The Demon Sword Asperides

Algonquin. Jul. 2023. 352p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781643752785.
Gr 4-7–The Demon Sword Asperides has been enjoying his retirement in the underworld, hard-earned after centuries of reaping the dark souls of those who wielded him in life. So he is not thrilled to feel the tug of his last master, infamously evil Amir Venir, whose mortal body Asperides’s physical sword form has been keeping pinned securely to its tomb. Newly risen, Venir sets out on the search for his soul, and Asperides uses deceit and magic to find help to stop him. Coming to his aid are Nack Furnival, struggling to find his path to knighthood after being cast out; young necromancer Cleoline, undead Venir’s aide who realizes too late the terrible force she’s let into the world; and seer Sister Dawn Therin, who works with the two to understand the world-altering prophecy she’s been handed. Their personal quests culminate in the final attempt at stopping Venir. Unlikely heroes abound, along with plenty of wit, humor, and thrills. The characters drive this story, including the darkly hilarious talking sword who is a great foil to the honest and good Nack. This magical quest book is more likely to work as an independent read for stronger readers at the lower end of middle grade.
VERDICT A good next read for fans of Cressida Cowell and Jessica Townsend, recommend this one to fans of funny fantasy with a setting that rings of medieval Europe.

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