Seven Deadly Swords by Peter Sutton a non-linear fantasy novel. Partly set in the time of the Crusades and in various points in history up to 2012 tells the story of Reymond a soldier one among seven that are cursed to return to a new life again and again and fight the others.
It’s a little bit Quantum Leap, a little bit Groundhog day and a little bit Highlander. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and Sutton doesn’t give anything away too early. The reader has to earn their knowledge.
The main characters are Reymond, Fisher and Mari. The layered narrative is compelling with each chapter crafted to provide some more information as the story slowly builds and the reader makes sense of the links between the distant past and the more recent episodes.
This is outside my normal comfort zone of reading but I found the novel compelling and enjoyable. It managed to keep me hooked and I loved unravelling the narrative to get to its core.
It’s complex and quite a challenging read in places. One thing that did concern me was the lack of female characters – there was only one who felt developed in any way which would normally be a big no from me, but the storytelling won me round enough to let it pass.
This is a strong novel with momentum and pacing. The violence whilst graphic is poetic and fits with the tone of the novel. I enjoyed it very much and it has inspired me to read more widely even within the genre.