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Thursday, 30 June 2016


Matador 2016 - Fiction

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The Sword of the Spirit is a combination of medieval myths, ghosts, intrigue, suspense and sitcom, an odd mixture that actually works very well. Mysterious shenanigans are balanced with the minutiae of every day living. The chill of sinister occurrences is complemented by the warmth of the humour. Nothing is allowed to get unbearably dark. We are taken so far, far enough for us to wonder what’s next but always in the knowledge that we are in the safe hands of a storyteller who knows how to tease and tantalise in the right measures.

It is difficult not to say too much about the story without spoiling it but it has a compelling list of ingredients. The setting is modern day but there is time travel. There are rival knights from the olden days. There is a castle. There is a strange sword. There are ghosts. There is chicanery linked to the past. There is swashbuckling. There is a love story. There is a fascinating blur about what might have happened centuries ago and what actually did happen. There are truths, lies, deception, secrets and delicious confusion that makes for a very entertaining book. It’s impossible to get to the end of a chapter without wanting to see what happens next.

The characters are well-drawn, especially Ellie. It takes a deft writer’s hand to build a lengthy cast and keep control of who and what they are.

I think The Sword of the Spirit is aimed at a young readership but take it from an old hand, it has appeal for all ages

The book has pace, energy and a great sense of adventure and fun. Rob Keeley deserves a wide readership. His imagination is a thing to behold.

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