Audiobook Review: Sweep of the Blade
Author: Ilona Andrews
Narrators: Natalie Naudus
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #4
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Audiobook Source: Purchased
The Innkeeper Chronicles is one of my absolute favorite series, and I always love reading and listening to each of the stories in the series. This was my first time listening but second overall read of Sweep of the Blade.
Sweep of the Blade features two strong, warrior leads and a standalone romance, complete with an HEA. I loved learning more about the vampire race, including history and house structure. The vampires’ subtle political maneuverings and Maud’s heightened awareness of the vampires’ games provided suspense and intrigue.
While an exciting adventure in its own right, Sweep of the Blade is Maud’s journey in overcoming the scars from her past and learning to be herself again. Seeing Maud overcome her fears of being abandoned again was fantastic. Arland is so perfect for her. He has a soft interior and gives her such love and dedication. Sweep of the Blade twists the growing relationship of Maud and Arland around an impending attack on House Kraur. The story is a perfect mix of romance and action.
Narration: This is my first time listening to Natalie Naudus, and overall I enjoyed her performance. The story is shared in the third person POV of Maud, and Ms. Naudus pairs the narrator and Maud’s dialogue, while altering the voices for all other characters. While I was a bit sad to say goodbye to my favorite Renee Raudman, a new narrator works since this story belongs to Maud rather than Dina. Ms. Naudus brings Maud to life, giving the human warrior a wide range of emotion: rough and fierce, sad and reflective, joyful and light. Ms. Naudus also provides a vast array of voices from young to old, soft to hard. And I’ll admit, at first her performance of Arland didn’t fit my idea of what it should be, but the lilting, British accent worked perfect for the powerful vampire prince.
Sweep of the Blade is filled with subtle humor, rich world building, intricate details, and tight plot. I absolutely love the Innkeeper Chronicles. The writing team of Ilona Andrews has created an utterly unique and completely fascinating world, and I pray they are able to continue giving us stories.
About the Book:
Maud Demille is a daughter of Innkeepers—a special group who provide ‘lodging’ to other-planetary visitors—so she knows that a simple life isn’t in the cards. But even Maud could never have anticipated what Fate would throw at her.
Once a wife to a powerful vampire knight, Maud and her young daughter, Helen, were exiled with him for his treachery to the desolate, savage planet of Karhari. Karhari killed her husband, and Maud—completely abandoned by his family—has spent over a year avenging his debts. Rescued by her sister Dina, she’s sworn off all things vampire.
Except… In helping Dina save the world, she met Arland, the Marshal of House Krahr, one of the most powerful vampire houses. One thing led to another and he asked for her hand in marriage. She declined. Arland is not used to hearing the word ‘no;’ and try as she might, Maud can’t just walk away from Arland. It doesn’t help that being human is a lot harder for Maud than being a vampire.
To sort it all out, she accepts his invitation to visit his home planet. House Krahr is extremely influential and Maud knows that a woman—a human, with a very questionable past—who’s turned down a proposal from its most beloved son won’t get a warm reception. Maybe she’s not sure about marrying Arland, but House Krahr isn’t going to decide for her. Maud Demille has never run from a fight, and House Krahr will soon discover that there’s a lot more to Maud than they’re expecting.