The Waterborne Blade by Susan Murray

Just finished reading The Waterborne Blade by Susan Murray.  This is the start of a new fantasy series set in a faux medieval world.  I admit I was really attracted by the premise and the gorgeous cover.  Having completed, well, I can’t really say that this is a series I will continue with to be honest.  And it pains me to say that because I hate to give negative reviews and I really set out with great expectations for this particular book.

The story gets off to an immediate start with the King of Highkell, Trisilian, despatching is wife, Alwenna, to safety in the face of imminent attack by Vasic – traitor and would-be usurper.  And so Alwenna begins her journey to sanctuary, accompanied by the King’s man Weaver and her maid.  From there on the story becomes one of flee, capture, escape and flee again!  It very soon becomes apparent that Alwenna has visions and also seems capable of wielding certain magic and in fact much darker magic is involved in the story towards the conclusion.  In fact, I must confess in that respect the twist towards the end gave me a real surprise.

In terms of characters.  The main two are Alwenna and Weaver who do spend a good deal of time in each other’s company.  On top of this we have Vasic taking the role of baddie of the piece and a number of additional peripheral characters that join at different points during the course of the story.

So, why didn’t i love this.  I certainly imagine that some people will do so to be honest.  It’s quite an easy book to read although the constant travelling back and forth does become a bit tiresome.  In fact, I started off thinking I would really enjoy this, even though Alwenna annoyed me almost immediately with her ridiculous demands, for example demanding to take a maid on a dangerous escape mission – just so that the proper formalities could be observed – get over yourself and stop putting people in danger.  I actually quite like ‘road’ journeys – a fact borne out by my love of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and so I was puzzled as to why my interest dwained a little and I think this is due to the perception of ‘size’ with this world.  It just really felt like a very small place.  I know that’s probably not the best articulation of how I felt but I do think it gives you a good idea.  The distances between A to B seemed easy traversed, there never felt like any real threats were encountered on the way and it just didn’t seem like the sort of place that a person could simply get lost or disappear into.

On top of that I became increasingly frustrated with Alwenna and Weaver.  They knowingly walked into any number of situations which they ‘had a bad feeling about’ – just why!  And, for goodness sake, Alwenna can see the future – how could she have had no idea of what was actually going on.  Okay, i realise her visions became stronger after she received a certain ‘gift’ but she did already have ‘the sight’.  I think my feelings towards both of them was that in spite of any number of reasons why they shouldn’t they continually made themselves into victims and I found it hard to comprehend.  On top of that I just couldn’t become attached to them.  They both had their odd moments of inspiration but overall I felt there was simply no chemistry involved between the two, the majority of the time they were at odds with each other and their eventual trist felt completely wrong and in fact a little bit cold and almost calculated.  I also struggled with why Weaver, given the knowledge that he had now come by would step out of character so blatantly.

Now, this all seems terribly critical – which I hate.  I really don’t think this is a bad book however I don’t really think it is for me.  I simply had too many things that niggled me and frankly didn’t add up.

I received a copy of this book from the pubishers through Netgalley for which my thanks.  The above opinion is my own.

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15 Responses to “The Waterborne Blade by Susan Murray”

  1. D. Wallace Peach

    The cover is gorgeous indeed. It caught my eye.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I so wanted this one to work out for me. I’ve had quite a few good books from Angry Robots but this one just didn’t do it. It’s not a bad book though – just not for me.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    I have the worst time writing negative reviews as well…but you aren’t the first person that didn’t enjoy this book. I have a sort of negative review I have to start working on, and I’m not looking forward to it:-(

    • lynnsbooks

      I really hate to write a negative review and it doesn’t happen often for me as I don’t usually finish a book if I’m not enjoying it.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Doh…I am about to head into this book. Still curious to try, but thanks for tempering my expectations. I’ve been chasing the elusive Angry Robot epic fantasy that will finally hook me in, and I had put my faith in this book and maybe I’ll give it a fairer shot now that I’m not hyping it up for myself.

    • lynnsbooks

      I will be really keen to see what you make of it. To be honest, I couldn’t say it was a terrible book or I hated it because it wasn’t and I didn’t. But, the characters just didn’t stay true to themselves, the world felt very small, it became a bit of a walking fest and I genuinely couldnt say I had feelings for the two main characters. It is a shame, and I really do hate to be negative but I simply had too many quarrels with this one.
      Lynn 😀

  4. RoseReadsNovels

    Oh well, you can’t love them all!

    • lynnsbooks

      This is very true. Sad as well as I hate negative reviews.

  5. jenclair

    Love the cover, so it is a shame that it didn’t live up to your hopes.

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s a great cover – I couldn’t in fairness, say it’s a bad book – it just didn’t work for me, I simply had too many questions.
      Lynn 😀

  6. jessicabookworm

    I love the cover! What a shame this book wasn’t for you.

    • lynnsbooks

      I know – it wasn’t a bad book and I wouldn’t particularly discourage others but it really didn’t work for me. I had too many questions.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Ria

    I think this is the second low review I’ve seen for this book, and I don’t think I’ve seen any really positive ones to balance it out. Which is a shame, since this book sounded pretty interesting and I was looking forward to it. I may still give it a try, but it’s dropped a bit lower on my priority list.

    • lynnsbooks

      The thing is, I genuinely can’t say it’s a bad book, it didn’t work for me but I imagine some people may like it. I just had niggles and I couldn’t get past them this time. I will be interested to see what you make of it.
      Lynn 😀

  8. May brings flocks of pretty lambs…(monthly round-up) | Lynn's Book Blog

    […] The Waterborne Blade by Susan Murray […]

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