Reign of the Seven Spellblades, Vol. 10

By Bokuto Uno and Miyuki Ruria. Released in Japan as “Nanatsu no Maken ga Shihai suru” by Dengeki Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andrew Cunningham.

Longer than usual content warning here: with this volume, the rating for these novels rises from Teen to Older Teen, and the content bears that out. There’s sexual references, discussion of a horrific sexual assault, discussion of a graphic and horrific torture and murder, a graphic amputation scene, use of a swear word that is far less problematic in the UK than in the US, and, worst of all, I’m going to have to discuss that series about the boy at the wizarding school with the scar again. Reader discretion is highly advised.

When I was about halfway through this volume, I pretty much knew what I was going to be talking about. There would still be a content warning, of course. After all, there’s not only a relatively explicit sex scene between Oliver and Nanao here, but also Leoncio is in this, so there’s a lot of talk of big dicks here. Oh yes, and Miligan is called a cunt. To be fair, she absolutely deserves that one, especially because I’m sure it’s in the British English sense. But yeah, the front half was filled with things to talk about. The “polycule” that our heroes have become, and how much I love it. Katie’s backstory was jaw-dropping, and really deserved me talking about it, as well as the fact that almost everyone has written her off as next to snap. The fights were all awesome, the election results were terrific. Teresa is growing up, and she hates it. That was great. . And I saw that the last half of the book was ALL battle against one of Oliver’s targets. Meh. A lot of fighting. Won’t have much to say.


I do appreciate that the series does give a real backstory and sympathy to some of its antagonists. We get Demetrio Aristedes’ backstory here, and like a lot of this series, it involves idealistic attempts to make things better turning into something horrific and tragic. That said, his backstory is dwarfed by what we finally get in this book: Oliver’s life to date. We get some adorable and heartwarming scenes with him and his parents, because gut punches don’t work if everything has been bad from the start. We get the brutal, graphic death of his mother, and see how she was betrayed by one of her closest friends (and oh boy, that’s a can of worms I can’t even get into in this review, it will have to wait.) We get his adoption by the Sherwoods, which unfortunately is because their patriarch sees him as an experiment rather than as a person. We see that, on the cover with Oliver and Demetrio, is Shannon Sherwood, and possibly wonder why she’s give n such an important placing. And then we find out why. Of all the horrific scenes in this volume, the flashback of Oliver being drugged and mind controlled to rape and impregnate Shannon is the worst, and it really throws their relationship into sharp relief. Oh yes, and there is, of course, Yuri. Whose story ends here, but at least the way he goes out is one of the few triumphant moments in this pummeling book.

Sigh. So OK, let’s talk Harry Potter. This series has been compared to those books from the very start, but we’re now ten volumes in, and “oh gee Guy and Katie sort of have a Ron and Hermione vibe” is not only the least of the comparisons, but also mostly wrong. It’s at its most obvious in this book in the flashback to the torture scene, when Darius, Oliver’s first victim from Book One, takes point to be the first to torture Chloe to death, and he revels in it in a way that HAS to remind people of Severus Snape. There’s also a definite James and Lily vibe to Edgar and Chloe, though (because this series glories in subverting Potter as much as it pastiches it) what the two of them do for Oliver is far darker and more interesting. I’m not sure where this series if going to end up, but there is absolutely no way it’s ending up with the next generation of the cast going off to school 15 years later.

As with Eighty-Six I am very concerned, and half convinced, this will end with nearly the entire cast dead. Hell, a lot of them will deserve it. With Eighty-Six I’m hoping that the main couple will make it out OK, but Seven Spellblades has a much higher bar to clear. I’ve joked before about the main six being a polycule, but it’s made explicit here. They’re family. They’re probably all going to be lovers soon (Oliver and Nanao are mostly there, only held back by his past trauma). They have a bond that deserves to live on. I desperately want them all to survive and make the worst a nice place. A swell place. A place where magic kids can play stickball in the street with their athames without fear of being consumed by anything. It’s not going to happen, I am aware. But God, it’s a great dream. Let these kids stop suffering.

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