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A young blade is bound to a foppish nobleman, only to find he’s just a pawn in the politics of the kingdom. He is then rebound to the King, has a series of adventures in a foreign land, comes home and ends up as Prime Chancellor, only to have his adventures in foreign lands come back to haunt him in the worst way. And Ambrose, the king, is still playing politics.
When I finished Lord of the Firelands, I didn’t see how Duncan could write another novel that was as good, much less better. Well, I was wrong and glad of it.
This was a corker of a novel. It dealt almost exclusively with Chivian politics and characters and we find out a lot more about the workings of Ambrose the King and his attitude towards the Blades, the Kingdom, just about everything.
In this book we follow Blade Durendal, as he is used, abused and treated like an object instead of a man by his king. We get to see how Durendal must reconcile his magical bonding [which allows him to in no way harm the king] with his strong sense of right and wrong.
The issue at hand is immortality, but at such a cost that Durendal knows it is evil. We see him from the start of his Blade years until his retirement and at each point along the way he must be so imaginatively creative in his thinking and doing that it was a true feat of mental gymnastics. It was a joy to read.
This was a straight up adventure story seasoned with a little fighting, a little politics, a little magic and a little romance. Highly recommended!
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Author: Dave Duncan
The Gilded Chain
A Tale of the King’s Blades #2