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Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite
The Sword and the Spark: Book One of the Order of the Silver Sword is a fantasy novel by C.E. Groom. Despite the activities of the Sandarrese rebellion, which is steadily gaining momentum, Emperor Dunvald II seems more interested in tightening his grip on power within his inner circle and safeguarding the succession of his bloodline than in the welfare of his subjects. This makes him paranoid and he views his elite security unit, The Silver Swords, with growing suspicion. With plots and counter-plots the order of the day it is only a matter of time before conflicting ambitions collide in this dangerous mix. Four individuals must find their way through this intrigue in a bid to discover their true purpose in the greater scheme of things. Bonds will be tested, allegiances questioned, and the inevitable question will have to be answered. How far will some people be willing to go to protect the interests of the ones they love?
Billed as an alternative take on Shakespeare's timeless classic Macbeth, C.E. Groom's The Sword and the Spark goes one better. The storyline is intriguing as each of the primary characters justifies the motivation for their actions. The high point for me is when Mace rationalizes the need for genocide to protect the empire. The character development is thorough and there are no noticeable gaps in the individual backstories, while the language used to enhance the conversations is flawless and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. This is the first foray into what could prove to be a very interesting series and I look forward to reading the sequel.