Fault Lines (Born to the Blade Season 1 Episode 2)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

The first two episodes of Born to the Blade are written by Michael R. Underwood ("Arrivals") and Marie Brennan ("Fault Lines") and they both serve as introduction as well as hook. There's just enough cliffhanger at the end of each episode that I finish eager and ready for the next.

(full review at Nerds of a Feather: http://www.nerds-feather.com/2018/05/born-to-blade-episodes-1-2.html
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I really liked this episode, I wasn't too sure after Arrivals, but with Fault Lines it is decided: I want to read this serial. A lot of political conflicts and interesting characters. The world also got more fleshed out.

Looking forward to the rest!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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I am really starting to enjoy this series and found this to be a fascinating instalment, albeit a little tonally different from the first. What I liked here was a greater insight into the political machinations of the Empire, with alliances and internal squabbles playing a larger part. It enriches the world building and allowed me to get a true sense of what I would be dealing with in future instalments. The intrigues and intricacies of a multi-nation empire are always going to hold my interest if they are done well and here, for the most part, they are. I find Michiko a very interesting character and think her current internal struggles are well crafted. Kris is very different in tone here, which through me off a little and there were a couple of pronoun slips towards the end. Overall though, I really enjoyed this offering and am looking forward to part 3. I think this has the potential to be a truly excellent series if all the pieces mesh together.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange  for a fair and honest review.
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In Episode Two of Serial Box’s latest series, politics, world-building, and a party feature. Where episode one, Arrivals, opened the world and the set the stage, episode two, Fault Lines by Marie Brennan, deepens the world while ratcheting up the politicking. Episode two solidifies Born to the Blade as a fun series worth reading.

TL;DR

Fault Lines expands the world of Born to the Blade while furthering the political conflicts. Recommended.

Story

There’s less violence in this episode but no less action. While there is a single duel, the politics and navigation of interpersonal relationships shine in this episode. The reader learns about the different societies and some of what differentiates them. Kris, through no action of their own, becomes a piece in the political game while still not being a player. Ojo, as in the first episode, stands out among the many characters. For now, the execution of the Golden Lord affects the story only slightly. Michiko wrestles with it, but how is it changing her allegiances to Mertika?

Writing

With episodes switching authors, how consistent is the writing style? Episode two maintains a cohesive style with the first while focusing on different parts of the overall story. This episode featured only one fight, and the whole story is better for it. Learning about the politics and societies make this a slower but satisfying episode. One particular bit of world building that shines is how the lift operators use pen knives in their sigil magic, and instead of treating magic with amazement and respect, the magic, to them, has become just another boring part of a repetitive job. That little bit deepens the world while being absolutely believable. In a world that relies on magic, not every spell or trick will be awe-inspiring. This bit drives interest in just how sigil magic works. Is it available to anyone? Is there a bored teenager somewhere using sigil magic to make Twaa-fei’s version of fast-food?

Conclusion

Episode 2 takes the story in a new, more measured direction that explores this interesting world. Between tea, the lifts, and the party, Fault Lines is a fun addition that shows Born to the Blade is more than just sword fights and magic.
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