Infinity Blade: Redemption (2013) by Brandon Sanderson

Like I said for my review of the preceding story, “Infinity Blade: Awakening”, the fact that the acknowledgements section states “Infinity Blade is [ChAIR Entertainment’s] story, and I’ve merely climbed on for the ride” really says it all. 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.

As with the first novella, this is a jarring piece of connective tissue between two video games, so good luck trying to make much sense of a story where you lack both beginnings and endings. It’s a mess; it can’t 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.

In contrast to the first novella, this one leans much more heavily on the Shanarra-esque “high fantasy setting as post-apocalyptic future-world consequence” conceit. It’s not the most original spin on the concept, but it does help make the story more interesting than “Infinity Blade: Awakening”, which was a more dull, standard high fantasy fare for the most part. Still, this follow-up isn’t noticeably better (or worse, for that matter) than “Infinity Blade: Awakening”. The flashback sequence is probably the most cohesive narrative among the two novellas, but Redemption is such a more confusing story that I don’t find it overall to be better than Awakening.

I give it one digital ring, and a daeril.

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