|Overall Length:||35.25 inches|
|Blade Length:||29 inches|
Performance Review: I absolutely loved the way this sword is designed both ergonomically and in terms of balance. As soon as you take this sword in hand you know that you are holding a nicely balanced piece. It feels like you are shaking hands with the sword rather than holding a weapon in a hammer grip. The sword practically begs to be cut with. It tracks well and just makes you want to swing a wicked cut at the nearest target. The rayskin grip is also nice and tactile allowing for a secure grip throughout the swing.
Appearance: It is my understanding that at this time Shan-Aan is Mr. Jody Samson's apprentice. Perhaps because of that or because of a similar aesthetic taste this sword visually has many of the attributes of one of Mr. Samson's pieces. It is ground from the same thick stock that I have noted that he uses in many of his pieces. It has the same sort of flowing lines and perfect grinds as well. On this piece the hilt furniture is fairly simple but is nicely cast with no visible flaws and with a nice tight fit throughout. The rayskin grip was applied "baseball bat" style in a cylindrical wrap around the handle. The seams are just barely visible and do not take away from the aesthetics of the piece. The only thing that I thought that this piece could have benefitted from visually would possibly be the addition of a ferrule at the top and bottom of the rayskin grip. As it is the rayskin just sort of ends with no transition into the pommel or cross giving it a slightly unfinished look.
Conclusion: It is my understanding that this is Shan-Aan Northrop's first effort to build a sword, and if this sword is any indication of her potential than I expect to see great things from this lady. The sword handles absolutely beautifully, better in fact than some Samson pieces that I've handled. The aesthetic is also very nice with perhaps a few small details that could be attended to. I would highly recommend talking to this lady now before she gets all booked up for the forseeable future.