The Century Blade by Rob J Hayes: Review

This is the first book in the Mortal Techniques series that I have read but it works out perfectly as this is a precursor to the Spirits of Vengeance book which was next on my list!

Some information about this book:

  • Release date: August 31st 2021
  • Published by: Self pubbed
  • Pages: 29
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Series: Mortal Techniques


Orochi, the king of the dragons, has ordered his brothers and sisters to destroy humanity. It falls to a young hero to assemble a team and stop the dragons’ rampage. It falls to the Century Blade.

This is a short story set in the world of the award-winning Mortal Techniques. It is designed to be read as a standalone story, completely independent from the full length novels set in the same world.

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I have had the first two books in the Mortal Techniques series, Never Die and Pawn’s Gambit on my physical TBR for months. The books in the Mortal Techniques series have always intrigued me as I’m personally fascinated by Asia and these books feel right at home in that continent even though they are set in a fictional world. The blurbs all sound fantastic and imaginative. Rob has kindly sent me his third book, Spirits of Vengeance.

When Rob put out on Twitter earlier that this book was available and another standalone (meaning I could read it before reading anything else) and that it was almost a precursor to Spirits of Vengeance, which I’m reading before its release at the end of September…well who am I to turn down an offer like that?

This story isn’t very big and I wouldn’t class this as a novella or a mini-novella but with that being said, good things come in their own sizes and in this case it’s 29 pages of fantastic fiction.

The story starts with Yamasachi, a man who somehow offends the Dragon King. The Dragon King finds himself so annoyed with Yamasachi that he calls the other dragons to wipe out humans everywhere. Yamasachi manages to escape and leads us to our antagonist, Su An.

Yamasachi begs and pleads with Su An to kill the dragons and save humanity with a payment in gold or his life as a servant but Su An declines and says he will only accept on one condition: that he be forgotten.

Yamasachi agrees to forget this great warrior and Su An goes on to fight some of these dragons, enlisting the help of other strong warriors across the land and a goat, you mustn’t forget the goat!

I won’t spoil this fun story by telling you what happens but this is like a pump before the hang time in a skate bowl. It sets up Spirits of Vengeance perfectly for me and I’m lucky that my first entry into the Mortal Techniques world is this small package of joy, allowing me to really now get my teeth into SoV. Rob does a great job of building a world, creating territories, lore and magic in such a small space.

Rating 5/5 – It’s rare that I give a book 5 stars because I need a book to really capture my imagination and attention through a story so fun and exciting that I can’t put it down. I am actually amazed at how much Rob has squeezed into this and the one thing that really stood out for me was his prose. The whole book reads as if Master Oogway or Master Shifu from Kung-Fu Panda is telling a story and it’s fucking brilliant. I hope the rest of the Mortal Techniques books are the same.

If you haven’t read the other books and want to see what all the fuss is about then get this book now for 0.99 from Amazon here. This is also on Kindle Unlimited. You can add this to your Goodreads TBR here.

If you like science fiction and fantasy books then consider joining The Oasis Discord here – it’s free and has a great community, buddy reads, community reads and much more!

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