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September 15, 2020

Bared Blade (Fallen Blade 02) by Kelly McCullough

Filed under: Reviews-Fantasy — Suramya @ 5:44 PM

Bared Blade (Fallen Blade 02)
by Kelly McCullough


Former temple assassin Aral Kingslayer has a price on his head and a mark on his soul. After his goddess was murdered, Aral found refuge in the shadow jack business, fixing problems for those on the fringes of Tien’s underworld. It’s a long step down from working for the Goddess of Justice, but it gives Aral and Triss—the living shadow who is his secret partner—a reason to get up in the morning.

When two women hit a rough spot in the tavern Aral uses for an office, he and Triss decide to lend a helping hand–only to find themselves in the middle of a three-way battle to find an artifact that just might be the key to preventing a war. And with so many factions on their trail, Aral and Triss are attracting a lot more attention than anyone featured on ten thousand wanted posters can afford…

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Bared Blade picks up about a year after the events of Broken Blade where Aral is no longer trying to drown himself in Alcohol and is trying to help people achieve Justice (not the black/white version he used to believe in when his Goddess was still alive but his own take on it. He has made some friends and seems to be doing ok for himself. While he is having dinner, two women get into trouble while he is there and he helps them out at some risk to himself. This decision starts off the story and embroils him in the intrigue involving the Others, Hand of God, Stingers etc.

The story is quick moving and is a lot more twists and turns than the previous book in the series. The book explores the affects of addiction from Aral’s perspective and makes it more realistic by not hand waving it away. Aral was a functioning alcoholic and even a year later he has urges to go back to drinking especially when things are hard and he doesn’t have good solutions. Which is what happens in the real world as well from what I have read. There is a major twist about 3/4th of the way through which creates a lot of drama for the team and it becomes even more important in the next book of the series.

The book can be read as a standalone novel if you want but reading the previous book will give you additional context for some of the decisions and actions taken by the characters.

Final Review: Good read. Check it out if you like the previous book in the series.

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