The Sharpest Blade

The Sharpest Blade

by Sandy Williams

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Thursday, October 25  Order now and choose Expedited Shipping during checkout.


The Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams

McKenzie Lewis’s ability to read the shadows has put her—and those she loves—in harm’s way again and again. The violence must end, but will the cost of peace be more devastating than anyone ever imagined?
After ten years of turmoil, the life McKenzie has always longed for may finally be within her grasp. No one is swinging a sword at her head or asking her to track the fae, and she finally has a regular—albeit boring—job. But when a ruthless enemy strikes against her friends, McKenzie abandons her attempt at normalcy and rushes back to the Realm.
With the fae she loves and the fae she’s tied to pulling her in different directions, McKenzie must uncover the truth behind the war and accept the painful sacrifices that must be made to end it. Armed with dangerous secrets and with powerful allies at her side, her actions will either rip the Realm apart—or save it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425265888
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/31/2013
Series: A Shadow Reader Novel Series , #3
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 352,414
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sandy Williams graduated from Texas A&M University with degrees in political science and history. She worked as a librarian until her husband whisked her off to London on an extended business trip. Now she’s back in Texas, writing full-time, raising twin boys, and squeezing in time to play geeky board and card games like The Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Runebound.

She is the author of The Shadow Reader and The Shattered Dark.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for The Shadow Reader series:

“Sexy and fun, this is a must for anyone who likes their fae modern, their stakes high, and their property damage extensive.”—Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of the October Daye novels
“Combines top-notch writing and world-building with characters you’ll adore... Loved it.”—Ann Aguirre, national bestselling author of Endgame
“When facing this stubborn, smart, escape artist of a heroine, watch where you walk, as every footstep leaves a shadow and every shadow tells a longtime reader like McKenzie Lewis the truth...whether she wants to know it or not.”—Rob Thurman, New York Times bestselling author of Doubletake

“A fantastically fun urban fantasy!” —All Things UF

"Featuring a gutsy heroine and plenty of fay lore, this urban fantasy debut should appeal to fans of Seanan McGuire's October Daye novels." —Library Journal

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Sharpest Blade 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
Oh my! A fantastic end to a wonderful fantasy trilogy!                                                                      The Shattered Blade picks up right where The Shattered Dark left us. The love triangle between McKenzie, Aren and Kyon has driven me insane thru-out much of this series and this book continues that... but, the absolutely great news is, that it finally resolves!!!!!! AND I love McKenzie's choice! THANK YOU to the author! I really enjoyed this series even though I'm not a huge fan of love triangles nor am I crazy about cliff-hangers. I was lucky in that the whole series was available to read now so I wasn't really left hanging... thank goodness. IF you like your books with awesome kick-ass action, pick up this series... and you must read it in order. This is not a book to pick up and read as a stand-a-lone.  4 Stars!!!!!!
DrSteph6510 More than 1 year ago
The Sharpest Blade is book 3 in the shadow reader trilogy by Sandy Williams. As such, there are bound to be some spoilers in the review if you have not read books 1 and 2 of the series. This book is non-stop action, plot twists, and tugs at the heart strings. I've really enjoyed this world and am sad to see it go. One thing I really appreciated was McKenzie finally learning to properly use a sword. These covers are gorgeous, but have always featured her with a sword, yet she has never really used one in the books. This time she finally receives some proper training and actually starts to carry and use the weapon with confidence.  When many people discuss this series, they mention that it features a love triangle. True, there are two guys that have feelings for McKenzie, but I have never considered it a traditional love triangle story, especially since the end of book one. Slight spookier ahead: At that time McKenzie made her choice and she has never swayed from that decision. The men in her life have been pretty respectful of that as well. This book featured some complications because of the life bond, but ended in a way where you had no doubt where her heart truly belonged.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bookshelf_Confessions More than 1 year ago
Epic ending! I was sad to see this story go, but it was an epic ending There were finally resolutions, bad ones got punished, an end to the love triangle. I just wish there were enough time to get to know the new characters in this book, but overall, loved the action, the twists, the sexiness, the banter and the like :D Best urban fantasy I've ever read Highly recommended!
GilwenCS More than 1 year ago
It's not a secret, I'm in love with this series and its enchanting universe with a strong romantic element. I have been waiting very impatiently for the last installment, especially after the end of the previous one that left me heartbroken. One of my friends warned me, once The Sharpest Blade in my hands, it would be very difficult to let it go. And she was right! This book was amazing and a great way to start this new year. I was hooked from the beginning. The story get off to a roaring start and, like in the two other books, there is a lot of action! Even if the rebels have won and kept the palace, Lena is still not the queen. So long she doesn't give Atroth's murderer to the high nobles, they won't recognize her. She's more than ever vulnerable to attacks and, with the war far from over, a new usurper looms in the shadows. With all those elements, there is no time to breathe. The twists and turns keep going on and you never know how thing will end up. In the last third of the book, it's basically impossible to stop reading. I was stuck in a maelstrom of action and emotions that shook me up a lot. But beside its amazing rhythm, I was also stuck by the emotional strength of The Sharpest Blade. Sandy Williams has a real gift to make us feel a range of emotions that blow us away. And here there is a lot of material to do so. Things are far from easy for McKenzie and her two companions. Since she is bound to Kyol, she can feel his emotions. The same goes on for him. Difficult in these circumstances to sort up your feelings and reach a peace of mind. Things are complicated by Aren who, even if he's still in love with her, refuses to get over the life-bond and spends his time avoiding her. And when exterior elements started to mix up and threaten this difficult equilibrium, you can't avoid to shake (68% of the book … arghh !!!). Under those circumstances and after everything they have been through, it's impossible not to connect with the characters. McKenzie has really evolved through each book and is now an amazing and a lot less naive woman. She knows what she wants and is ready to do everything to get it. And when time comes to take a decision and assume one side of her life, she'll be ready. Aren … was perfect, as always. And even if I sometime wanted to shake him very bad, I must recognize that the situation was far from easy from him. With the decision taken in this books, you get to see more of him, past the reckless and charming rebel. As for Kyol, he finally got to me. It's the character who stayed the same through and through, but I finally got the opportunity to see him from a different angle. The admiration is still here, but I now feels a lot for him. He's in an even less enviable situation than Aren and you can't stop to want happiness for both of them. Alas, there is a choice to be made. This story was amazing. I was totally blown away by it. Tension is at its height from the beginning to the end, doubled with the anxiety of the big end. But the travel is worth the palpitations and is an explosive and enchanting mix of action, manipulation, excitement … and so much emotions. Read it !
Melliane More than 1 year ago
I was waiting for the release of this book since the end of the second volume. It must be said that many things happened there and we could only wait to see what would happen now. Then adding to that, this third volume closes the trilogy of the adventures of McKenzie. We can therefore only be curious to see what the author had in store for us in this last volume. Our young heroine can finally lead a normal life in her world as she had always wanted, except that it is now no longer her desire, and it is difficult for her to get used to this routine so tasteless. Moreover, her link to Kyol is quite complicated to bear by its multiple consequences. In fact, she can feel his emotions, what he is doing at all times and has feelings that she hoped to forget. Of course, it is the same for him and it is even more difficult because while he can happen to control himself, it’s not the case for McKenzie. But if only it was just that, but Aren constantly avoids her and does not understand that she loves him and not the man with whom she is bounded to. But letting him accept this fact seems impossible with such an unfailing determination. Thing that irritates our heroine at the highest point! Personal life aside, the fae realm is upside down since Lena tries to become queen. Nothing seems easy and everyone seems to want to kill her or usurp her place. Many nobles refuse to approve her and rebels stand with a « king » that everyone is trying to discover the identity. Yet it was a real surprise when I learned who he really is. I was completely blown away by this story! It’s awesome, fantastic, exciting, and just amazing. Yes, to this point! When I think that I was anxious to read it because I was a little scared to see how it was going to be in this last novel… What a mistake, I completely and undeniably loved the story from beginning to end. It therefore took me a few hours to finish it. This is an explosive mixture of action, conspiracies, magic and excitement! Oh yes, and full of emotions! I did not cry, no, but my little heart has struggled many times. McKenzie will face a lot of things and I admit that I am really impressed by her will and determination. Whether her moments with Kyol or Aren , the whole is always filled with intense emotions that mark us. Sandy Williams perfectly manages to make us feel a range of emotions in a short time, either joy or sadness. But my heart has been broken more than once at the thought of what McKenzie was going to endure. She has a lot of courage throughout the novel and despite her pain, she will have to make decisions that could change her life forever, and yet she can not always do what she wants, but rather what is important to do. To conclude, I must say that if you do not know the series, you really miss something and I can only advise you to read it. This is one of the best trilogies I have ever read and I know it is sometimes difficult to have so much in three volumes. But the world that Sandy Williams has created as her ideas are completely unique and we take a great pleasure in discovering everything. McKenzie has evolved tremendously through each volume to become a great woman as well as the two men in her life. I would never have imagined how her world would change but everything is beautifully done. It’s definitely a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The exceptional ending to the most thrilling trilogy i have read this year! Having already read book 1 and 2 of the Shadow Reader trilogy {the shadow reader & the shattered dark}, i was eagerly awaiting with much anticipation the conclusion to this addictive series! I adore urban fantasy and love how this story contains all those qualities which you expect to find; from the gutsy heroine to the non-stop, fast-paced action and shocking twists in the tale. I was glued to the pages throughout lost within the vast world-building and colourful characters, all of which was so magnetic and alluring on the page. Sandy Williams vision and refreshing creative flair that she sprinkles within her stories, will delight all avid readers of fantasy and novels that contain an unexpected eclectic edge to them. I was blown away by book 3 and so would highly recomend this undeniably magnificent series to all who seek a story that will grab you from page 1...and never let go! 5*
Sailon More than 1 year ago
McKenzie's life is finally what she always dreamed...well kind of... She is back in the human world, living a human existence but the turmoil of the fae is about to spill over onto the human realm.  The Sharpest Blade is the third book in the Shadow Reader series and it wonderfully wraps up McKenzie's adventures and of course leaving us wanting more. McKenzie must decide if she is going to continue pushing for the life she thought she wanted or if she is going to immerse herself once more into the fae politics and ultimate blood shed...what else do we expect from the fae. She is battling the life bond that saved her life in the hopes to regain the fae she's come to love. I really enjoyed The Sharpest Blade. The story was action packed with cunning battle strategies and interesting plot turns. I found the fae war and mechanization riveting but I lost some focus with all the emotional vacillations and relationship choices. Ultimately, The Sharpest Blade is a must read for Shadow Reader fans, a wonderful story and a highly entertaining read. I received this ARC copy of The Sharpest Blade from PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW - Ace in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication December 31, 2013.
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
The Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams is the 3rd and final book in her Shadow Reader series. I have been on pins and needles all year waiting to see how Sandy Williams was going to end this series, since she had a major twist at the end of the 2nd book, The Shattered Dark. I have not been this tense and excited to read a book, as I was when I started The Sharpest Blade, and what an exciting and action filled finale this was. I savored every moment, which should tell you how much I enjoyed this series. If you want a reminder of this series, my two previous reviews can be found under the reviews tab, but for a quick reminder. MacKenzie is our heroine, and she is a Shadow Reader, who can direct the Fae to where their enemies are, just by reading their shadows. In this urban fantasy world building of Faes and humans, there is a civil war, with a dictator Fae King, who rules the realm, and the rebels, who want to overturn the king. In the second book, all three were on the same team, with the rebel leaders having a true descendant to the crown. Our heroes in this series are Aren, the hot hot hot, rebel leader and Kyol, the also hot, Fae Warrior, both of whom McKenzie cares about. But in book two, she totally falls in love, as I did, with the wonderfully and devilish, Aren. Book two ended with a shocking twist. There is no doubt that the Sharpest Blade gives us a tougher and stronger McKenzie, who is fully in the middle of this civil war. Though Kyol and Aren are on the same team, to protect Lena, their new Queen, they both dislike each other. Throughout this exciting story with all trying to save Lena, McKenzie is torn between her love of Aren, and her bond with Kyol. I will not give any spoilers, but I will say this was a fantastic exciting and intense story. McKenzie is such a great heroine, and it is her strength, bravery, and perseverance that allows her to save the lives of some of her close allies. Sandy Williams had us glued to our seats, and didn’t let go until the exciting and climatic ending. However, I am sad; this series was great, I became so invested into these fantastic characters that Sandy Williams created, that I will miss them dearly. From McKenzie, Aren, Kyol, Lena, Lorn, Paige, and especially Sosch. I am very sad to not being able to see them again. I wish Williams did some kind of epilogue telling us more about their future, or maybe Sandy will do a novella. We can always hope. Thank you, Sandy Williams for this fantastic ride.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
The Sharpest Blade. Sandy Williams Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews. I liked the sound of this, books involving Fae have such potential with the slipping between this world and the Fae one. I'd not read first two books of the trilogy, but as usual read the Amazon samples for background and was able to pick up the story. NB: they look a fantastic read too and if I’d the cash I'd love to get them, sadly too close to Xmas to indulge but maybe next year :) Anyway, here we are with McKenzie in love with Aren, yet in a life bond with Kyol who she used to love but now doesn't, and who is in love with her !! Then there's the fact that Kyol worked for the King, who's now dead and he is now on the side of the rebels. Aren was on opposite side to Kyol but now they work together, and they have the job of protecting Lena who’s now trying to be announced Queen. She's next in line but some of the Lords doesn't want her – they want someone more sympathetic to them and their money making – politics never changes does it :) Sounds confusing and yet its not. Even though there are different types of Fae with different abilities, and McKenzie a human but with ability to track Fae, its not difficult to follow and get completely engrossed in the storyline, lost in the world of magic. Its a book I loved. Full of detail and drama and yet lets the emotions and thoughts of the characters come through so I could feel I was there with them. I guess if I’d read books one and two I might be more Team Kyol but though he seems a good man its Aren that really grips me – but he's being an ass at the moment over the bond...and McKenzie doesn't know why he's avoiding her, thinks there's more behind his behaviour than the bond. She's been drawn back into the world of the Realm, can't live that quiet human life that’s been her dream for so long, and to be honest I don't see how she thought she would ever get that – I guess its hope over adversity.. So, a gripping drama, full of plots and sub plots, triumphs and disasters, double dealing, blackmail, discoveries and secrets – what a journey! But its all done in a way that makes it easy to follow and enjoy. I loved McKenzie, and I need to like my heroines so that was good, and of course there were so many other characters to get to know and all were essential to the plot, not thrown in just for décor. Stars: Five – fabulous novel. I loved this book, great fantasy read and loved the romance angle, it was just right, not too overbearing to detract from the essential storyline but a keen addition. ARC supplied via Netgalley