“Infinity Blade: Awakening” by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Infinity Blade: Awakening
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Read Date: 11 April 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Review Preview: Short and sweet!

Trained from birth in swordplay and combat, a young knight named Siris has journeyed to the Dark Citadel with a single purpose: fight through the army of Titans to face the tyrannical God King in one-on-one combat. This was his father’s sacred mission, and his father’s before him, going back countless generations in an effort to free their people from enslavement. But when Siris somehow succeeds where all those from his bloodline previously have failed, he finds himself cast into a much larger world, filled with warriors and thieves, ancient feuds and shifting alliances, Deathless immortals and would-be kings. His quest for freedom will take him on an epic journey in search of the mythical figure known as the Worker of Secrets—the one being in the world who can unravel the secrets of the Infinity Blade.

Based on the bestselling video game from ChAIR Entertainment and Epic Games, this all-new adventure from acclaimed fantasy author Brandon Sanderson digs deeper into the fantastical world of Infinity Blade, a world of mystery and intrigue where magic and technology are indistinguishable, and even life and death are not what they seem.

Like he did in Mistborn, Branderson explores the concept of deities, their (im)mortality, and their place in a society whose traditions revolve around these entities in Infinity Blade: Awakening; it’s something that he does well.

I like the little plot twists that he managed to include even if this is just a novella, and of course, I love the dry humor. I also like that there are familiar fantasy creatures (trolls, golems–probably a holdover from the game) and that they are used in an interesting way.

Siris is not as compelling a character as Brandon’s other heroes, but he makes enough of an impression to at least carry the story. Same goes for Isa and even the God King. I’m not going to complain about this too much because there was little room to explore the characters in such a short story anyway.

I’m not sure how much of the magic system in play here is Brandon’s and how much is from the Infinity Blade game, but it works. I love how the basic concepts of our modern technology were integrated with fantasy tropes to create a rather entertaining system from a reader’s point of view, but one that also feels organic to the world of the novella. Looks like someone took Niven’s Law (“Any sufficiently rigorously defined magic is indistinguishable from technology.”) to heart. 😉

He glanced at his ring; its runes weren’t glowing. It hadn’t recharged yet. His hand brushed the throne as he moved, and there was a beep from the magical mirror on the armrest.

“Ring of Transportation,” the helpful voice said, “fifteenth generation, running service pack six. Please enter the password for activation.”

“Damn you!” Siris sputtered.

“Incorrect password.”

I can imagine all of it working nicely in the context of the video game, too.

It’s a pity this is just a companion piece to the game because I really want to see more of this world.

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