The Sword of Midras by Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott

Shroud of the Avatar, Book 1

Synopsis: Fantasy great Tracy Hickman teams up with the video game legend Richard Garriott to write a new book based on the award-winning game, Shroud of the Avatar.

The thrilling prequel to Shroud of the Avatar from Portalarium!

The world died during the Fall.

Abandoned by the mighty Avatars and their Virtues, the people who remained were left defenseless in an untamed land. That is, until the Obsidians came. Through dark sorcery and overwhelming force the Obsidian Empire brought order to chaos, no matter the cost.

Aren Bendis is a Captain in the Obsidian Army who has seen enough of what a world without Virtue looks like and is willing to do whatever it takes to establish a lasting peace. But after finding a magical sword that only he can wield, a sword his trusted scout, Syenna, claims is a blade once used by the legendary Avatars, Aren is thrown into a far more unfamiliar battle. One fought with whispered words and betrayal instead of swords and arrows.

Running out of allies, Aren’s only hope for survival is to discover the true nature of the ancient weapon he wears at his side. In order to do that, Aren will have to turn to the empire’s enemies and, in doing so, he will discover what order at the hands of the Obsidians really means.

Review: I’m always quite anxious when I start a fantasy novel. I know that we can find some very good ones but I’m really complicated so I finally don’t read many of them. Still, it’s always nice to get out of my comfort zone and to discover new novels such as this one. I had the chance to discover Tracy Hickman with another of his series: unwept (which, it must be said, is quite different from this novel) and I was curious to see what this new story was going to be.

We can see in the book that the author has teamed up with Richard Garriott to write a novel based on a videogame. I admit that once again I do not know the whole game and have never heard of it but I was pleasantly surprised by the story. Indeed, we discover a young captain, Aren Bennis, who face an excessive general and must follow his orders without saying a thing. This is certainly the case until he finds out an ancient sword supposedly cursed that will open his eyes to a world he did not know about. I will not say more because ultimately we can read the novel very quickly and I do not want to reveal too much but it’s true that I let myself be easily carried by the chapters following the adventures of Aren and discovering gradually this world with different characters. I also enjoyed the few images that we find inserted in the book and that gives us a glimpse of the characters.

Unlike many fantasy novels, we do not have many points of view, which is a huge point for me and I enjoyed learning more about Aren and his actions. Besides, I was surprised several times by his decisions.

In any case, it was a great discovery. I did not know much about this world but I am curious to read more and find out what happens next.



27 thoughts on “The Sword of Midras by Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott

  1. I enjoy fantasy stories, but I don’t read many of them. I have to be in the mood. I’ve not read one like this that involves a video game world. I can see how it makes the focus more personal with less narrators.

    I’ll have to keep this one in mind. Thanks, Melliane!

  2. I love video game themes in book. The most recent one I read was Armada by Ernest Cline. Love, love. But it’s tricky. Some books tend to use too much jargon that non-gamers (like me) can’t understand.

    Glad you loved this one!

  3. I get what you mean by being anxious when starting a fantasy novel, I’m kinda like that but I can’t really resist them! Glad you ended up loving this one, it sounds like one I might try myself 🙂

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