Early Review: The Sharpest Blade (McKenzie Lewis, #3) by Sandy Williams

December 28, 2013 Review 0

Early Review: The Sharpest Blade (McKenzie Lewis, #3) by Sandy WilliamsThe Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams
Series: McKenzie Lewis #3
Published by Penguin Group USA on 12/31/2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley
Excerpt: Excerpt
Sexual Content: A few sex scenes – light R rated
Reviewed by: Libbie
4 Stars

Torn between two worlds.
Torn between two lives.

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.

Because I’m entirely too OCD to read the last book in a series without having read the ones before, I’ve spent the past two weeks catching up on the McKenzie Lewis series. And I’m very glad I did. Not that I don’t think there would have been enough backstory within THE SHARPEST BLADE to catch me up, but the emotional ride wouldn’t have meant as much.

What a ride it was. Happy, sad, giggling out loud and tears spilling onto my Kindle, I felt the full gamut.

I’m unashamed about the fact that I read for romance. I eat it up like a glutton. And there was romance aplenty in THE SHARPEST BLADE, but for me, that fell secondary to the story. It wasn’t McKenzie and her choices between the two fae she’s drawn to that kept me reading until 2am. It was the Realm: Lena’s battle against the false-blood, finding out what was happening with Lorn, with Shane, with Paige and Lee and the serum. The plot itself drove me page after page until I finally hit the end. I’m happy to report that all my questions were answered and I came away with no lingering sense of “I wonder what happened to…”

Keeping everything spoiler free, I won’t dive into the final battles or romance angle of the story more than to say it left me wholly satisfied (save one thing). I truly loved the way Williams used the triangle plot device in the whole McKenzie Lewis series, and in THE SHARPEST BLADE in particular. There was no Team this or Team that, there was no indecisive heroine wondering which hot guy she was going to choose. McKenzie knew her mind. Tthe only mystery was if she would be able to ever have what she wanted. The battles themselves? Williams didn’t pull any punches – the action kept me on the edge of my seat, cheering and gasping and omg-no!-ing.

One thing worth mentioning about the McKenzie Lewis series on the whole and THE SHARPEST BLADE in particular is the way the fae are handled. Williams’ fae are beautiful, and yes, and kissing them is addictive but she doesn’t hammer this point home repeatedly, nor does she leave the heroine at the mercy of it. McKenzie knows a fae’s touch will set off a magical reaction, but she feels it, maybe gives in a little, but eventually overcomes it by her own strength of will. Refreshingly handled and one of the reasons I’d happily return to a fae world if Williams is at the helm.

The only reason the book landed four stars over five is a tendency towards wordiness, sometimes getting even a little purple in the prose. It wasn’t enough to completely turn me off, but it did occasionally bog the story down in words, words and more words.

I’m sad to see the series end and to leave McKenzie and her crew behind to their world as I move on with mine. I’m also pretty sure I’ll revisit this book a few more times to reread my bookmarked pages and favorite chapters again. I will be on the lookout for more from the author and really hope the wait isn’t too long.

Series Titles:
  1. The Shadow Reader - 5/5
  2. The Shattered Dark - 3/5
  3. The Sharpest Blade
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