December 16, 2014

The Name of the Blade - Zoe Marriott

The Name of the Blade Zoe Marriott book cover
The Name of the Blade by Zoe Marriott
Series: The Name of the Blade #1
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received a copy of this book for review. This in no way affects the opinions expressed in this review.]

When Mio sneaks the family's katana -- a priceless ancestral sword -- from her parents' attic, she just wants to spice up a costume. But the katana is much more than a dusty antique. Awakening the power within the sword unleashes a terrible, ancient evil onto the streets of unsuspecting London. But it also releases Shinobu, a fearless warrior boy, from the depths of time. He helps to protect Mio -- and steals her heart. With creatures straight out of Japanese myths stalking her and her friends, Mio realizes that if she cannot keep the sword safe and learn to control its legendary powers, she will lose not only her own life . . . but the love of a lifetime.

Japanese mythology + London + a powerful katana + battle between good and evil… All these elements make The Name of the Blade sound like a really great fantasy novel. While it was fun, and certainly had a few characters that left quite the impression, this story just isn't my particular cup of tea. This strikes me as particularly unfortunate, considering how much I adored Shadows on the Moon. While this partly has to do with feeling detached towards main character Mio, it is also because of the story’s pacing and a few plot threads that just didn’t fit right. It was a decent diversion for my long commute one day, but really, that’s all there is to it. 

While Mio is a decent main character, it is the secondary characters that really shine in The Name of the Blade: Mio’s best friend Jacqueline (who is an absolute firecracker), Shinobu (who just sounds like a hot Japanese warrior), and Hikaru (who is a feisty, frisky kitsune). With the promise of encountering these three on the pages, it was no hardship to continue reading! In terms of plot though, everything was simply okay – the conflict, the romance (though it really, really, really feels like instant love here), the explanation of the lore. The Name of the Blade was pretty average, and as a reader, I wasn’t swept away – which was a real disappointment.


  1. I haven't even heard of this book! I rally appreciate your thoughts. I find since fantasy isn't my go-to genre, I usually need to wait for something amazing before I will pick it up.

  2. I haven't heard much about this one either! But it's so sad to really anticipate something and then discover that it isn't as good as you'd hoped, especially when it seems like it has great elements. I definitely need an emotional connection to the characters to really love anything. Hope your next read is better!

  3. Aww, sorry you weren't in love with this one. It stinks when the plot isn't very good, and oh no, not more insta-love! Connecting with the main character is always important, feeling the detachment is never good, as are plot holes. Lovely review, Alexa!


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