Read Nightblade by Ryan Kirk Online


Ryuu is a boy orphaned by violence at a young age. Found by a wandering warrior, he learns he may have more strength than he ever imagined possible. A quiet child, Moriko is forced into a monastic system she despises. Torn from her family and the forest she grew up in, she must fight to learn the skills she’ll need to survive her tutelage under the realm’s most dangerous aRyuu is a boy orphaned by violence at a young age. Found by a wandering warrior, he learns he may have more strength than he ever imagined possible. A quiet child, Moriko is forced into a monastic system she despises. Torn from her family and the forest she grew up in, she must fight to learn the skills she’ll need to survive her tutelage under the realm’s most dangerous assassin. Young, beautiful, and broke, Takako is sold to pay for her father’s debts. Thrust into a world she doesn’t understand and battles she didn’t ask for, she must decide where her loyalties lie. When their lives crash together in a Kingdom on the brink of war, the decisions they make will change both their lives and their Kingdom forever. If they can stay alive. ...

Title : Nightblade
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 26036814
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 444 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Nightblade Reviews

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-05-26 03:41

    “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”ConfuciusI was in a reading slump for a while, nothing I picked up drew me in or held my can probably get an inkling of this by looking at my "Currently Reading" shelf and the number of unfinished books there. Then I started Free the Darkness and it was pretty good. Therefore I checked out the "people who liked this book also liked" page for it here at Goodreads. On there I found (among others) Six of Crows, A Dance of Blades, and this book Nightblade. This book drew me in and held my interest...finally. I already have the 2nd.The book begins by introducing us to our main characters, and our secondary characters...and you may not be able to tell who is who to begin with. There is a storytelling technique (used frequently) where you follow each of the different characters along their own story line. Sometimes this works better than at other times. Really. Some writers do this better than I thought it (it being the story-line or plot) started out rather slowly but that rapidly changed and I found myself almost enthralled at times. The book's core or driving plot-line very much revolves around the Confucius quote above. Layers of revenge bringing about "Hatfields/McCoys" types of situations here carrying along death generation after generation with participants who are seemingly caught in an inescapable pattern or labyrinth.That said there is also some deeper parts of this one and it begins to take on a multifaceted plot.I like it.The book has a very Asian flavor with the characters showing much influence from iconic eastern characters such as "warrior monks" and "Samurai". While there is no dearth of works with this type character this one is done well and doesn't fall into any of the cliche type traps some have.As noted I like this book and am looking forward to starting the next in the series as soon as I finish a couple of books already "in progress".5 Stars and recommended. Enjoy.

  • Gavin
    2019-06-02 02:47

    This was a dark YA coming of age fantasy tale. The fantasy setting had a definite Japanese tinge to it. The Nightblades were like Samurai warriors with a bit of extra Jedi-like powers. This story followed three main POV characters in Ryuu, Moriko, Takako. They were all of a similar age and we followed them from childhood into early adulthood. None of them had easy lives. Ryuu's whole family was murdered by bandits when he was a child. He was saved from the same fate by the man who went on to become his mentor. That man was a fabled Nightblade. The Nightblades are little more than legends in the Three Kingdoms as they were hunted to extinction after a war that broke a once powerful kingdom into the three parts that make up the Three Kingdoms. Ryuu's mentor teaches him the ways of the Nightblade but they live a lonely existence in the forest as he also believes that the only way to live in peace is to live apart from others. Moriko was taken from her family as a child and forced to train with Dayblade monks as soon as her skill with the Sense was discovered. The Dayblades do not use the Sense to kill and fight as do the Nightblades so they are less feared by the populace but the Monastic system is in place to keep them under control. Moriko resents her confinement there. Takako is just a regular Sense-less human but has no easier a life as she was sold to a brothel at a young age by her father who had lost more than he had at the gambling tables. She ends up at a high class brothel that caters to the elite of the Southern Kingdom nobility and army. Our three characters encounter each other along the way and end up making choices that have far larger consequences than they could have anticipated. The story could have been quite good but was hindered by a couple of things. The first was the writing style of Ryan Kirk.It was a bit strange and always created a bit of distance between the reader and the happenings. The second main issue was that both the female characters ended up being little more than romantic interests and object lessons for Ryuu. I was particularly frustrated by what this meant for one of the characters towards the end. All in all this was an OK story that threatened to be better than it actually was. I'm unsure at this point if I will pick up the second book or not.Rating: 3 stars.Audio Note: Andrew Tell did a decent job with the audio.

  • Jody
    2019-06-01 08:06

    Nightblade was a refreshing change of pace to what I have been reading recently. The authors writing style was a little different, but as I kept reading I noticed it fit the story perfectly. It did take me a while to really get into it, but it was time well spent.The setting has an ancient Japanese feel to it where warriors live by their sword and their honor. The plot is definitely character driven, and follows three main POV’s Ryuu, Moriko, and Takako from childhood to young adults. Their journey is the main focus of the book, but I found the culture and warrior aspects of the book interesting as well. The story itself is dark and even sad at times. You get your fair share of sword fighting and action, but that is only a fraction of what makes this a good book. I have a strong feeling this series is going to get better with each installment. I highly recommend giving this series a try!4 stars****

  • Patricia Crowther
    2019-05-31 05:40

    4.5*Not without some minor flaws but it was thoroughly enjoyable regardless. I actually found the simple writing style a refreshing change. It genuinely had me captivated from the very start and maintained my interest throughout.

  • PH
    2019-06-18 07:58

    This book is a terrible inconsistent mess.The world is inspired by feudal Japan and the world building is quite generic. This book's conception of honor is so stereotypical, it'll make a Klingon blush.The prose is stilted and uninspired. The vocabulary is simplistic. Descriptions are unimaginative and bland. The action is very low on detail. While that's likely due to a stylistic choice, much of it seems to be due to the fact that author doesn't know how to write action because there's no variety. He uses the same words and descriptions over and over again.The dialogue is banal. The characters talk to each other like they're children. They fail to ask obvious questions or give simple explanations, leading to pointless conflict and confusion.The book constantly mentions how brilliant and observant the protagonist is but he's indecisive and constantly makes incredibly dumb decisions. At the beginning of the book, he was able to fully control his emotions while watching his mother raped and murdered along with an entire caravan. However, after receiving years of rigorous training, learning discipline and self control, he becomes an impulsive fool who never considers the consequences of his actions.There is a character who exists for the sole purpose of being tortured in order to motivate the protagonist.The book tries to convey a message about the unintended consequences of the protagonist's actions but anyone with half a brain could have seen how idiotic and dangerous his choices are.This book is just bad. Don't read it.

  • Mark Halse
    2019-06-26 02:52

    Definitely an excellent read! Fast paced and interesting the whole way through however the story may have been a little too quick for my tastes.This book follows there children as tragedy leads them down a collision course for each other once they reach their majority. This book is a very nice departure from the run of the mill Western European fantasy as it is based on Asian cultures. Though the plot moved quickly the story is not light. This book gets dark. Not Jorg Ancrath dark but dark all the same.I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that I wish that it was a little more deep than it was. RECOMMENDED.

  • BookLoversLife
    2019-06-13 07:58

    This was fan-feaking-tastic!! I didn't just read this, I devoured it. Everything about it was phenomenal, but non more so than the character building. Every character in this was extremely well written and developed. We have Ryuu, a boy who saw his parents being killed and who was rescued by a mysterious man. This warrior is a Nightbade. Ryuu had heard that the Nightbades were the enemy but the man who rescues him, is anything but. He is kind, honest and wise. He passes on as much as he can to Ryuu and thus changes the boys life.We have Moriko. She is taken from her family by the monks, whom she despises, and taken to the monastery. There she is trained to use the powers they sense in her, but with her inquisitive nature, she doesn't follow direction good, and she hates the way the monks treat her, and other people. She is sentenced to death, but ends up training with the assassin the monastery use. She soon realises that this assassin, is in fact a Nightblade, and she might just have their powers too.Lastly, we have Takako. Her father sells her to a Madame at a young age, and she captures the attention of an important man. He wants her for his sons consort but Takako soon realises that the boy isn't a nice person. How can she escape this life that has been forced on her. 3 different people, 3 different lives, but when they all collide, their lives are changed forever. As I said. The characters in this were amazing. The character growth was practicably amazing. Poor Ryuu learns that his actions have consequence, sometimes deadly! Moriko learns that what you are told, isn't ways the truth. That you have to trust your instincts and do what's right, even if it hurts. And Takako learns that life is hard. One mistake is all it takes.Another plus with this is the world building. The lore behind the magic and the Nightblades was amazing.The descriptive way the author writes the world, makes it impossible not to be drawn in. The writing just grabs you and weaves the story around you. It really is amazing!In all, this was an amazing read and one I can't recommend enough. The authors writing was phenomenal, the characters made you love them and the whole story will devour you. I listened to this over 2 days and had a hard time unplugging from it. I need book 2 to come to audio ASAP.Andrew Tell was amazing. He gave each character their own voice and really brought the story to life. He brought the heartache and sadness that each one experienced expertly to life and really gave his performance his all. *I received a copy of this for review. This in no way affects my thoughts.*

  • Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
    2019-05-27 06:43

    4.5 StarsNightblade represents a whole year spent taking chances on books I’ve never heard of, all with the hopes of finding new authors and hidden gems. Some didn’t turn out that way but most turned out to be excellent and fun choices. Nightblade is truly one of those gems.Instead of your run of the mill, European based fantasy we are treated to a world with Japanese/Chinese parallels with a very rich history. The land is split into three main Kingdoms, with other nations surrounding that, and each has a tenuous and fragile peace with the other. But our story takes place on a smaller more personal scale. Ryuu isn’t tasked with changing the world or bringing peace to a set of kingdoms, instead he us simply trying to live a life where he can use his strength to protect those without choice or means of doing so themselves…which is refreshing after reading so many books where the main character sets out to utterly dismantle the status quo. I think that difference really brings the raw emotion of the experiences he goes through to the forefront. The kingdom itself is oddly beautiful despite it’s issues and the author’s skill with building worlds is fairly apparent. I could see the busy streets of the city, and the shadow streets of the red lit road where men go for companionship, I could easily picture the old forest and stone paved courtyard of the monasteries. One can go a long time without experiencing world building on a scale where everything becomes an actual sensory memory, as opposed to just a plot line, and I never realize how starved I am until I find one.Ryuu is definitely a fantastic character to follow, as is Moriko and Takako…who all come together in different ways. Each of them shares the loss of their family and the chance of a normal life but the way the view the world is different. Ryuu is headstrong and curious, and he wants to help others no matter what and most of the story centers around each consequence of his actions and the weight it puts on a single person. While he is skilled and hardened in many ways in some others he is a bit naive, which joins nicely with Takako’s loving personality and her knowledge of what the world is really like.Nightblade is definitely a highlight to this year’s books, and I’m glad I took a chance on it when I did.

  • Cindy
    2019-06-05 02:43

    This is the type of book I never know how to review and yet I feel must. It's violent. Might just be one of the most violent books I've read. Rape, torture, abuse and one of the main characters is sold into prostitution by her father at the age of 10. Normally these are the types of things that would cause me to abandon it as I did Game Of Thrones. However, unlike GOT, I liked these characters and cared what happened to them.Will I continue with the series? I honestly don't know. I care about the characters, but the level (and type) of violence makes me uncomfortable.

  • Frank
    2019-06-06 07:46

    I really enjoyed this first book in the Nightblade trilogy.This is a fantasy with an Asian flair and a cross with GOT, with three kingdoms living harmoniously, but there is a history that lurks and reeks of powers and magic? We have our main character Ryuu, with powers discovered at age 5, a Nightblade in training and two others. This is presented as three seperate coming of age story lines, that eventually merge by novel's end. The coming of age stories give us the backgrounds of other characters, the way of life, the world around, potential enemies, princes, generals, monks etc. Looking forward to book 2.

  • zach
    2019-05-29 04:47

    It gets surprisingly good. I was apprehensive of starting this book but it turned out so much better than I thought. I liked all the characters which is unusual for me and I felt the ending was good and sets up for more. The only downside, like what other reviewers have said, is that the fight scenes are over too quickly and with little description. It's apparent the author may just not be good enough at that aspect to try. While it still worked I'll be looking for some improvement in the next book.

  • ke-sha
    2019-06-12 07:01


  • QuietlyKat
    2019-06-11 05:46

    Truth is, I’m not sure this is a 4 star book, but I really enjoyed it in spite of its weaknesses. The plot, while nothing really fresh or new, was entertaining and engaging and every time I put it down, I found myself unable to stop thinking about it and anxious to get back to it. As much as I enjoyed it, there was one aspect that left me disappointed. I loved that the two female main characters were strong, smart women, unfortunately, they both felt a bit flat in comparison to the male characters. Furthermore, the author choose to force them both into positions where they needed rescuing by male protagonists. I would have preferred for at least one of them to have served as more than a prop to drive Ryuu’s character growth. I will continue the series with hope that Moriko continues to grow and develop with the same kind of depth and dimension as the male protagonists.One last nit-picky thing, I found the choice of character names corny and predictable. The meaning of nearly everyone’s name represented their character traits. I suppose that’s fitting but, like I said, corny and unoriginal.

  • Raven_Blake
    2019-06-23 00:37

    Same Review Also Posted In My Blog:Dreamy AddictionsThis book was surprisingly good and I quite enjoyed reading it. I picked this out because the synopsis sounded intriguing and I like reading about samurai’s with blades and stuff like that. Apart from comics, I’ve never read books with samurai themes before so I thought why don’t I give this a try. I really liked the plot, the setting, the characters and also the unique concept of dayblades and nightblades. The pacing might be slow at start but it has engaging plot that might surprise you at every turn.Ryuu’s parent’s were killed by a group of bandits when he was just a little boy. He is rescued by a wandering stranger who is also a nightblade. The stranger finds a special gift hidden inside the boy and offers him to become his apprentice and train under him which he easily takes. Moriko is forced to leave her parents when a monk finds that she has been gifted and takes her to a monestry filled with many young people gifted with powers like her who calls themselves whiteblades. Moriko didn’t like the way they are living and starts to rebell and soon she was given a death sentence but she was very special so instead of getting killed, she was trained under a dangerous assassin who is also a nightblade. Lastly, we have beautiful Takako. When she was only ten years old, her father sold her to a brothel which is run by a woman who calls herself Madame. During her time as a house assistant in the brothel, she captures the attention of a general who wants her to be his son’s consort. Her life changes forever when she meets Ryuu who seems to have so many secrets. When these three collides together their lives changes forever.The characters are the strongest part of this book and I liked all the characters including the supporting characters. The three MC’s Ryuu, Moriko and Takako are strong characters and each of them has their own unique personality. Ryuu is strong headed who wants to help others in need without caring about the consequences. Moriko is stubborn and kickass character who wants to live her life the way she wants. Takako is quite an innocent character who wants to lead a normal life without violence. Besides these interesting characters, I really enjoyed Ryuu and his relationship with his mentor Shigeru and how their bond developed.Despite dragging a little bit at some places, the plot was quite interesting and well written. There are so many twists and turns in the plot that made it unputdownable. It has great world building. The world the author has build reflects the japanese culture which is divided into three kingdoms. I liked the writing which was very descriptive especially the fighting scenes. The characters are all well built and they are developed quite nicely. This book was written in multiple POV so that we could understand the characters better. Overall, it was incredible and I loved it. The book concluded with a bittersweet ending and a twist, so I’m definitely going to read the next book. It is a great fantasy book filled with action, adventure, violence, light romance and not suitable for young adults due to some mature themes. If you like reading books with action and samurai themes then you’ll definitely enjoy this book.

  • Gareth Otton
    2019-06-26 05:48

    First things first, I relly liked this book. It was fun, fast-paced and most importantly, it was entertaining. Sure there were a number of issues that should have knocked off one or two more stars, but the entertainment factor makes up for all that. So many authors these days seem to forget that books need to entertain before all else and when they do, the reader is willing to forgive a lot. That mini-rant over, on to the review. THE GOOD1 - The Pacing - In spite of the book covering a 10-15 year period (or there about) the story never feels slow. There is plenty to carry you through the book and keep you wanting to turn pages. 2 - Explored dark, adult themes without glorifying them - I've seen this book classified as young adult in some places. It's not. There are some very dark, adult themes including rape and torture that were explored in this book, but never glorified. It helped create real tension and danger for the characters involved. 3 - Not afraid to make the characters awesome - I enjoy an everyman hero as much as the next guy, but I fell in love with fantasy because of awesome superpowers and powerful characters. The genre is all about wonder and this book certainly delivered on that. The main character has some serious skills and is a total badass. His character wouldn't work in everything, but he really does in this book. There's more to like of course (the easy to read language and interesting magic system to name just two) but those are the three things that really stood out to me. THE BAD1 - The Action - This book made a bold move in the early chapters by showing how awesome the nightblades were by not describing their fights. Each battle was told with a one-liner along the lines of 'After 5 quick cuts, the battle was over' (I'm paraphrasing here, not a direct quote). This was great at first as it showed how easy the nightblades found every fight. However, when nearly every fight in the book is described in a similar fashion, you start to feel like you're missing out on something. At one point this same technique is used to describe what should have been an epic fight scene that shows a major moment where the protagonist evolves, which was a bit of a letdown. 2 - Inconsistent characters - Some of the characters would start the novel with one personality and belief set, and finish it with a completely different one. This could be argued as character growth but it felt more like the characters forgot who they were. Takako and the antagonist nightblade in particular not only seemed to do complete U-turns, but acted as though they had behaved with that new set of beliefs and personality from the start. It was a little confusing. Again there are a few more things I didn't like about this book (the dialogue was a bit stilted and the characters were a touch one dimensional) but they aren't worth exploring. The charm and fun of the book more than made up for these flaws that are typical of a first-time author. FINAL VERDICTI loved it. Its an easy reading book that offers up a few hours of escapism and is highly entertaining. I'm looking forward to reading the next novel in the series.

  • Mitchell
    2019-06-23 23:43

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who has made the comparison between "the sense" of this book and "the Force" of Star Wars fame. Really, there's little difference between the two. So, if you're interested in reading a book about Jedi in a pre-Industrial Revolution Asian setting, then this book is what you've been waiting for. While fairly derivative, this book was not without its charm. This book is told from a number of perspectives, but primarily three young people. One, a young girl, has been sold into slavery at a brothel. The next, another young girl, is taken into a monestary for those that are detected to have aptitude in the sense, the preternatural sixth sense that enables some to sense other living beings, sense intention, have slight premonitions, heal, and fight. The final main character, Ryuu, is saved as a young boy from a bandit attack that killed the rest of his group by a practictioner of the sense, and, wouldn't you know it, Ryuu happens to be talented in the sense as well. The story follows these three as their stories become intertwined. I realize I'm probably not painting a very flattering picture of this book, but I did enjoy it. It just wasn't anything really special. It was obvious that Kirk didn't want to attempt to describe fight scenes, but he did a good job, I thought, of conveying action without going through the complex descriptions that other authors go into. Really, it is no different than Robert Jordan using form names during sword fights. Stuff is happening, swords are swinging. This book tries to differentiate itself, I believe, in examining the unintended consequences put into motion by Ryuu's actions. He's a young man who becomes extremely skilled and wants to use these skills in some meaningful way, but the question becomes if wading sword first into situations is really the best way to go about things. Like I said, I enjoyed this book and will be picking up the next book in the series. Yes, there are a lot of familiar fantasy elements in this book, but they are used so often because they work well most of the time.

  • Jonathan
    2019-06-01 04:46

    A story worthy of the word "Saga" or "Legend"In spite of the editing issues in a few places (words missing or syntax out of step) I found myself completely enthralled by the story and relationships. I also recognized the subtle (and not so subtle) martial arts/Eastern influences mixed with western story telling. There were understandable overlays but in truth this author created a culture which rang true even as it reflected Japanese/Chinese overtones.To say the least, he doesn't sacrifice the story for the sake of a happy ending. Tragedy and success go hand in hand in real life, so with this book. Fiction is our reimagining of reality with fantasy to make it interesting, Ryan Kirk does this smoothly and remains a good story teller.

  • Shawn Thornton
    2019-05-31 04:48

    Please do not listen to any positive review on this book. Let's start with the obvious: this book appears to be bad fan fiction based on the video game Ninja Gaiden. Next, the story is very weak, and simply hits story wave tops throughout, failing to show you what is happening in the lives of the characters, and instead relied heavily on narrative summary through the book. This makes the horrible dialog even worse than it was written; the dialog itself is simply off, with mistakes all over the place which pull you out of the story. The poor story telling and shallow and confusing character relationships result in a lot of dialog (and relationships) which are out of place. This is one of the worst fantasy books of the last decade.

  • Anika
    2019-06-12 06:41

    I was taken in by the premise. I mean, Star Wars in feudal Japan, how cool does that sound? Unfortunately, the premise is all this book has going for it. The story is based around a magic system called the sense. Think of it like the force in Star Wars. Those who can heal with the sense are called Dayblades. Those who can kill with the sense are called Nightblades, and they're deemed dangerous by the ruling class. Both sides use their abilities for combat, only Nightblades do it better than Dayblades.The story follows three main characters. Ryuu and Moriko are both Nightblades, though they have very different upbringings. Ryuu is an orphan who is raised by a lone mentor out in the woods, staying out of society's way to keep from attracting attention. Moriko is raised by monks in a Dayblade monastery, trained by a trusted assassin to hunt down fellow Nightblades. Our third character, Takako, doesn't have the sense. She grows up in a brothel and later becomes a consort for the rich son of a military general. She helps set up the central conflict of the story but doesn't do much else. The conflict really begins when Ryuu meets Takako for the first time and decides that he must save her from living out her life as a consort even though she doesn't ask for his help. I was willing to forgive the intsalove (as eye-roll worthy as it was) because Ryuu had never really talked to another girl in his age group before, living out in the woods and all. What I was not willing to forgive was Ryuu's presence in the brothel house in the first place. It's poorly explained away as a way for Ryuu to learn how to socialize with normal people. But it doesn't make sense that his mentor would take him to a brothel that is frequented by military men when they have spent their whole lives hiding in the woods to avoid attracting attention. Basically, the story called for Ryuu to meet Takako, and it was done in a lazy way that went against the internal logic of the story. The time skips are confusing. The women in the story are poorly treated, starting with Ryuu's mother in the beginning and ending with Takako in the end. The story clearly wants us to sympathize with the villains, but it doesn't do the job very well. By far, what bothered me the most is that the story uses narrative summary to an excess, meaning there's a lot of telling and almost no showing. It creates a separation between the reader and the story. It keeps us from connecting with the characters and immersing ourselves in the story. Narrative summary can be good when done in moderation. It's downright necessary sometimes. But this book felt like it was summarizing the story for me instead of letting me experience the story for myself. I originally gave this story 2/5, but then I realized that I didn't really like anything except the premise. It might have been a 2-star book if it had not relied so heavily on narrative summary, but I can't give it more than 1 star as it stands now. I will not be continuing on with the series. (audiobook)

  • Melissa Hayden
    2019-06-26 07:51

    3.5 stars.I found that I rather enjoyed the story here. There were some slow moments in the beginning but the story finished strong. I look forward to continuing the series.I really like the way Ryan leads us to learn of the Nightblades and Dayblades, and that there is a slight difference between the two. Through the lessons of these three kids as they grew to adults, we learn the different stories and history Nightblades and Dayblades have to the land. ****FULL REVIEW*****This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.Ryuu, Moniko, and Takako are young children in different parts of the kingdom that have a touch of the sense. Each is sent on a different path in life. Ryuu watched his parents killed by bandits and is rescued by a man skilled with a sword. Ryuu follows Shigeru home and finds a father figure in the man while he learns the ability to use the sense strong in him along with the sword, growing into a powerful Nightblade. Moniko is found by the monks to have the old form of the sense and she's taken to the monastery to life under the thumb of the Abbot, in solitude with others like her. Moniko is different than those here and is taught by Herochi to be a Nightblade. Takako's father can't take care of all in his family and sells her to a brothel. Takako's kind soul struggles with all that happens after meeting Ryuu and the friendship they have when Ryuu comes to save her from the Generals cruel son. Their lives cross as time moves on, causing fear of the Nightblades to rise again.This is the first for me listening to Ryan as a narrator. He does subtle differences for a few characters, but this story doesn't seem to have as much dialog as it does thinking by the characters. Before I knew it, I thought there were notable differences for the characters, even when doing a drunk speaking. The chapters are set in each characters POV so it's easy to differentiate who's who. Ryan's work is clear and easy to understand as a narrator. The audio is clean and smooth. There were no distractions from his voice as he told the story. Ryan started to become the voice of the story and characters for me, long before half way.There is a magic, of sorts, present. It's referred to as The Sense. Only some people are born with it. It seems to have changed in the way it works over the generations since the Great War. But there are a few that the power of the old ones is present, and strong. It seems this is the power that the Nightblades and Dayblades held, and could be what is feared by those of standing in the kingdom as they blame the Nightblades for the fall of the Great Kingdom. We start with seeing the Sense as a way to sense others or things around them. They can feel more keenly than others, beyond the natural five senses, and sense what move would be next in battle.I really like the way Ryan leads us to learn of the Nightblades and Dayblades, and that there is a slight difference between the two. Through the lessons of these three kids as they grew to adults, we learn the different stories and history Nightblades and Dayblades have to the land.Our three main characters start young and age through the book. The world searches for those of the Sense, but don't always find the ones of the old ones power. Ryuu is a perfect example of this. He's saved by Shigeru when his caravan returning home is attacked by bandits. Moriko is found by a monk that tests all the young children, only because of touch. She is spared from death by the Abbot to become like Herochi, a Nightblade that can track others of his kind, which the Abbot wants in his command. Takako is a gentle soul sold to a brothel by her father. She doesn't want fighting and death, but she's stuck in the middle watching it happen around her.The world has those that are strong with a blade yet have a strong honor and restraints on themselves. A sort of with power comes great responsibility, and consequences when it's used. Then there is the opposite of the mindless cruelty and abuse of power and revenge. The book did have me thinking on how peace would be nice to have as the characters spoke their thoughts, and some listened to what was said.There's not much dialog early in the book. Feels as though thoughts and telling of the world through events the characters live through. We start with a prologue. I could go either way on this, keep or not. It's here as a catcher to draw you into the story. I wondered for a good bit of the book when we would learn where it was from. I think I did finally place it, but it wasn't referenced in the same manner as where I thought it fit. As we get into the book and meet our characters, I felt like there was over explaining of family and family history. My mind started wondering in these moments, which is like skimming when reading. But as the book moved on, this became less and less and we got more of the current events and worries.There is a strong sense of Oriental influence in this story from the dress to the manner of descriptions by characters to the honor of sword battle. I loved this feel to the book.I found that I rather enjoyed the story here. There were some slow moments in the beginning but the story finished strong. I look forward to continuing the series.

  • Luisa
    2019-06-06 06:57

    I loved this story! Isn't it great when Amazon Unlimited surprises you with a gem like this? It was a fun and captivating read. The characters are pretty amazing and the whole mythology involved here is awesome. I fell in love with these characters and rooted for them throughout. Awesome book!

  • Lundos
    2019-05-31 05:02

    Well written but nothing new here except the setting that favors a more Japanese inspired background. The 'snapping' is seen before within the assassin genre and the (view spoiler)['everyone-I-love-dies has been done better' (hide spoiler)].

  • Kristy (Book Frivolity)
    2019-06-18 00:59

    Really hard to rate...The storyline and characters were great. The worldbuilding, and the warrior magic system were fairly interesting. I could've loved the bejeezus out of this!However, the editing was really undercooked. There were repetitions all over the place, extraneous words littered about, and it was really very obvious. Even the narrator in the add on audio tried to fix it by skipping unnecessary words, and fixing weirdly punctuated phrases.And thus the reason why it's hard to rate. The premise and pacing were great. The constantly un-missable flaws in the writing were not. A better editor could've whipped this into a really fantastic book!I will be giving book #2 a shot, for sure. I really hope that the writing experience the author has gained, will allow them to step it up.

  • Steve Caldwell
    2019-06-21 08:06

    First thing, this is an adult fantasy. While not grimdark, it is more oriented to adults, with violence, rape and other adult themes. That being said, those parts are organic to the story, not gratuitous. There are 3 different storylines following 3 different characters, who proceed through a series of tragedies in their lives that shape their futures. Ryuu watches his parents murder at the hand of bandits, and is rescued by a warrior passing by, who happens to be a banned Nightblade, kind of a magic using warrior/assassin. He decides to train Ryuu, who he senses has a lot of power. Ryuu spends years training with his master, building mastery of his skills, all while avoiding the monks who convert or kill all Sense (the magic) users.Moriko is taken by the monks as a child, to be raised in a monastary, with harsh discipline and an austere life. She is physically abused, as are all the novices, and trainined to use her power to sense magic users. Her magic is differnt, though, being more like Ryuu's. She is then trained by an assassin to use the power offensively. Takako is sold by her father to a brothel to pay for his debts. She is groomed for years for the part, but a General has plans that include her being a consort for his son that derail her plans. The crossing of Ryuu and Takako sets off a chain of events That will change everything, and when Moriko crosses thir path, you can feel the strings of fate shifting.The plot is fast moving after the initial introductions, with a lot of action and some well drawn out fight scenes. The magic is fresh and fairly original, without being too overwhelming. The setting, the Three Kindoms, is somewhat underdrawn as far as the Northern and Western kingdoms, but the Southern Kingdom is well described. This is just a minor thing. The characters are a real strength, being interesting and engaging, if not always likable. The villains are well drawn out, with realistic motivations for their actions. Andrew Tell, who I had never heard previously, does a great job narrating, really differntiating the characters and bringing the story to life. Any fan of Anthony Ryan's Blood Song books should enjoy this book.I was given a review copy of this book by the narrator at no cost in return for an honest review through Audiobookblast dot com.

  • Artrain
    2019-05-29 00:37

    Rating for book: 1/5Rating for series: 1/5 (Did not bother starting 3rd book)The only way I can imagine people giving this book anything more than 3 stars is if they're insanely in love with the idea of ninjas/assassins and that love makes them overlook everything. Or if they're really light readers who read without devoting too much attention. Funnily enough though, I love the idea of ninjas/assassins myself. Which is probably why I went ahead and read the second book too. But it was still impossible for me to overlook the sheer lack of quality thats in here. To start off, the writing is horrendous. I've seriously never read any book (okay wait, maybe I have read one other book) that was this badly written. Details are non existent. There is very little imagery created in your mind when you read this. Scenes flash from one to next. There is no linkage. No flow. Characters have no life of their own. Even though you're reading their POVs it feels as though the author is telling you what the character thought and felt instead of the characters themselves coming to life. Their traits are also inconsistent. A supposed prodigy keeps on asking stupidest of questions and making silliest of mistakes. The romance is ridiculous. The action scenes pathetic, which, in a book like this, is just unbelievable. What about the imagination and ideas then? Well to me they're a smush of Night Angel Trilogy and Raven's Shadow, with the most important mechanic feeling like its pretty much taken from Inheritance Cycle. I just cannot take bad writing or bad characters, so not going to bother reading the 3rd book. To me a book has to make you dive into the world first and foremost, have characters that feel genuine enough to make you forget that all of them have been written by just one person, and then spin a decent story with as little holes as possible. Sadly I'm finding less and less and less of those books.

  • Stefie
    2019-06-17 02:51

    I'm glad that this book is a trilogy and that I don't have to wait for them all to come out (as they are already awaiting me on amazon and I am an impatient person when it comes to waiting on series!).At first I had a difficult time deciding on if I actually liked the story or if I would end up forcing myself to get through it. Something about the start seemed more like a historical textbook reads than that of a fantasy novel. That soon faded and the story actually picked right up and never stopped.The story had very rounded and fleshed out central characters that grew in skill, depth, and talents as they grew older. What I liked the most was how the females were portrayed as genuine people with inner strength, intelligence, and iron will instead of a love trophy to be conquered and protected.I also liked that some of the "villains" were not your trope classics, they actually had reason behind their motives, not just that they were plain evil and that's was evil does! The "sense" that is almost magical is one of my favorite abilities in this genre as it is natural and goes with the natural flow of life and everything connected to life and death. It is well crafted and unique in its own right.The author let bad things happen to good people and bad people alike. There seemed to never be any elating moments where you knew good times were ahead, so prepare yourself for a ride into depression, it's a very well written and entertaining ride nonetheless!I feel like I may have talked someone out of this... but please give this book a try, I'm off to read book two of this series.

  • David
    2019-06-09 07:45

    Originality is something I rarely see in fantasy books and this was no exception. The tropes you see in this book are not particularly new, nor is the plot overly surprising. So why the 5 star rating? Simply put it is because a book doesn't need to be groundbreaking to be great and these books were great. So much so that I read both this book and its sequel in the space of a day (about 8-10 hours).The book has four main characters but does not suffer from the character bloat that is all too common post game of thrones. Each character is interesting in their own way though my personal favourite was Ryuu, the main good guy. Cliched in many ways but well enough written you can forget this is a story you have probably read before.The world itself is beautiful, not overly complex but you get the sense of something grander demons the isolated beyond the three kingdoms that I'm sure will become more important as the series progresses. The world building is great, slowly easing you into the universe and letting you fill in the gaps yourself rather than devoting too much space to exposition. You learn more about the world as the characters do which is one of my favourite aspects of this series as I hate heavy exposition.What else is there to say? I was actually very surprised to see this was Ryan's first series because it was so well done and I was a tad disappointed when at 1 am in the morning, at the end of the second book I realised the third wasn't out yet! All I can say is write faster Ryan. Certainly an author I am adding to my must read list.

  • Maureen Hoar
    2019-05-29 08:03

    Slow and steady wins the readerIt took me a little while to get hooked on this book. It is slow to developed and seems scattered at first. I hung in with it and was rewarded by a slow build to a perfect battle for life , love, friendship and honor. The world in which we find these tragic characters is bleak and at war. A way of life (night blades) has been wiped out by the regime in power. A sect of monks with the gift of sight has been charged with scouring the country for children with this gift and taking them from their families to developed third gifts for the good of the people. Ryuu is a young child who is orphaned by a band of thieves on the road home. He is found by shaguru who takes him and raises him like his own. He develops ryuus gift. Takako is a young girl of ten who's family cannot afford to feed her so they sell her to a Madame. She is taught all the skills of tea service and societies social niceties. Mariku is taken from her family by the priests due to her gift of sight. She is treated brutally. All three of these characters are told in separate chapters until their story arcs merge. It is very well written and grabs your heart and imagination. I found myself cheering and crying and laughing along the way. I look forward to the next chapter in this story. It is a brilliant journey and I'm in no hurry to finish it.

  • Stephen
    2019-06-12 05:56

    Ryuu is a boy orphaned by violence at a young age. Found by a wandering warrior, he learns he may have more strength than he ever imagined possible.A quiet child, Moriko is forced into a monastic system she despises. Torn from her family and the forest she grew up in, she must fight to learn the skills she’ll need to survive her tutelage under the realm’s most dangerous assassin.Young, beautiful, and broke, Takako is sold to pay for her father’s debts. Thrust into a world she doesn’t understand and battles she didn’t ask for, she must decide where her loyalties lie.When their lives crash together in a Kingdom on the brink of war, the decisions they make will change both their lives and their Kingdom forever.From the first chapter, this book was gripping and beautifully written. Ryuu, a young boy, is orphaned in a tragic bandit attack, but is rescued by a strange warrior named Shigeru. Shigeru adopts and raises him. He trains him in combat and to use "the sense." Meanwhile, there are two other storylines that are unfolding at or near the same time. If you pick this up to read, you will not be disappointed. Great Reading Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved It!

  • Jj Castle
    2019-06-01 06:37

    I began reading this book a few days ago. It has the hallmarks of an intriguing plot with good character arcs. However, I was completely disillusioned from the plot by the terrible grammar and sheer number of errors that pop up. I don't know if this is due to a bad transfer to Kindle, but either way it was enough to make me give up. Words were missing from the middle of sentences, infinitives used in the wrong places, commas not used at all in some instances (such that certain sentences made no sense, requiring re-reading before I could decide upon the best way to carry on). Regarding technique, the speed of each characters' monologues makes them seem superficial and unrealistic. Ryuu and Takato meet and have a discussion very briefly (with no mention of timing), and suddenly Ryuu is incensed at nothing in particular and Takato is whimsically in love with him. It just seems very amateurish and I think the editors have done a bad job helping this guy develop. I honestly got so frustrated with the glaring mistakes that I thought maybe Kirk didn't speak English as a first language and this had been a translation.It's like a prolonged piece of high-school literature that got a B. Those who are saying it's well written have got shit in their eyes.