by Robert Priest
The Paper Sword follows Xemion and Saheli from their home on a journey through a dangerous occupied land to meet up with people who propose a rebellion. They are joined by a brother and sister who have their own reason to hate the occupiers.
The characterization of the young people is complex. At some points they are acting like adults and at others like young children, which realistically is perfect for their young teen age grouping. The emotions felt by the characters are shown with a rich fullness.
This book is written in third person limited omniscient, which is a fancy way of saying that we get to see what is going on in a multitude of character’s heads. It is a difficult way to write an not make the reader dizzy from trying to keep track of whose head they are in. Robert Priest makes it work for him. He does this by creating something very like the feel of a spoken story. No narrative voice gets between the reader and the story, but I read it imagining that someone is telling me the story, but without the editorial interjections that often accompany strong narrators.
Like many books these days this book is the first in a series. While I might wish it was a little more complete in and of itself, I also recognize the trend.
This is a very well written book. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to any who like fantasy and want to read a new voice in the genre.