Book Review: Hilt Cyan by Blair Selph

Hye bookies! Sara wrote another review for us. She has been an awesome partner with us and has been helping with reviews pretty much since we established Breakeven Books and we are super grateful for her.  Go check out her Etsy shop Adorkable Little Crafties and support her little yarn creature creations if you are into that! This one was called Hilt Cyan by Blair Selph.

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Book Synopsis: What is the knowledge of the Shiron? Georgia Millward, a mercenary living in a steampunk land of floating islands, wants to know. After a mission goes awry and she’s caught by the police, Georgia’s given a chance at that power by Henry Entwistle, the vice president of the monolithic Bell Industries. If she travels with him to a far off world and survives a deadly sniper tournament where all of her skills and magical equipment will be put to the test, she will become a Shiron.

Can Georgia defeat the other competitors, who want to become Shiron just as much as she does? Can she learn from her mistakes, or will she be controlled by her guilt? Can she find love under these life-threatening conditions? And what do memories of her past, of a childhood and a relationship long gone, have to do with this journey? Find out in the pages of Blair Selph’s first novel, with artwork by Amy Hao and editing by Kiran O’Farrell.

Hilt Cyan by Blair Selph is a strange book about a person? creature? named Georgia (she and all the other characters seem to be human, except that they have cat ears. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this as its never actually addressed in the book, the character’s ears just start moving). In the book, Georgia is a hit-woman, and is invited to join in on a battle to the death with other criminals to become a Shiron. What is a Shiron? We’re never told. All we know is that they are gifted with the knowledge of the universe.

Throughout the book, Georgia has short, supposedly comedic conversations with the other characters, that never develop them beyond the surface level. We are given short flashbacks into Georgia’s life that don’t really enable the reader to understand her or the world any better, beyond the fact that she had a rough upbringing, apparently primarily because she was gay.

This book feels like it was an interesting idea that never got fleshed out. We don’t get enough action in the action scenes, we learn almost nothing about this interesting world they exist in, we barely get to know the characters, and many things are left unexplained. In this world that is supposed to be steampunk, futuristic, action-packed, and interesting, we only get a glimpse of what I imagine the author wanted to show us.

As is common with first novels, it has some gaps that would have been great if they were filled in. This seems like a neat idea that never quite got off the ground. I just wish there was more to it!

P.S. The ending was irritating and anticlimactic. On purpose, I think, so I can’t tell if that makes it funny or not?

Book Rating: 2.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us by the author in ebook format to read and give an honest review.


I recently got back from my vacation to Ireland and Scotland and made a video about it. Feel free to check it out if you want to see how my trip went!

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