Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Swordheart by T Kingfisher
Narrator: Jesse Vilinsky
Series: The World of the White Rat #3
Published by Tantor Audio on March 23, 2021
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Length: 14 hours, 32 minutes
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Halla is a housekeeper who has suddenly inherited her great-uncle's estate... and, unfortunately, his relatives. Sarkis is an immortal swordsman trapped in a prison of enchanted steel. When Halla draws the sword that imprisons him, Sarkis finds himself attempting to defend his new wielder against everything from bandits and roving inquisitors to her own in-laws... and the sword itself may prove to be the greatest threat of all.
I loved Swordheart! It feels like forever since I have connected with a book this deeply and enjoyed it so much. Halla and Sarkis were phenomenal characters that really made my day. Swordheart is full of funny lines and interesting situations. I am so happy to find this author; this is one of those books that made me want to get their entire catalogue to read. I’m definitely going to give the rest of the books in The World of the White Rat a go.
Halla is a respectable widow with the worst in-laws. After inheriting her uncle’s estate, that included a doomsday predicting bird (previously thought to have been possessed by a demon, but it is not they had it tested), they have locked her in her room until she agrees to marry her clammy hand cousin. Well, she’d rather die and after a few days she decides to do just that. Except when she pulls the heavy decorative sword out of the scabbard an actual man comes out. It is at this point I knew Halla and I were going to get along great as her personality really came out in an abundance.
Sarkis has been stuck in that sword for hundreds of years, forced to serve whoever wielded the sword. It has been a while since it has been drawn, but he has never had a wielder like Halla. First, she is a woman. Second, she isn’t a warrior and she isn’t trying to conquer anything. Third, and possibly most surprising, she actually treats him like a man and not like a weapon. He is bound to protect her but it has been a long time since he has actually wanted to protect the bearer of his sword.
I enjoyed traveling with Halla and Sarkis as they get to know one another and then with Zale and Brindle (a description of Brindle won’t do him justice). Zale, a non-binary priest of the Rat God, made an interesting traveling companion as he brought even more comedy in unexpected ways, as he travelled back with our duo to help Halla get her inheritance back. They have a few adventures and detours along the way in this interesting land of many gods and wandering hills.
Swordheart definitely falls into the romantasy category of fantasy. Sarkis is a man with a colored past; I mean he did end up trapped in a sword so there has to be a story behind that, one that isn’t exactly good. He also is everything I love in a character. Slightly broken, cursed, loyal and just a nice guy overall. Halla, oh I love her. She has been through a lot in her life but she is still so trusting of people and nice. I love when she plays stupid with her questions in order to get out of potentially dire situations. Seriously a fun character. As they both figure out what they are feeling for each other I was getting all fluttery for them. No instalove here, their time together seemed like a perfect way to get to know each other and really form a bond together.
If you are a fan of both fantasy and some romance this might be just what you are looking for to brighten your day as well. I was really glad to find out that this is the first book of a trilogy since there are two other swords out there with people bound to them like Sarkis.
“What would you say if I tortured you?” asked the bandit leader conversationally.
Halla blinked at him. “Err, ‘Ow,’ probably. ‘Stop, Stop, Stop,’ something like that?” What a bizarre question. What does he expect me to say?
Jesse Vilinsky really brought all the characters to life. Her use of accent for Sarkis made him all the more dreamy and sexy for me. Halla comes across as genuine and endearing and just adorable actually. This is one of those books that I think the narration made the story even better for me. I listened to Swordheart at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to the clip: HERE
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