“You may call me Tenzin, if you like.”
A girl. A mother. A slave. A monster. A survivor. Descended into madness. Forged in fire and darkness, she became one of the fiercest warriors the immortal world had ever known.
But in the beginning, there was a girl.
THE BRONZE BLADE is a novella of approximately 100 pages.
WARNING: The Bronze Blade contains scenes of graphic violence and abuse, and is recommended for adult readers only.
Every time I sit down to read a new offering by Elizabeth Hunter I tell myself: “You will not be overwhelmed by the awesome this time!” and “You will NOT be left speechless yet again!” And every damn time including this one, I am overwhelmed by the awesome and left speechless and with my husband telling me “That’s what you get for thinking.” The Bronze Blade is proof positive that Elizabeth Hunter doesn’t just bring the awesome, she unleashes it on us all.
Understand this dear reader; my expectations for this book were extremely and bordering on unreasonably high. This is the story I have been waiting for since the moment I fell in love with Tenzin in the first Elemental Mysteries book, A Hidden Fire. There is just something about her that grabbed my attention, my affection and, my respect (YES, all of this for a FICTIONAL character!) and wouldn’t let go. Tenzin is fierce, loyal, daunting, loving (believe it or not), extremely intelligent, mouthy, cunning and flat-out scary. Her very presence in every Elemental Mysteries read has been a portent for danger, mayhem and, one more than one occasion, a massacre. She is lethal and dangerous but never, ever without cause and honor. She is ancient and strong and to understand how this cold and very calculating woman became this way has remained a mystery until now.
The Bronze Blade is not an easy read nor is it a light and fluffy story meant to warm your heart. The Bronze Blade is Tenzin’s battle to become who she is; that is, her journey to becoming Tenzin. Her origin is initially very normal and very common and a part of a very, very ancient time. In many respects, Tenzin was never meant to lead an extraordinary life but then one day, the vampires came. Believe me when I tell you, Tenzin and her personality as we know it in the Elemental Mysteries world is something that was forged in death, despair, destruction, violence and anger. Her choices were taken from her, her body violated in so many foul and disgusting ways and her mind was nearly lost right up until the moment she chose to live and become something more. That moment and those that follow are bloody and horrifying as well as being completely justified and satisfying. Tenzin’s story explains absolutely everything that we know (and LOVE!) about her. Do not mistake The Bronze Blade for a simple backstory/origin story simply because it is a novella. The Bronze Blade is the building of a warrior and every question I have ever had about Tenzin is answered. Hunter strips this fierce warrior down to her bare bones and then creates a most haunting and terrifying tale that ends with me being overwhelmed by the awesome and left completely effing speechless.
The Bottom Line: Hunter has long said that Tenzin’s story would not be an easy story to read nor to write. To a degree I understood that and now that I have read Tenzin’s story, I completely understand. The Bronze Blade is almost pure darkness and in many respects the revealing of pure evil. Tenzin, a character I adore and will forever love is forged from that darkness and evil yet she comes out gloriously on the other side – truly, a phoenix rising. As a mere a reader, I now know what it is to have this story in my head and I cannot imagine having had it rattling around in my brain for as long as it has been in Hunter’s head. To get this out and on to paper must have been a tremendous relief and I am very grateful to finally get to know, understand and read about how Tenzin came to be. Long live the Bird Girl!!
When you’ve lost everything you love, how do you fight the darkness?