Book Review: The Sword And Its Servant by Victor Salinas

"It seemed wrong to want to die, unless the pain of death is less than the pain of prolonging life."

Title: The Sword and its Servant
Author: Victor Salinas
Published by: Understone Group, LLC on 20th May 2014
Series: Grauwelt #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Setting: Grauwelt [Fictional]
Format: Kindle [Received in exchanged for an honest review]

The links between the Nine Worlds of Creation are deteriorating. The Gates of the Underworld are closed. A veil of shadow shrouds all the land. Rumors of a dead savior reemerge.

Einsa finds herself without memory of her past and her origin, held prisoner by the Lowa, a species of warped monsters bent on using the Children of Mann for their horrendous genetic experiments. She and her companions are merely lab rats waiting to be plucked by their captors - until they decide to make their escape. Einsa's only hope for survival in the fallen world that awaits her rests with Klinde, an ancient and infamous warrior who is just as cunning and bloodthirsty as the enemy.

I've never really considered myself as a fan of dark fantasy, probably because I never tried to finish one because I am not at all interested, but this book made it easier for me to like one; with all the characters that are out of the ordinary. It is actually my first time reading a dark and gruesome fantasy that I never really thought that I would totally be immersed in.

At first, I cringed at the thought of a Lowa, a breed of a big wolfish hound or something, dominating the first half of the story,but then I got used to it and I started to get fond of Ghesdalt, one of the Lowa, and I hate that I tried to like him and face the fact that it would be short-lived after all. I hate it and I hated Ulf, his brother, and I'm not gonna hide that fact.

What got me interested in this book, is that, it is not trying hard at all. The words flow like it is a world that you can never imagine yourself stepping into. It is a world unimaginable, it is basically an extension of our childhood nightmares. Remember the time when you were a child and you were so afraid to take a peak under your bed or open the closet door for the fear of monsters lurking just beyond the darkness? You can't imagine my surprise when I found out that under the bed or behind the closet door is a portal to a world that is called Grauwelt. A world I wouldn't dare visit, not in my lifetime.

What I liked about this book is, it's full of surprises, unpredictable, fast-paced, and filled with unimaginable characters. It's laced with the horrors of our childhood, our childhood's worst nightmares. You will never know who are the loyal ones to the throne and conversations are never safe, for the breathing castle seem to have ears that reports back to its master.

As I have said earlier, I grew to like and hate some characters and I'm gonna tell you I don't love any character at all. I hate the main human character, Einsa, she's not as strong a pursuit as I wanted her to be, and I don't feel her bravery throughout the book at all, even though there were a lot of fighting scenes that include her limp arms that just want to suck the power out of the sword. I hope she gets stronger in the next books and I hope I can feel a strong presence now that she's had a lot of gruesome fights out of her prison cell.

This book is twisted in a way that the perception of good and evil are kind of unconventional. Hell is not a place of pure evil, I don't know, the evilness is not depicted in the story because Hel helped mann by gifting them the children of Hel and defeat the Great Hund. I think the evil lurks somewhere above hell, in Grauwelt, where the Lowas are residing, or just, it lurks somewhere whose intentions are as dark as Grauwelt itself. Though with the children of Hel, I can't decide where they are in the scale of good and evil, right now I'll put it somewhere in between just leaning a little bit closer to evil.

So anyway, it's one of my firsts and I'll give it three roses because, although I loved the world the author has created, I was expecting more out of the characters that has been limited through changing POVs and I wasn't as drawn to them as I expect to be because it's a fantasy and I should be dreaming of it but no, I did not. There's also a lot of confusion with the names of the places, characters and species but thanks to the author, who is generous enough to have a glossary for all of us to truly understand the story better. And for the record, I am looking forward to the next book because I am intrigued about the other children of Hel and I wanted badly to meet them all.


  1. Thank you for your review. I'm glad you enjoyed it and do understand it's shortcomings. :)

    1. It's my pleasure. Thank you for creating such a vivid world. I'm looking forward for the next book and goodluck with your upcoming novels. Thank you for allowing me to step inside Grauwelt, Mr. Salinas :)

  2. Dark fantasy novels can be hard to get into, but I find once they grab me I really enjoy them. This world sounds so horrible and dark... Just what I like in fantasy XD It's a shame you didn't really like the main character :/

    1. It is. And if you enjoy dark fantasy, I recommend you try this one and tell me what you think. I mean, it's my first dark fantasy and I love the world Mr. Salinas has created. The main character is not that strong but there will be upcoming novels that's why I'm looking forward to it. I think you'll like The Sword and its Servant :)