Thursday, 20 April 2017

Quick Review: Sword & Flower by Rawle Nyanzi

So a Puritan and a Japanese pop star walk into a bar and end up in Lesser Heaven. There’s no joke, that’s Sword & Flower’s set up. Well, without the bar part.

Dimity is dead and has Ki powers, and now she must keep herself in one piece. What will happen when she meets up with Puritans, and the devout swordsman Mash? Well, you'll have to check out this novella to see for yourself. It's quick, to the point, and features a good deal of action.

The most reminiscent comparison I can make to Sword & Flower would be an old anime OVA from the late 80s. It even shares the brief length and quick execution. Imagining it in the mold of Wicked City or Vampire Hunter D allows the story to click easily into place to where I instantly got the feel the author was going for. The intense action and style is very much a reflection of that forgotten era. And it’s highly welcome.

My complaints would mainly be in the length it takes for the ball to get rolling and some odd characterization quirks. You also might not be a fan old anime OVAs which might deflate your enjoyment here. But for a pulpy novella it takes a backseat to the action. And the action is done really well. For a first novella it is solid work.

This is the first piece I’ve read from Mr. Nyanzi and I hope it won’t be the last. If you are looking for a good old fashioned pulp yarn with a more modern execution then you can’t go wrong here.



  1. I liked Sword & Flower although I did find that one girl's death jarring. But thinking of it as a late 80s OVA it's in keeping with the violent anime of that era.

    1. Elizabeth really got the short end of the stick.

      I'm very eager to see how he follows up on it.