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Release-Day Review: The Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams (Shadow Reader #3)

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The Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams // VBC ReviewThe Sharpest Blade (Shadow Reader # 3)
Sandy Williams
Published: Dec. 31, 2013 (Roc)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: Provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amanda

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Note: While this review is spoiler free, it does assume you’ve read the first two books in the trilogy.

It’s taken more than ten years, but McKenzie Lewis finally has the normal life she’s longed for. Well, normalish. She has a job. It’s a crappy job, but it pays the bills, and the rent on her even crappier apartment. But there are no more handouts from the fae. She hasn’t seen one in three weeks.

Of course, if her life was really normal, she wouldn’t be wondering where her friend Paige was, what had happened to Shane, how Lena was holding up. She certainly wouldn’t be dealing with a life-bond to a fae she’d wanted for so long and walked away from when another stood up and fought for her.

McKenzie will never be normal.

The Sharpest Blade is the action-packed conclusion to the battle for control of the Realm. It seems like every time McKenzie gets a moment to breathe, something else happens that requires her attention. To make matters worse, her shadow-reading abilities seem to have dulled because of the life-bond. She’s unable to track the false-blood who’s gathered enough support to keep Lena from claiming the throne outright, and it frustrates her.

What I love most about McKenzie is she grows stronger over the course of the trilogy, both emotionally and physically. She doesn’t wait around for Kyol or Aren to save her when she gets into a sticky situation. She doesn’t let her limitations as a human stop her from trying to help Lena. And once she makes a decision, she doesn’t change her mind, no matter how hard it might be to hold her ground.

Even those downtime moments she gets aren’t exactly restful. Kyol still wants her and she can feel it through the life-bond. Aren still wants her but is hiding something from her. Trying to keep her emotions in check and decipher the men’s intentions and actions exhausts what little strength she has left.

But her tangled relationships very much take a back seat to the conflict vibrating through the Realm. The tension is high, the pace is quick, and the final battle is chaotic and full of oh no she DIDN’T moments. The trilogy ends with the best kind of ending: the loose ends are tied up, but left loose enough to unravel and give your imagination plenty of room to make up what happens next for McKenzie, Aren, Kyol, and the rest of the Realm.

Sexual content: Sex

4 Responses to “Release-Day Review: The Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams (Shadow Reader #3)”

  1. I LOVED the conclusion to Sandy Williams’ trilogy! After reading your review, it seems you did too, although admittedly, I don’t understand your 3.5 star rating as you didn’t mention anything negative. *shrugs* Anyway, happy (almost) 2014! I can’t wait to see what the new year brings for this author.

  2. Amanda says:

    I really enjoyed it, and there wasn’t anything really horrible about it. *shrugs* I think it’s just that my higher ratings go to the books that keep me up at night, and this one didn’t quite hit that mark. Definitely worth the read, though, and I agree, I can’t wait to see what Williams will do next.

  3. Amy says:

    I was hesitant to start this book. I think sometimes I get burned out on books where the heroine is really put through the ringer and it makes it difficult to read. Once I finally delved into this book, it was just like the others. Fast paced and quick read. I ended up really enjoying the conclusion and like you said evrything was tied up but enough left open for imagination.

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