The Seven Swords

Seven Swords

The Seven Swords is a series of novellas by Anthony Ryan. It has swords, magic, and demons. And each installment is blessedly short.


Pilgrims come to the execration regularly, to brave the twisted land looking for the mad god at its center. The few that survive the trek can pray to the mad god, and if they are lucky, their prayers are answered.

One pilgrim to come is Guyime Mathille. He is known as the Ravager, the King who brought a crusade against a religion, then vanished. His blade carries a demon. However, to his fellow pilgrims, he introduces himself only as ‘Pilgrim’.

The Seven Swords follows Guyime in his quest to rid himself of this demon blade. Along the way, Guyime gathers companions, who don’t always survive the ordeal.


I used to love long epic fantasies. When I was younger, The Lord of the Rings seemed too short to me, and I loved the Wheel of Time. I still love the Wheel of Time, but the idea of reading 14 books of around a thousand pages each has a lot less appeal these days. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with vast epic fantasy stories. However, variety is the spice of life, and I’ve grown to love shorter works.

I recently read the October Day novels, which is probably my favorite series of the past decade, followed by the Murderbot Diaries. Neither of these series has large tomes in it.

The Seven Swords is a series of novellas, the first part — A Pilgrimage of Swords — is only a little over a 100 pages long. But that’s long enough. That page count results in a simple story. But that’s fine.


The Seven Swords books are not the best fantasy I’ve ever read. However, they are good, and they are fun. They feel like a D&D adventure, but with enough twists to not grow stale. I like the characters, and the variety of stories.

Unfortunately, I’ve just finished the fourth installment, meaning I have to start waiting for part five to come out. That’s a pity. Because this is the kind of bite-sized story that I’d like more of.

So, if you like a succinct sword & sorcery story, this might well the series for you. But even if you’re on the fence, you can take a gamble, because you can read the first installment in a few hours.

Of course, if you hate fantasy, or the idea of following the adventures of a guy with a demon-infested sword, you should avoid this. Then again, if that’s the case, what are you doing on this website? (That’s a joke, please don’t leave).

Martin Stellinga Written by:

I'm a science fiction and fantasy writer from the Netherlands