

Her magic was stolen. She was left for dead.

Betrayed by those she trusts most and her magic ripped from her, all Sal the Cacophony has left is her name, her story, and the weapon she used to carve both. But she has a will stronger than magic and knows exactly where to go.

The Scar, a land torn between powerful empires, where rogue mages go to disappear, disgraced soldiers go to die and Sal went with a blade, a gun, and a list of seven names.

Revenge will be its own reward.

For more from Sam Sykes, check out:

The Affinity for Steel Trilogy

  • Tome of the Undergates
  • Black Halo
  • The Skybound Sea

Bring Down Heaven

  • The City Stained Red
  • The Mortal Tally
  • God's Last Breath
©2019 Sam Sykes (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Seven Blades in Black offers villains that are as memorable and unique as the heroes. Action, magic, romance and humor mingle well in this mammoth tale. It's an immersive read in a well realized world." (Robin Hobb, New York Times best-selling author of Fool's Assassin)

"By the end of the first page, you'll know Sam is in love with his characters. By the end of the second, you'll know you are too." (Myke Cole, author of The Armored Saint)

"Exciting and inventive. I never realized how much I needed wizard-hunting gunslingers in my life." (Peter V. Brett, New York Times best-selling author of The Warded Man)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

truely a love letter to final fantasy

Sam Sykes master level Twitter shitposter guides you through an operatic tale of love betrayal, masks, big ass birds and bigger guns.
It is my sincere hope this one day becomes an animated series.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Story and Sacrifice

Seven Blades in Black marks a step forward and an achievement in the career of Sykes as a novelist. A smart, tightly written story with compellingly human characters, 7BiB is an exciting and entertaining listen. But what makes this story so impactful is how each of its elements cohesively works together to emphasize 7BiB’s central theme: Sacrifice.

Sacrifice permeates the story: the characters, the settings, the plot, even the mechanics of this science-fantasy world all hinge on sacrifice. Many of our greatest stories use this same theme, but 7BiB strives to expand its possibilities. In addition to more common variations on this theme: sacrifice of self, body, life, time; 7BiB asks what if you sacrificed your faith? Your relationships? Your identity? When is sacrifice worthwhile? Or justified? The magic system in particular encapsulates this theme beautifully: 7BiB’s world contains a variety of types of magic users, but the universal rule is that each “style” of power has a cost that is often appropriate (or appropriately ironic) and feels very logical in this setting.

I also appreciate how Sykes approaches world-building in 7BiB. A major trapping in science-fiction and fantasy is how you introduce a reader to your completely alien world. It’s a difficult balancing act: too much exposition early on and the reader becomes bored, too little explanation and the reader is confused or lost. 7BiB is a masterclass in this concept: the world and its mechanics are revealed piecewise throughout the story as they come up, and in a straightforward manner as if the protagonist were giving the reader a tour. This actually makes a lot of sense in-story due to a clever framing device in which the protagonist is recounting her actions to someone who is only slightly less ignorant than the reader.

Despite how approachable the story is, 7BiB is also gleefully bizarre. If the prospect of Tarantino’s Kill Bill set in a science-fantasy world is not weird enough, 7BiB is also partially influenced by John Carpenter’s The Thing and even 90s role-playing video games. While listening I could almost see the dialogue appearing as white text in a blue box (if you understood that reference, you’ll have a good time with this book).

The last praise I’ll heap on 7BiB is how gratifying the story ends up being. Despite its designation as the first part of a series, 7BiB tells a complete, self-contained story that left me highly satisfied, which is so refreshing in the mercilessly serialized landscape of modern fantasy novels. Not to say that I couldn’t imagine the story of 7BiB continuing, which I would be excited to experience.

To sum up, Seven Blades in Black is smartly written, entertaining, thematically cohesive, delightfully weird (yet extremely approachable), and highly satisfying. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a rich, full story.

P.S.
May’s reading is clear, engaging, and fun to listen to. No worries there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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What a story

Sal the Cacophony is one tough mage.

Its hard to describe this story, it has magic, violence, revenge, love, and some odd bonding. It was like listening to an JRPG that I would love to play. There are even a kind of chocobo that one could ride. The story does meander quite a bit. There are details about the details but it doesnt take away from the overall story.

The narrater was ok, the only issue I had was that it was hard sometimes to keep up with who was talking. It was almost like it was the same person speaking (or thinking) as there was very little change of tone for any of the characters. The mc, the men, the women, it was almost all the same. I mention this only because its a 21 hour book so one needs to be prepared.

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Final Fantasy meets kill bill

wow the narrator was amazing the story was fantastic just an outstanding work the fights were well done and the main character very well fleshed out.

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All the tediousness...

All the tediousness without skimping on characters you really don't care about. Ugh, does no one understand how to write an entertaining read anymore? When does Michael J Sullivan's next book come out?

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Terrible characters

Sal is probably one of the worst written characters I’ve ever read. The supporting characters are terribly boring.