Official Review: Spirit Sword by Sam Ford

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any young adult books.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
User avatar
Kelyn
Posts: 1814
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 188
Currently Reading: Untold Deception
Bookshelf Size: 204
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelyn.html
Latest Review: The Druids by Ilene Birkwood
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Official Review: Spirit Sword by Sam Ford

Post by Kelyn »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Spirit Sword" by Sam Ford.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Thirteen-year-old Cale longs for adventure. He dreams of leaving home and traveling the land as a Ranger, protecting the weak, and bringing justice where it is needed. Those dreams are abruptly dashed on the day he loses his family, killed by some of the very men he had sought to emulate. With his village burning in the distance, Cale has nowhere to turn.

Wandering unprotected, Cale is soon set upon by bandits. Sliding down the bank of a river, Cale cowers within a tangled mass of roots. Desperately seeking a way out, the youth pulls hard on a sturdy ‘root’ thinking to use it as a club. Only what he draws from the mud is far more useful… and far more deadly. “Sword,” an ancient and sentient artifact of days long past, bonds with Cale, and imbues him with the power and skills to extricate himself from the situation. Cale has no idea of what (who?) he has discovered. I suppose it is best told in Sword’s words:
“I am a Spirit Sword, … sent to guide humanity on the paths of virtue. You are my Bearer, my wielder, and my sworn brother. It is to you I have been sent, to you I will counsel, and you whom I will serve.”

“For a thousand generations, we raised up Imperial Knights, serving our Bearers till they passed over, then bonding anew. Now, I fear I am the last of my kind.”

The legions of the damned rise in the shadows. With most Rangers corrupted, who is to stop them? Cale’s luck has turned, but with it, he is forced abruptly into adulthood, and the fate of the world is placed squarely on his youthful shoulders.

Within the pages of Spirit Sword by Sam Ford, lies an engaging and fully formed adventure perfect for ‘Young Adults’ of any age. The book has everything needed to make it a classic. Entertaining? Check. Enthralling? Check. Action-packed? Check. Immersive? Double-check. Though this is the author’s first published novel, the quality is superb. Through the flow of the words and the flawless melding of events in the story, Sam Ford presents as a far more accomplished author.

Ford’s world-building is detailed without being overbearing. For instance, you can clearly see the streets in a town, right down to the cobblestones and the windows of the shops lining the street. However, it is not described in excruciating detail down to every nick in the mortar between the bricks. I suppose the best way to describe it is that the reader does not only see the world of Spirit Sword; they also experience it. You won’t exactly ‘feel’ dripping wet when Cale or one of his adventuring friends crawls out of the latest lake, but if you’ve ever walked barefoot through the mud, you will find that you can almost feel it squishing between your toes.

Character development is skillful and unique. You know the feeling you sometimes get that you have somehow met a complete stranger somewhere before? Ford’s characters have been given a depth of personality and heritage that often evokes this feeling. He is an expert in showing who the characters are, not just telling the reader about them. For instance, one demon reminded me very much of the simpering yet very crafty chancellor in The Dark Crystal, complete with the annoyingly whiny voice.

There were a couple of constant elements in the writing that I loved. The first was the tongue in cheek humor the author wove throughout the story. As an example, take the following quote from Sword:
“Life isn’t a fairy tale, Cale. … This is not a story; you are not the main character, and you are not impervious to stabbing.”
My next favorite element was that while the novel has darkness, it isn’t afraid to show you a thread of hope as well.

At its heart, Spirit Sword is a coming-of-age story swathed in magic, intrigue, and mystery. Our charmingly innocent young hero begins his journey abruptly, still very much a child when he is thrust jarringly into an adult world. As the story unfolds, the reader watches this unassuming thirteen-year-old slowly mature into his role and discover his calling. The author adopts a slow and steady pace to reflect Cale’s growing maturity. This realistic character development of such a young hero makes him even more relatable. Without revealing any spoilers, I will tell you that at the end of the story, there is an entirely unexpected twist that had me gasping “Just. No. Way!”

There was really nothing I disliked about this book. Reminiscent of the works of George R.R. Martin and Fritz Leiber, it was exceedingly well-written and immersive. I found only five minor errors in its one hundred thirty-seven pages. Given this, I unreservedly award Spirit Sword by Sam Ford 4 out of 4 stars. The only reference to intimacy I ran across was a vague mention of ‘coupling.’ I would recommend this book to almost anyone above the age of (approximately) eleven who enjoys a good fantasy book interlaced with both light and darkness. I cannot recommend it for younger children because there are several semi-violent (but not gory) scenes where many deaths occur.

So, has anyone seen my talking sword?

******
Spirit Sword
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on Smashwords
It's not hoarding if its books! :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
ivana7
Posts: 190
Joined: 06 Apr 2019, 14:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 22
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ivana7.html
Latest Review: The Apathetical Man by Gregory Martin McLeod

Post by ivana7 »

I love reading fantasy, and according to your review, I believe I might like the book. Also, I love it when the author knows how to build a good characterization of the characters and their growth in the book.

Cynthia_Oluchi
Posts: 298
Joined: 16 Mar 2020, 02:27
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cynthia-oluchi.html
Latest Review: Happy Healing by Dominique Bourlet

Post by Cynthia_Oluchi »

Poor Cale! How disappointed he must have been to learn that the very people he wanted to emulate wiped his family. It's a good thing the table turned around in his favor.

User avatar
Ogoskino
Posts: 282
Joined: 18 Jan 2020, 03:01
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 20
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ogoskino.html
Latest Review: adventured of columbus daniel by Columbus daniel

Post by Ogoskino »

A very good plot indeed. I like how the story progressed. Thanks for this super-review.

Salma_asa
Posts: 211
Joined: 07 Jan 2020, 08:14
2019 Reading Goal: 100
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-salma-asa.html
Latest Review: Child of the Sun Complete Edition by Michael Van Cleve

Post by Salma_asa »

The plot sounds really engaging. I may read this book soon. Your review was very good.

User avatar
Muhammad Wahab
Posts: 1
Joined: 26 Aug 2019, 00:31
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Muhammad Wahab »

I love reading fantasy, and according to your review, I believe I might like the book and a very good plot indeed.Thanks for this super-review.

User avatar
SunVixen
Posts: 421
Joined: 23 Jan 2019, 05:44
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sunvixen.html
Latest Review: The McCoys Before The Feud by Thomas McCoy

Post by SunVixen »

Look like very good-written traditional fantasy book. Thank for great review!

User avatar
White_Nights
Posts: 23
Joined: 24 Mar 2020, 04:01
Currently Reading: The Cat Who Came for Christmas
Bookshelf Size: 14

Post by White_Nights »

This is the kind of book I will definitely enjoy! I am interested in the growth of Cale in his journey to survive without his family.

praise+anyi
Posts: 140
Joined: 16 Mar 2020, 04:44
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-praise-anyi.html
Latest Review: Duplicity by Fin C Gray

Post by praise+anyi »

I wonder how Cale felt when he discovered that the people he admired took away his most treasured family. The book sounds thrilling with your detailed review. Kudos.

Elmaestro
Posts: 89
Joined: 27 Jun 2017, 14:05
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-elmaestro.html
Latest Review: Let’s Mountain Bike! by Paul Molenberg

Post by Elmaestro »

A book on adventure! I like how you have introduced the review.. It makes one wanna read more of it! Amazing review!

User avatar
Kelyn
Posts: 1814
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 188
Currently Reading: Untold Deception
Bookshelf Size: 204
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelyn.html
Latest Review: The Druids by Ilene Birkwood
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Post by Kelyn »

ivana7 wrote:
25 Mar 2020, 03:17
I love reading fantasy, and according to your review, I believe I might like the book. Also, I love it when the author knows how to build a good characterization of the characters and their growth in the book.
Good character development is one of the things I watch for in the books that I read. It takes talent to be able to build a relatable character with whom the readers can connect. This author did a most admirable job of it with Cale.

User avatar
Kelyn
Posts: 1814
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 188
Currently Reading: Untold Deception
Bookshelf Size: 204
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelyn.html
Latest Review: The Druids by Ilene Birkwood
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Post by Kelyn »

Cynthia_Oluchi wrote:
25 Mar 2020, 05:26
Poor Cale! How disappointed he must have been to learn that the very people he wanted to emulate wiped his family. It's a good thing the table turned around in his favor.
A heartbreaking turn of events indeed, to lose both all those you loved and your heroes in one fell swoop. I'm glad his luck changed too, but...will it stay that way? Read and find out! Thanks for dropping in and commenting!

User avatar
Kelyn
Posts: 1814
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 188
Currently Reading: Untold Deception
Bookshelf Size: 204
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelyn.html
Latest Review: The Druids by Ilene Birkwood
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Post by Kelyn »

Salma_asa wrote:
25 Mar 2020, 07:17
The plot sounds really engaging. I may read this book soon. Your review was very good.
Muhammad Wahab wrote:
25 Mar 2020, 07:33
I love reading fantasy, and according to your review, I believe I might like the book and a very good plot indeed.Thanks for this super-review.
SunVixen wrote:
25 Mar 2020, 08:11
Look like very good-written traditional fantasy book. Thank for great review!
Thank you all for the lovely compliments! I'm so glad you liked my review! As to the book, I enjoyed the plot too. As I said in the review, it reminded me very much of one of the story's in The Book of Swords, which is also about sentient swords bonded with their 'bearers.' Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

User avatar
Kelyn
Posts: 1814
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 188
Currently Reading: Untold Deception
Bookshelf Size: 204
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelyn.html
Latest Review: The Druids by Ilene Birkwood
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Post by Kelyn »

White_Nights wrote:
25 Mar 2020, 10:43
This is the kind of book I will definitely enjoy! I am interested in the growth of Cale in his journey to survive without his family.
praise+anyi wrote:
25 Mar 2020, 13:01
I wonder how Cale felt when he discovered that the people he admired took away his most treasured family. The book sounds thrilling with your detailed review. Kudos.
Cales's growth as a character was very well written by the author. // I imagine he was heartbroken to discover that the murderers were Rangers. He lost both his family and his heroes in the same horrible day. Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by and leaving a comment!

User avatar
Kelyn
Posts: 1814
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 188
Currently Reading: Untold Deception
Bookshelf Size: 204
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelyn.html
Latest Review: The Druids by Ilene Birkwood
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Post by Kelyn »

Elmaestro wrote:
25 Mar 2020, 15:22
A book on adventure! I like how you have introduced the review. It makes one wanna read more of it! Amazing review!
Thank you for the compliment!! I'm glad you enjoyed my review. Cale's journey has only just begun; this is book one in a series the author is writing! Read on! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Post Reply

Return to “Young Adult Fiction Books”