The Millennial Sword

The Millennial Sword - Shannon Phillips Viveka has arrived in San Francisco from the Midwest to start a new job. That’s already pretty challenging, a new work place, a new city, finding a place to live (despite a limited budget) and trying to keep her very grumpy cat amused and tolerant during the move.And then a woman gives her a sword and runs off. A sword that virtually no-one can see – Excalibur. She’s just been recruited as the new Lady of the Lake with a solemn duty to try and protect the people of San Francisco from Morgan Le Fay – queen of the fairies who has a specialty of kidnapping children. And like it or not, she can’t stand by while children are taken – especially with recaps moving against her. She has a few friends, a complicated love life and a lot to learn.This book did a very good job in setting up the world, the characters and the concepts of the story. By the end, everything is firmly in place and it’s a lot of fun getting there, from battle the tomte in her home, to swordfighting with the Society for Creative Anachronism to just moving to a brand new city, starting a new job and trying to set up a new life. We get to know Viveka, her life, her duties and the people that are part of it.But I felt the plot itself was a little floppy. Viv gets the sword and gets on with her life, she makes some adjustments like spending more time with Noah practicing and going to an SCA meeting, but otherwise she gets on with things. I don’t object to the story, but she’s very reactive – which I can understand in the beginning but she seems to continue in the same vein throughout. Of course, I can’t criticise too harshly because I can’t think what she could have done or what other sources she should have contacted or what information she should have found out – but the plot didn’t really draw me in because it felt like Viv was constantly reacting. I don’t think we left the book knowing much more than we knew to begin with – and a lot of what we know was packed into the last scene.I think part of that as well is that so many things were handed to Viv. She was handed the sword, it wasn’t something she studied or sought out. Once she had the sword she ran into Piper who gave the free info. Through Piper she ran into Raven who gave her magical help. She went to work and ran into Noah who happened to be an SCA member who knew how to use a sword, knew Arthurian legend and was happy to research for her and teach her. It felt like a lot fell in her lap without her seeking it out or doing a whole lot to get it. It’s not that she’s inactive – she fights a dragon after all and rides to the rescue of kids and faces down the wild hunt. She acts – but she acts when directed.Read More