The Hammer and the Blade by Paul S Kemp. Book review

hammerTHE HAMMER AND THE BLADE A Tale of Egil and Nix by Paul S Kemp, Angry Robot, £7.99 p/b, £4.55 eBook

Reviewed by Rex Sumner

This is a fun story!  Old fashioned sword and sorcery, suspend your critical eye and just enjoy.  There are demons, strange creatures, beggars, whores and drunkards, magicians and swordsmen, priests and eunuchs.
The story starts strongly, and you wonder how the prelude links in with the main narrative, but stick with it and it becomes clear. The heroes are nice enough to emphasize with, descriptions short enough to be effective without being boring and men being able to change their opinions.
Names are weird and unrecognisable, invented creatures fit into the landscape which is bleak and barren as our heroes set off on a quest with great reluctance, forced into helping a magician.  Just as they were giving up grave robbing as well.
Of course there is a double cross, friendships and alliances shift, and Nix demonstrates his magical ability resulting in disaster and success about equally.
Rather than give too much away, I would recommend the book to lovers of sword and sorcery.  Marks from me B, I wouldn’t read it again but I would enjoy reading other tales of Egil and Nix.  You won’t mind being interrupted while reading it, but you will come back to it.