The Hammer and the Blade. Book Review

THE HAMMER AND THE BLADE by Paul S. Kemp

Angry Robot, p/b, £7.99

Reviewed by Rebekah Lunt

I genuinely enjoyed this book. The plot is fairly basic which is not a bad thing as it allows for more character development and interesting tangents. Basically, the loveable rogues Egil and Nix are tomb raiders along the lines of Indiana Jones, but with less morals and more demon-y, fantasy-type stuff. They do a job which is supposed to be their last but in fact turns out to be the beginning of a forced adventure to the ultimate tomb-raid.

The story and characters are easy to get to know and follow, although I wish Kemp had focused more on the balance of Egil and Nix as Egil is much less prominent although just as, if not more, interesting as Nix. There are other characters who are incidental in this book, of whom I hope to see more in ensuing sequels. I do feel that even the incidentals are established quite well, even though you don’t get the full story or backgrounds for them.

There is, of course, the obligatory damsel in distress to rescue although there’s a twist here in that maybe one of the distressed damsels is not quite so helpless. In fact, there is quite a thread of anti-misogyny throughout the tale – leading to a questionable act of resolution for the villain of the piece which still has me wondering about whether it was ‘right’ or just – and it makes the whole piece quite refreshing.

To all intents and purposes this is a buddy movie waiting to happen, and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment. It kept my attention and interest throughout and has obvious potential to continue and develop.