ONLY THE BROKEN CAN LEAD THE DEAD – The Sword Brotherhood #5Star #BookReview



The compelling third book in the Shadow Sword series viciously ramps up the stakes in a darkly psychological, brutal, and heartbreaking story of jealousy, treachery, and courage in the face of loss.

The Seer King is helpless

Betrayed by the man who should have been his fiercest ally, Roaran is Archanin’s prisoner. The fallen god shackles his prize in a desolate castle hidden by magic – a solitary possession to be tortured and humiliated. But there’s something dangerous his captor wants from Roaran, and if he breaks, the dark legacy of his fall will change the fate of kingdoms.

Save him or kill him

As city after city is seduced by Archanin, Dannon struggles to hold the Sword Brotherhood of ancient warriors together. He wants to save Roaran. But if he can’t, he’ll have to kill him.

The secret keeper

The brotherhood’s only hope of defeating Archanin is a young woman trapped in the past. Warrior, sorceress, Genya knows keeping secrets is how you survive. Now she must decide between duty or power. But when the brotherhood makes its final desperate stand against a tyrant and deceiver, what if the chosen one chooses evil?


My 5-Star Review

The Sword Brotherhood is the third book in The Shadow Sword series by Susan Hartland. Having not read book one or two, I had some research to do in order to full appreciate book three.  The book opens with the lead, Roaran, a prisoner of the lead villain Archanin., who was once his ally, but now wants Roaran to lay his secrets bare.  Of course, Roaran endures with determination. The dark imagery and torture is distressing, but immensely effective.  I connected with Roaran, I felt the pain of his betrayal and I couldn’t wait to see him liberated.

The Sword Brotherhood combines riveting action and intensely, visceral scenes from page one!  While Archanin keeps Roaran imprisoned in a castle protected by magic trying to extract dangerous information that could change the fate of the kingdoms, Dannon struggles to keep the Sword Brotherhood together.  He enlists the help of a mighty sorceress, Genya, in an attempt to free Roaran and defeat Archanin, but secrets and savagery stands in their way.

Great fantasies explore the boundaries between ‘good and evil’, and offer glimpses into alternate realities, shaking us from our apathy and challenging our perceptions.  The Shadow Sword series achieves this while seducing readers with elaborately crafted realms, enticing plot twists, and unexpected revelations into characters that beguile and disturb.
The Sword Brotherhood reveals a world tearing itself apart through manipulation, domination and subjugation, that was chillingly familiar.
Author Bio
S.J. Hartland is an Australian journalist, emerging epic fantasy author, and foil fencer (Cyrano club in Sydney,) who has spent too many holidays wandering around obscure castles, and is obsessed with anything medieval.

She is originally from Townsville, north Queensland, lived in Sydney for many years, and now calls the Darling Downs home.

The 19th Bladesman, the first in the Shadow Sword series, is her first book. The second in the series, The Last Seer King, was published in July, 2019. The third, The Sword Brotherhood, was published in May, 2020.

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