The Shard Axe by Marshelia Rockwell

Sabira Lyet d’Deneith, a Sentinel Marshall, is called upon by clan Deneith to perform a mission only she can do but has to return to a person and place she promised herself she never would.  Eight years ago she watched the murderous Nightshard die and saved a life that earned her the nicknamed “The Shard Axe”.  Now a series of murders are occurring in Stormreach that are all too similar to Nightshard.  Sabira must return to face her demons save the life of one who cost her so much.  In a city full of enemies can she keep the past from repeating itself?

This is a book to be devoured in one setting.  It is fast paced with bits of backstory dropped in at choice moments that flesh out Sabira’s story perfectly.  While I am not as familiar with Eberron as I am the Forgotten Realms, this book required no previous knowledge of the Eberron setting and can be enjoyed as a standalone novel.  The key element of the story is Sabira, to say that her methods are unorthodox and she is a “bit of a rule breaker” is an understatement but she has a fierce sense of duty that guides her actions.  So her prisoners are brought in a little worse for wear?  It is part of her charm…

What I liked most about this book was the character development.  This is a very character driven story.  A first blush you see Saba as a very rough, do what it takes to get paid type of person, but as the story moves forward and her past is revealed you see how events have molded her into who she is.  I don’t like books that lay a characters entire history out before you in the first chapter, instead  I like hints of what happend to be placed here and there throughout the book.  This keeps me turning the pages and piecing the character’s story together.  That is the kind of book I like and exactly what Marcy delivers in “The Shard Axe”.

The cover art is amazing and one of those that would stop you at the bookstore and make you want to buy it for the cover alone.

I give this book 5 stars for an amazing story and incredible character development. It is a great edition to the Eberron line and if you want to read more by Marshelia Rockwell, I recommend her other book also set in Eberron, Legacy of Wolves.

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