Infinity Blade: Awakening (2011) by Brandon Sanderson

In the acknowledgements of “Infinity Blade: Awakening”, Brandon Sanderson says “Infinity Blade is [ChAIR Entertainment’s] story, and I’ve merely climbed on for the ride”. For better or worse, this is completely true. It is not a Brandon Sanderson story, with the quality that implies, it is a mobile video game story. With the quality that implies.

It’s a terrible mess of a story, lacking a real beginning or ending, which I presume are in the games themselves. This isn’t a work that can function standalone from the games. The worldbuilding and story is clearly largely drawn from the video game developers, lacking much of what makes Sanderson’s work compelling, although some of the character work behind the protagonist is interesting and feels like Sanderson’s work.

The story apparently is meant to serve as a connecting piece beyond the first and second “Infinity Blade” mobile games, so the fact it’s not cohesive, incomplete, and dissatisfying to those unfamiliar with the games isn’t a huge surprise, but it is a disappointment. The worldbuilding is a fairly lazy mash of typical high fantasy fare with a post-apocalyptic after-world Shannara type setting.

The one saving grace of the story is that the twist at the end is actually quite interesting, reframes the story in a more interesting light, and felt like some consolation and justification for suffering through the story to get to it.

I give it one slice of everberry pie, and some peach cobbler.

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