The Court of Broken Knives

The Court of Broken Knives

by Anna Smith Spark

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The Court of Broken Knives 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
HeyJude70 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like Abercrombie crossed with Bakker in a dark Glen Cook world, but with a unique narrative voice. A fast paced whirlwind of grimdarkness.
NovelKnight More than 1 year ago
Following up on the last adult fantasy debut I read, Age of Assassins (which is from the same imprint, interestingly enough), I’m back with another fabulous new read for y’all! The Court of Broken Knives takes readers into the dark, gritty world of Spark’s imagination. Here the title of Queen of Grimdark that I’ve seen the author labeled as truly comes to light. I actually had to look up was grimdark fantasy was because I’d only heart the name in passing but hadn’t really read anything in the sub-genre. And then it all made sense. This book isn’t nice. It isn’t kind. It isn’t all happy magic and saving the day. It’s ruthless. It’s vicious. It’s utterly vile. And I loved all of it. I don’t know what that says about me but… well, this book was beautiful. I think the writing is what captured me the most. Spark has a way with words, and I don’t mean that as a joke. The words are woven in an almost lyrical way that both increases the dark atmosphere while also tempering it enough to make it readable from a morality standpoint. It reminded me a bit of Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight in that sense and it’s the kind of writing that I loved but I know doesn’t work for every reader so if it’s not your thing, this book might not be for you. The story follows four character perspectives, that of a soldier, a prince, a politician, and a priestess. And if you think these characters are heroes then you’re not reading the right book. It’s rare I read a book where there isn’t a “hero” figure and a “villain,” where morals are gray and then some, where the characters have questionable pasts and will do whatever it takes to get what they want. Not to be good guys. Just because they want to. No hidden motives to increase tension. No mysteries to give them something to reveal to the reader. What you see is what you get and I loved it. Truly, these characters didn’t need to be good because they were interesting and I’d take that any day. Then there’s the world-building. Well I mentioned the writing, right? Spark took that writing and brought this world to life with the perfect balance of detail to story. I never felt over- or underwhelmed by the world, nor was I confused by anything. I fell head first into this edgy, gritty world. It’s violent and terrible but I couldn’t put it down. The Court of Broken Knives is not for everyone. You have to know what you’re getting into when you pick up this book and that’s a beautifully crafted new fantasy that will make you question everything you thought you knew. There are no heroes here. There are no villains. There are people and the decisions they make, the journey they take, and the consequences that follow. Get this book on your shelves, y’all!
DDeano More than 1 year ago
I bought the book based upon other than "customer" reviews, and I"m not sure what the agenda of the reviewers was. Because I had bought it, I finished it to see where the plot could possibly go. I'm really struggling to find any redeeming qualities to this book--perhaps the descriptions of nature? It's rare that I read a novel and cannot connect to a single character, but such was the case here. I simply did not care what happened to any character, so I have no interest in any sequel. Each character is warped in his or her own way, sexually, emotionally, drug-induced, or whatever. Maybe the human race is as messed up as the author believes, but at times people do seem to exhibit some genuine compassion, love, and care for others without an ulterior motive. But in this book, every character's motive is utilitarian and egocentric. The world created in this series is just not one I want to spend any more time inhabiting. Much is made by reviewers of the combat scenes, but here again, I beg to differ. I've been there, done that, and the combat renditions make no sense. "Kill everyone, friend and foe alike?" Oh, but that's right--no one has a friend. True friendship is another one of those human qualities absent in the characters. This is truly a bleak and unrealistic view of humankind. Followed to its logical conclusion, the series should end with the world devoid of humans with just some happy dragons and seagulls surviving. I'll pass, thank you.