ARC Review: Lightblade (Lightblade #1) by Zamil Akhtar

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖 Available 6/1/22

In three days, Jyosh will slay the God Emperor, or die trying. But first he must train his lightblade skills. While asleep. Each hour of sleep equals a day in a lucid dream, plenty of time to master the essential lightblade techniques and hopefully get skilled enough to defeat the monster who enslaved him and beheaded his parents and sister. When Jyosh awakens to learn that the God Emperor has surrendered to an even crueler foe, a mysterious lightblade master who can summon divine dragons to burn whole cities, he'll face a trial by fire against forces far more frightening than he could ever dream.
That is, if he's not still in one.

This is a mind-bending progression fantasy adventure work of art. I got some influences from Star Wars, Ready Player 1, Matrix and even Total Recall while I was reading this, and the Star Wars influence is the one that is a lot more clearer than most. On top of that, the influences into Zamil’s culture that he infuses into his stories, the same way he does in his Gunmetal Gods series, to give a great mythology, which is something that I absolutely love. While this might be lighter in tone than GG, because I know I laughed and giggled on many occasions throughout, it still has that same Zamil grit that I’ve come to enjoy. It’s fun and it’s edgy, it’s bloody and it’s going to make your brain work in overdrive!

“Because one day the truth will burn us all. And only those wide awake will see the fire for the fire, and the shade for the shade, and be able to choose their course.”

The cover art is insane and deserves so much love, especially the other cover that you haven’t seen yet! It is absolutely STUNNING! We are always told not to judge a book by its cover, but Zamil throws that out the window and says LOOK AT THIS COVER! LOVE THIS COVER! Even better is that it’s amazing inside and out. There is also a couple more illustrations hidden within to help you see his visions of certain characters. Speaking of characters, this has some really fantastic flawed, morally grey characters, including its protagonist Jyosh, some strong women and some truly epic bad guys. The character development of Jyosh is nothing short of amazing for how much he evolves in just 1 book so far!

“Your life is naught but flower petals blowing in the breeze. A bright flash in a dark sky.”

I thought the story was amazing, and Zamil worked in some really great things that are going to pay off big time later on. The world building was also phenomenal, he painted vivid pictures of dragons, massive buildings, cities and entire worlds! There were so many incredible fights that happened and Zamil did such a great job of giving as much description as possible to see the fights happening in my mind as I read.

“The pen has been lifted and the ink has dried. Your freedom is an illusion.”

Zamil has definitely improved as an author and this series is showing how much flexibility he has with his writing skills by moving out of the GrimDark genre. I absolutely loved this and I have a feeling that this might do quite well in the upcoming SPFBO-8! I can’t wait to see what happens next with Jyosh in book 2.

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