REVIEW: Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick

Sworn in Steel - Douglas Hulick

This review does not contain spoilers for Sworn in Steel, but it does assume you have read Among Thieves.


For my non-spoiler impressions on this series, read my review here.


We return to Drothe a short time after the end of the first book. His unwanted elevation to Gray Prince left him in a position he finds himself ill-equipped to deal with. Needless to say, someone decided to take advantage of that and this is where the book begins.


The basic format of the plot is the same as in among thieves. Lots of underworld activity and several (small) mysteries that needs solving to advance. One thing that surprised me is that the locale is changed away from the city established in the first book. I had expected the world described there to be deepened out, yet instead we are treated to a view from a completely different culture. This was a nice twist.


Nonetheless, I do have a single problem with the story, which prevents it from reaching the same score as the previous book.

In Among Thieves, Drothe basically lucks into his position as Gray Prince and this turn of events is realistically carried by the plot. In this book, a similar thing happens, only this time it's... too obvious. Certain key events and meetings seem far too coincidental and no longer character driven, but plot driven instead. This made the book slightly less enjoyable for me to read and I hope this will not recur in the next installment in the series. There is a solid base here, both in world crafting and characters, and it would be a pity to see it devolve into a story that is all plot and no character.


My verdict:

Overall, there isn't much more to say about this. If you enjoyed Among Thieves, Sworn in Steel will be right up your alley. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!