Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Sword that Saves by Ambrose Merrell

''There is no greater courage a man can have than to show his vulnerability. All men are vulnerable. All women are vulnerable. It's crazy that some men pretend they aren't and bottle it all up. It's not strong or manly, it's stupid. Strong is revealing the vulnerability. Strong is saying, 'I have these vulnerabilities and still I embrace life with all my being.''

The Sword that Saves is a gripping novel that has many compelling twists and turns. Every page holds a new question, followed by half an answer that leads you to another question. Everytime you think you've figured something out everything changes. 

There are so many great characters and settings woven throughout the story that is almost impossible to put down. When I pick it up I can feel myself sucked into modern day Vancouver, before being flung back into 16th century Japan. The time changes are displayed through language and setting in a way that makes it clear at every moment where you are in the story and yet there are secrets still hidden about how and why this time travel is possible.

When I first thought about writing this entry I asked myself the question, 'why should people read this book?' In the end I came up with a list of reasons that you should give this book a go, since the initial list was too long here are my 3 top;

The writing style- Every writer has their own writing style and Ambrose Merrell is no different. His style captures the essence of adventure, with its speed but also manages to keep a steady underlying pace so that you never feel rushed. Some authors may have similar, or even on first glance, identical writing styles as others but they are each unique. This can be through their humour, characters, what they deem important, how they express thoughts, attitudes, changes of scene. All of what builds up the book and makes it what it is. Sometimes you can get books with wonderful plot ideas but a terrible writing style, either because the author isn't very good at writing, or they have not discovered the style that best suits them yet and keep trying to write like everyone else. Ambrose Merrell however manages from the start, to create his own engaging way of telling this great tale.

The Plot- The Sword that Saves has a very interesting plot that provides both things that relate to modern day. and the history of ancient Japan. Personally Japan is a country that I have never had the opportunity to read or study about much. The Sword that Saves brings the ancient customs of the country alive providing a new interest in things of the past.

The Characters- I can't say that I have a favourite character at the moment but there is definitely an aspect of each character that I like best. I love Sam's bravery and trust in people, even when he first meets his Sensei he is willing to follow him, even when it may seem strange. I love Zoe's unwavering faith in her brother and Sophie's ability to see people as they truly are. I love that Grace, provides Sam with some of the greatest advice, and I love that no matter what each of these characters overcomes their own struggles.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this lovely and thoughtful review of the book. Whilst I typed the story I don't really feel able to claim that I wrote it: it came through me. I don't know from where it came, but my sense is that it came from the real Kensho who inspired the story.

    I hope that you enjoy book two as much! I think there will be 4/5 in the series. But that is just a guess. We shall see what comes through me!

    Thanks again!

    Best wishes