The brutal murder of Lavalé fey Avecath, the King’s First Magistrate and adviser, interrupts Constable Inspector Reva Lunaria’s day off. The victim’s status makes this a high-profile investigation, bringing with it unwanted attention from Senior Inquisitor Ailan Malvaceä of the Sucra, the King’s secret police. The manner of the victim’s death makes this case even more intriguing. A body cut perfectly in half – from top to bottom – is a rare occurrence, even in a city filled with all manner of magic weapons. All of this would be challenging enough, but Inspector Lunaria must also deal with a new partner, Seeker Ansee Carya, who is clearly not up to her standards.
As Reva faces a growing body count, Senior Inquisitor Malvaceä undertakes his own mission to find the same killer, but with a very different agenda. Reva’s investigation takes unexpected turns as wild conspiracies, hidden addictions, and Dark Elf soldiers all threaten to distract Reva from tracking down the killer. Reva’s only hope of stopping the serial killer from cutting more prominent citizens of Tenyl in half is to figure out how to work with Seeker Carya and overcome her own weaknesses.
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The US Review
“Lavalé had no time to move. He could only watch, helpless, as the blade, bright red lines twisting through it like a breathing forge, swept down upon his head. Lavalé’s last thought was that he did know that blade.”
First, the magistrate is killed—brutally murdered in his own study by a familiar elven figure wielding a powerful black blade. Then the King’s Treasurer is taken down in the middle of the road, along with anyone who happened to be too close in the moment. For Constable Inspector Reva Lunaria these murders mean one very important thing: She can kiss her well-earned day off goodbye. Along with her new partner, Ansee “Antsy” Carya, Reva sets out to uncover the masked murderer. As they investigate the murders, they uncover a web of intrigue and conspiracy that’s been in motion for years. Magic blades, complex elven politics, murder, mayhem, and a talking parrot that won’t stop saying “Reva is sexy”—all these things and more make Wrath of the Fury Blade a thrilling adventure from start to finish.
The idea may seem familiar: one murder leads to another while a no-nonsense inspector investigates the action and gets into danger as a result. However, this book is anything but typical. The action happens not in our world but in a fantasy world of elves and magic—a combination which may seem out of place. In the hands of the authors, though, Reva and her fantasy home come alive with every nuance of a real world. The novel is both a murder mystery and a police procedural that plays remarkably well with its fantasy elements—sort of like an episode of CSI penned by J.R.R. Tolkien. Every aspect of the world, from its history to its politics to its modern-day struggles, is thought out and presented in the pages for the reader to pick up on. Everything from the elven police procedure to the rules of magic is predetermined, with the authors clearly thinking everything through in great detail. Reva’s home is imbued with such a richness and depth that it becomes difficult to remember the place does not and cannot exist.
Reva herself is a strong, fierce heroine who puts her service in the name of justice above all else. Through her partnership with the much mellower (but equally moral) Carya, she is fleshed out in all her elven glory. Despite the two making a remarkable—though mismatched—team, neither is without their flaws. And as they proceed towards their goals, the demons of their past and present rear their ugly heads. In fact, no character is extraneous, no matter how short their appearance in the story is, and each is driven by his or her own ambitions and fears. The writing is likewise descriptive but tight with no words wasted. Yet every passage tells readers more about the story, the people, the environment, and every other aspect of the world in question.
Intrigue and wonder fill the story, but underneath everything run darker, more relevant themes: race, culture, and the absurd, over-emphasized importance of social standing. The world Reva lives in has declared elves pure and worthy and casts any half-breeds into lowly positions in society for their bloodline alone. It is, in a way, a dystopia which reflects the vices of our own world. It’s clear from the beginning that the assassin is seeking to right wrongs he believes were committed by the elite in the society. But what is truly happening in this world? What drives anyone to commit unspeakable crimes? Magic, revenge, or is it something more? Wrath of the Fury Blade is a masterful marriage of genres and a must-read for fantasy and thriller lovers alike.
reviewed by Yuliya Geikhman
The writing duo of Geoff Habiger and Coy Kissee have been life-long friends since high school in Manhattan, Kansas. (Affectionately known as the Little Apple, which was a much better place to grow up than the Big Apple, in our humble opinion.) We love reading, baseball, cats, role-playing games, comics, and board games (not necessarily in that order and sometimes the cats can be very trying). We’ve spent many hours together over the years (and it’s been many years) basically geeking out and talking about our favorite books, authors, and movies, often discussing what we would do differently to fix a story or make a better script. We also loved playing games, generally role-playing games, but also board games and card games, and would spend hours talking about why a particular game was fun or not, and what made the games fun to play.
In the early 2000’s we decided to not just talk about games but to start making our own games. We created Tangent Games and began designing role-playing supplements (adventures, modules, and role-playing aids) to be used for Dungeons and Dragons (3rd and 3.5 editions). We also designed our first card game (called Bankruptcy: The Card Game!), which was a finalist for the Origins Award for best card game in 2007. We continue to work on game design, and still play games at every chance we get, but in 2010 we decided to start working on a novel together. We work to our strengths and having collaborated for years on game design we work well together and make a very effective writing team.
Wrath of the Fury Blade is our second novel and started from a simple premise: In a world of magic and monsters how would the police solve crimes? That basic idea led Geoff to create the character of Constable Inspector Reva Lunaria and eventually the story that became Wrath of the Fury Blade.
Coy lives with his wife in Lenexa, Kansas. Geoff lives with his wife and son in Tijeras, New Mexico. They are currently working on a sequel to Wrath of the Fury Blade called Joy of the Widows Tears.