cover image Across the Sorrow Sea

Across the Sorrow Sea

Anthony Ryan. Subterranean, $45 (220p) ISBN 978-1-64524-155-3

Ryan’s accessible and exciting fifth Seven Swords epic fantasy novel (after To Blackfyre Keep) continues the story of Guyime, a renowned and ageless warrior who is magically bound to the Nameless Blade, a demon-possessed weapon and one of the mythical Seven Swords. He’s on a quest to bring all seven of the storied blades together, hoping to learn their true purpose. This time, Guyime’s mission takes him and his companions to the Sorrow Sea, a perilous, monster-filled body of water that contains the Spectral Isle, where the Seven Swords were forged. The island was once the domain of the powerful sorcerer Calvius Arkelion, who specialized in capturing demons. Hoping that Arkelion’s island will provide some answers, including why the swords were created in the first place, Guyime and company seek the aid of a pirate captain to reach it. The denouement satisfyingly resolves some mysteries while raising others to be addressed in future installments. Ryan remains adept at balancing action, thoughtful characterization, and spooky atmospherics, bringing the Sorrow Sea’s perils to life. Series fans and new readers alike will be sucked in. (Sept.)