In a land ruled by patriarchy, an assassin sisterhood delivers justice from the shadows.
Now, their mysterious patron has charged burly fighter Erika Langeshen and lithe shadow-stalker Annah Barksdottir with uncovering a plot against the very rulers that have mistreated and oppressed them their whole lives.
Their quest will take them to a faraway village on the borders of the Razor Teeth Woods, where they will need to use all the tricks of their trade to build a base of power and expose the machinations of the local lord and his allies.
But before they do, they must break into one of the Patriarchate's fortresses and retrieve an unlikely ally…
Blades of the Ice is a dark fantasy novella, which serves as an introduction to some of the characters that appear in The Daughter of Ice, part of the Age of Rekindling series, written by Luís Falcão de Magalhaes. A novella focused on a group of female assassins, in a land ruled by patriarchy, in a mission to discover the minds behind a conspiracy against the same rulers that have oppressed her during all their lives.
Our group of assassins is disguised under other jobs, such as blacksmiths, prostitutes, or medical workers, trying to raise some funds and gather information that can get them to their targets. The dynamic between the group is quite amazing, a sort of found family and banter that works quite well, probably one of my favourite aspects of the novella.
The focus is put into two characters that are part of the Daughter of Ice, Erika and Annah; each one has a different style of fighting, which shines in part with how efficient Luís' prose becomes in action scenes. However, it's true that sometimes it's difficult to distinguish them in the mundane moments; their voices are quite similar.
The world of this novella is gritty and, to be fair, quite hostile to our group of feminine heroines. Using a relatively low set of locations, Luís manages to weave a competent story, dark but engaging, which keeps you hooked during most of the time.
In general, while this novella is a prequel, I think I enjoyed it more because I knew those characters from reading the first book in this series; if you like gritty fantasy with rogue actions, Blades of the Ice would be a good pick.
Disclaimer: This novella has been read as part of the SFINCS. This review/rating only represents my personal opinion and it might differ with what the team decides.
Luís Falcão de Magalhães
My name is Luis, and I’m the black sheep of the family.
Born the scion of a household of magistrates and physicians, I was groomed from a young age to meet those expectations. I threw the chain of office away and became a bard instead.
I’ve since traveled the breadth of my homeland, picking up tales here and there. I’ve dined with aldermen and drank firewater with vagabonds; I’ve sung moonlit serenades to hussies and taken the daughters of wealthy merchants to grand balls. I’ve joined secret orders, learning their lore and passphrases; I’ve locked arms with tree-huggers and danced with them under the full moon.But two things sing to my soul like nothing else.
One, the roll of the dice, be it on the wood of the tabletop or within the shards of magical glass that are everywhere in our society.
Two, the tales of daring, of heroism and valor, of wickedness and deceit, to be found among the dusty tomes of the world’s libraries.
To contribute to those, I have made my life’s work.