The Silverblood Promise by James Logan


Out April 25th and published by Jo Fletcher books, today I take a look at The Silverblood Promise, the publishing debut of James Logan.

About The Book


Lukan Gardova is a cardsharp, academy dropout, and - thanks to a duel that ended badly - the disgraced heir to an ancient noble house. His life consists of cheap wine, rigged card games and wondering how he might win back the life he threw away.

When Lukan discovers that his estranged father has been murdered in strange circumstances, he finds fresh purpose. Deprived of his chance to make amends for his mistakes, he vows to unravel the mystery behind his father's death.

His search for answers leads him to Saphrona, fabled city of merchant princes, where anything can be bought if one has the coin. Lukan only seeks the truth, but instead he finds danger and secrets in every shadow.

For in Saphrona, everything has a price - and the price of truth is the deadliest of all.


The Silverblood Promise is one of those fantasy books that is already getting quite a bit of hype. Billed as Lamora meets Abercrombie with a dash of Nicholas Eames.

Well, does the book live up to its promise? Well, it does and it doesn’t!

Unfortunately, for me I thought it was a little unfair to put it in this cache of stories and those who are expecting a Lamora style heist novel, or an Abercrombie level of grimdarkness may possibly feel a little mislead.

(Which, when I have gone to put ithis review on Goodreads is a similar view held by Nick from Out of This World SFF reviews, which I totally agree with)

However, taken on its own merits, this book is a cracking little book (again, that is misleading coz it ain’t small!). I think for me it bears little resemblance to anything I have read before, but if I was going to pull some comparison out of my head, I would say that the nearest thing to it would be M.J. Kuhn’s first book (which I loved!), or as I have seen Petrik Leo comment in his review, Foundryside. Which I can totally see!

The story centres around our main protagonist, Lukan Gardova, a disgraced nobleman’s son who after being estranged from his academically minded father following an incident in the Academy that he went to in his own town (I can’t exactly recall the name of where Lukan comes from as he moves around a lot following the incident).

He is subsequently tracked down by his father’s retainer, Shafia, who tells him that his father has been murdered and that he has left him a note scrawled in his own blood. The note contains three words; Lukan Saphrosa Zandrusa.

He can make out two of the words, but he has no clue what the final word means. Obviously, the first word is his name, the second refers to the southern city of Saphrosa, but he has no clue as to what the final word of the message may be.

In an effort to solve the mystery of his father’s untimely demise, Lukan sets sail for Saphrosa. There he will enlist the aid of the criminal underground, come into contact with mysterious ancient artefacts and also find himself in the midst of events that will change the course of his life.

The book comes out in April, and I must say that I really enjoyed this one, and I am sure that when it is released a lot more readers will too.

Initially, I was a little sceptical, and it took me a while to warm to the main character. However, when the story actually starts you can’t help but actually loving him. I mean there is something about the loveable rogue isn’t there and it is a trope that always has me coming back for more. More than that, this book has three of them.

There is the impish Flea. A child that has grown up stealing to make her living on the streets of Sarphona who becomes embroiled with Lukan when she attempts to steal from Lukan in the early pages of the book. And then there is the mysterious Ashra (I won’t say much about her as you can find out for yourself who she is)

One of the main things that I enjoyed in this book was the growing relationship between Lukan and the impetuous young girl Flea, who he takes under his wing, and I must say that the relationship and banter between the two is what makes this book so enjoyable. And then when Ashra joins the fray, it seems to elevate it that little bit more.

The story itself is a twisty, turny plot that becomes more surprising as the story goes on. Each time Lukan thinks he has solved one more piece of the puzzle that can lead him to solving the mystery of his father’s murder, ten more problems emerge, each proving more dangerous than the last.

The prose is slick and fast paced and once you actually get past the first chapter you find yourself mysteriously engrossed in Lukan’s plight and I simply could not put it down until I had finished. In addition to that, the story is peppered with copious amounts of humour, especially the banter between the characters.

Now to the fantasy elements of the book. There is magic in the book, but it is a system that moves the plot along when it is needed rather than being a magic system that is integrated into the world as a whole. In addition to that, I really liked the basis of the world. In particular, The Phaeron, a race of beings that were ambiguously described as a race of magical beings that had great technological advancements, or a race of other dimensional beings. I am sure that as we learn more of the world, this will become clearer.

The Silverblood Promise is an exciting new fantasy series from an exciting new voice in fantasy and I cannot wait to see where the next instalment will lead us. 

Thank You For Reading


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