Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Continuously fun and light-hearted in tone, Six Sacred Swords was a great beginning to a new spin-off series by Andrew Rowe.
Six Sacred Swords is the first book in Weapons and Wielders series by Andrew Rowe. It is unknown at the moment how many books are planned for this series, but one thing for sure that you should know is that this series serves as a prequel to Rowe’s Arcane Ascensions series; a series I highly enjoyed. Some of the most dominant elements in Arcane Ascensions are the intricate magic system, the magic school setting, the tests, and the dungeon crawlers. Six Sacred Swords is both different and similar to Arcane Ascension by excluding the magic theory and magic school setting; focusing the narrative on the fun adventure, video games dungeon-crawler aspect, and anime-esque battle scenes. At the same time, this series serves also as a sequel series to Rowe’s War of Broken Mirrors; I haven’t read this one. That being said, rest assured that you can definitely start your journey into Rowe’s imagination by starting with this book.
Keras Selyrian is on his way to becoming a legend. He has fought and defeated false divinities, thieving sorcerers, and corrupt demigods but he has been transported to Kaldwyn. Kaldwyn brings a new kind of danger for Keras as he tries to collect the Six Sacred Swords; Kaldwyn’s most famous artifacts. Similar to Arcane Ascension, if you love reading SFF and you love playing JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Games), I really think you can’t go wrong with giving Rowe’s series a try. It doesn’t matter whether you start from Sufficiently Advanced Magic or this book, both books serve absolutely well as a great homage to JRPG and both are highly entertaining light-hearted adventure stories. Seriously, just from the chapter titles alone, you’ll get a good idea just how much of this book is a homage to JRPG’s. A few examples:
Chapter II – Breath of Fire (From the JRPG franchise Breath of Fire)
Chapter III – A Dragon’s Quest (From the JRPG franchise Dragon’s Quest)
Chapter XI – A Link to the Future (From The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past)
Chapter XIV – Brave By Default (From the video game Bravely Default)
There are just a few examples, all the titles within this book are inspired by real-life JRPG that I have enjoyed playing growing up. However, what makes this book even more fun to read for me was how Rowe connects the content to reflect the title of the chapter; it felt like I was truly playing and reading a JRPG/novel, if that makes sense.
I honestly found this book to even more entertaining to read and light-hearted in tone compared to Arcane Ascensions for two main reasons. The first one is that although I immensely enjoyed Arcane Ascensions, I also have to admit that the magic systems’ explanation of that series at times can be a bit overkill that they ended up being quite tiring to read after a while. The second reason is that Keras is a very engaging main character; he has an incredibly positive attitude that’s worth rooting for. Plus, the small cast of main characters in this book actually helped to make the book felt more intimate. The friendship between Keras, Reika, and Dawnbringer was utterly delightful to read; putting a smile upon my face on many occasions. I mean, a kind-hearted and powerful swordsman, an introvert romance-genre loving dragon, and a sassy sentient sword make for an incredible trio.
I have to admit that I haven’t been playing video games a lot for the past three years. I used to be able to play more than 40 video games per year, but now, as I get older and life gets busier, I only play one or two games per year at most. It’s a sad statistic, I know, but the only way I can increase that stats is by sacrificing my reading/reviewing time and honestly right now, I’m enjoying reading/reviewing more for many reasons that will be too long to explain here. My point is this, I’m grateful for books like this. For a book I read for the first time, it was able to spark a sense of nostalgia; reminding me of the adventure I had playing video games growing up, and just for that alone, this was a worthwhile read. I highly recommend Six Sacred Swords for any reader who’s in the mood for compelling light-hearted adventure. If you’re already a fan of Arcane Ascensions like I am, you’ll find a lot of things to love here; even more so if you’re not a fan of magic-school or intricate magic systems. Right now, I’m actually looking forward to the sequel of this book more than Arcane Ascensions, it was that enjoyable to read and I want more from it.