My first experience with author team Geoff Habiger and Coy Kissee came through their novel Unremarkable, a period vampire thriller with lots of interesting twists and turns. It did not take long to uncover their affinity for genre blends, which they brew quite well together. Thus, I felt appropriately prepared when it came time to read Wrath of the Fury Blade, their second outing.
This is the tale of Reva, a talented inspector who is yanked from her day off to investigate a high-profile murder. Her new partner Ansee is a problematic bedfellow, the sorely stubborn “I’ll do it my way” type. The murder itself is as fascinating as it is unsettling. From there, they descend into a dark and expansive conspiracy.
In many ways, this book is a police procedural. And in that regard, it does not break any new ground, but that’s not the point. The story is largely about the world itself, a fantasy realm with elves, wizards, and a healthy dose of fascism. This is where the story shines, as an unexpected commentary through the eyes of fantasy creatures who are discovering their influence on the world they inhabit.
Wrath of the Fury Blade reminded me a lot of Asimov’s Robot series, specifically the dynamic between Elijah Baley (the sleuth) and R. Daneel Olivaw (the complicated partner). They grow as individuals throughout the investigation, all while Asimov deftly unveils the glaring flaws in the system at large. We discover them with the characters and are thusly invested in the outcome. This, in essence, is what Wrath brings to the table. Regardless of where your tastes fall on the genre spectrum, you will easily find something or someone to care about.