Swordfall is the sequel to Breakfall, and as such, this review contains spoilers for the first book. The books must be read in order as the events of Swordfall are a continuation of the cliff hanger ending in Breakfall.
The visit to Asbjorn’s family home went better than expected. Sean won the family over, which was a relief since his being a man was a bit of a shock to Asbjorn’s mom and dad. In fact, their behavior gave Asbjorn much joy as his mother was treating Sean like a part of the family by the end of the visit. Unfortunately, bad news follows the men as Asbjorn and Sean discover that Frank Pettel, Sean’s attacker, has escaped from custody.
The next leg of Sean and Asbjorn’s travels take them to visit Sean’s aunt in Ireland, where he and Asbjorn receive a warm welcome, helping Sean to relax in the face of the bad news. Upon their return to Boston, they discover that their apartment has been firebombed and the suspect is Frank Pettel. Determined to protect Sean at all cost, Asbjorn uses information gathered from their police officer friend, locates Frank, and kills him in a spectacular fashion, only to have Frank’s mob contact, Redfish, discover what Asbjorn has done.
While Asbjorn is on his quest, Sean ask him for his hand in marriage. Now Asbjorn is distancing himself from Sean, is wracked with guilt, and all the while Sean thinks that his proposal is the cause of the distance, and possibly the end of their relationship.
I have to commend Pavelle on her smooth POV changes between multiple characters, especially Sean and Asbjorn, which were never confusing, awkward, or choppy. However, while I am not against using big words, when I do, I try not to stop people in their tracks and force them to google the word like I had to do at one point in Swordfall.
Pet peeve time: If the police had enough information to help lead Asbjorn to Frank, why didn’t the police deal with him before that? In fact, that and the prison escape itself were my biggest points of contention. I just could not wrap my mind around those two events as they seemed too contrived. Perhaps knowing the how and why would have helped me accept the events more easily.
I actually found the characters more engaging in this installment. Sean was a little less of a whiner, which made him more likable, and Asbjorn showed a remarkable amount of depth of character as he navigated some very difficult situations. The many secondary characters were all familiar to me, having all been featured in Breakfall, and what was neat was that some of those characters also exhibited significant learning and growth, not the usual fare when it comes to a supporting cast.
It is not often that I comment on titles and cover, but in this case, I must say that they are perfectly suited to the story, and although they are not flashy, I could not imagine a better representation for book two of the Fall trilogy.
So far, I am pleased with this trilogy, even if martial arts are not my thing, and I am anxious to see how things end up for Sean and Asbjorn in the final book.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.