- Bolivar’s Sword
- Jamie Edmundson
- February 7, 2018
- Greg Patmore
- Bridget Thomas
- The Weapon Takers Saga #2
I really don’t know where to start for this book. I originally received this as a review copy in early 2022 I believe. I either didn’t request book 1 as a review copy, it wasn’t available, or I didn’t get approved. I finally got around to reviewing it in March of 2023. This re-review will reflect more on my thoughts on this book/series after my unusual experience with it. For my initial thoughts on Bolivar’s Sword, see my original review: Review: Bolivar’s Sword.
I ended up listening to it twice, the first time was just to “get through the story”, which is something I often do, especially for stories with lots of characters or when I review sequels. The second time was a listen in the hopes that I’d better understand the plot, now that I had a better idea of who everybody was. It worked to some degree, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, its dual narrators, and the cast. But I definitely felt the lack of context hindered my enjoyment of it.
Despite that, this book has lived in the back of my brain for the last 5 (or some shit) months. I got a good deal on 3 months of Audible for cheap, and when trying to decide what to spend the credits on, this book instantly came to mind and I purchased Toric’s Dagger. No regrets whatsoever. I eagerly listened to it, though I did have trouble getting into it at first, as I did with Bolivar’s Sword. If I remember correctly, I also had trouble getting into Bolivar’s Sword the first time and decided to power through it, which led to my re-listening.
First of all, it was surprising to me how little context was actually needed to fully enjoy Book 2. I had a lot of trouble with the names; I’m 4 listens in and I only know the name of 1 character. I was going to say I don’t remember any, but Sorin came to mind. To clarify, that’s not an issue with the books at all. I just have a really hard time remembering names, faces, and voices.
I was a bit burned out on reading and reviewing for a bit, and Toric’s Dagger and Bolivar’s Sword as well as their incredible dual narration is what I’m attributing to lifting that funk from my mind. It reminded me why I love audiobooks, despite the sea of awful narrators. They’re exciting. The combat scenes are extremely well described and both the writing and the narration paint an extremely vivid picture in my mind of what’s going on.
Initially, I was going to comment on how I only remembered the chase scene through the woods at the start of the book and nothing else. I was going to comment how despite not remembering anything about this book, I still vehemently enjoyed it. The thing is, I did remember it. I remembered it quite well, actually. I just misattributed scenes, such as Rabigar revisiting his clan, and being judged by them, or the battle scenes and so on as being from different books entirely. In my mind, they seemed to be from different books/series because they felt so disjointed from each other without context. In reality, they meshed together extremely well. But months of working on wiki projects, and reading other books made it difficult to remember the finer details.
The Weapon Takers saga is one of those extremely rare exceptions where the characters feel like genuine human beings in their depth or dimensionality. When they’re in danger, when one of them is injured or killed, especially the main cast, I feel that loss like I don’t in other stories. When the main cast is separated and people are temporarily or permanently left behind, I feel sad for them. It’s rare that I feel genuine emotion for a book, aside from rage or annoyance at overused tropes or shitty writing and narration.
As for the narration, it was fantastic. There was one scene, between two of the lead female characters that sounded as if it was one woman talking to herself. The odd thing about this is, that Bridget Thomas actually gave them different tones shortly after. On top of that, I took note of her other female voices in Toric’s Dagger as well. I know she has the talent to make them feel like different people, even when it alternates PoV mid-scene. So I guess that was just a shitty take that got left in the book.
One issue I took with the narration in… I can’t remember if it was Toric’s Dagger, Bolivar’s Sword, or both, so I’m dumping it here was how Greg Patmore would narrate the internal dialogue for female characters. It was super strange to hear a female character voiced, and then suddenly she had a masculine inner monologue. Though it was also admittedly a little amusing to me.
In my review of Toric’s Dagger, I mentioned how I can only comment from the perspective of somebody who’s only listened to the audiobooks. I’m hoping to buy all 4 physical copies on my next payday because I seriously can’t wait to continue this series. As much as I’d love the audiobooks for 3 and 4, I also wonder how it will impact or enhance my enjoyment of the series if I’m limited to the physical format. Will I get through it quickly? Will I read slowly, as I often do? Will I be able to pick up on character names easier? (probably) I’m dying to know the answer to these questions.
The Weapon Takers Saga has enthralled my imagination, and I feel a genuine passion and interest for this series that’s rare to me now. As I began reading more and more stories and listening to more and more, hundreds of hours of listening, everything started to feel super “eh”. Books I previously recommended now feel “alright” to me. Series like this are what keep me reviewing, no matter how bad it gets sometimes.
I’m at the point where I have more review copies than time to read them, and I have no munny, nor do I have the space for more physical books. Going forward, I can only buy physical copies of books or series that I absolutely LOVE. And the Weapon Takers Saga has joined that list (Un)fortunately. While I admire the narration, I feel some things, such as the map and glossary that I now know are included in at least one of the physical editions are lacking in the audio experience. I never really knew where anything was taking place, or where they were in relation to each other. The glossary of names is also an addition that’s worth purchasing the physical or eBook copies for on their own. Even if you already have audiobook copies like I do.