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| Author: Dave Duncan
| Genre: Sword and Sorcery
| ISBN-10: 0380818353
| ISBN-13: 9780380818358
| Publisher: Eos (July 29, 2003)
| Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 5 Stars
Sir Beaumont. Beau for short is a disgraced King's Blade, cast out of the order, and forced to make his way in the world as best he can. That is until Grand Master Durendal shows up at his door, asking a favor, a mission he feels that only Beaumont can accomplish. If Beau succeeds, he may just win back his sword and his standing with the King's Blades. However, what exactly happened that led to Sir Beaumont's disgrace? In addition, why has Sir Durendal singled him out for this dangerous undertaking?
Sword and Sorcery Book Review by Mulluane
I love Dave Duncan's stories. The man excels at circles. First, we see the meeting between Sir Durendal and the former blade, Sir Beaumont. The story stops there and he takes us on a trip into the past to visit the events that led to Beaumont's fall from grace. Then he seamlessly brings us back around full circle and picks up right where he left off. After that, it is full steam ahead to the conclusion. It is like reading two books for the price of one! So far, every book of Dave Duncan's that I have read has been just plain fun.
Like most of his books, this is a standalone within a series. If you read my reviews on the first trilogy, A Tale of the King's Blades, you will know that each of those were standalones, but read together, formed an entirely different story. (Circles again!) The three books in this trilogy however are true standalones, there may be characters in common, the world of course is the same (though more widely explored), but each stands on its own. You can read this one without reading the previous books, but I do not advise it; there are details about the setting and the Blades found in the first trilogy that will make reading this one much more enjoyable.
One thing about these books surprises me, I have read other reviews of his books, and not once have I read anything about the humor. The characters are awesome, flawed but dedicated, honorable but randy and at times, just plain funny. The interactions, the internal thoughts, the cutting wit, at times, had me laughing out loud. Now granted, I love dry wit and satirical humor and others may not, but I find Dave Duncan's brand of humor right up my alley. The other thing that amazes me is how Sir Beaumont comes across as the perfect hero, the perfect lover, a strategist beyond compare, and an extreme risk taker, and yet, is not annoying at all. This guy is ALWAYS smiling, walks right into traps with a grin then turns the tables on his opponents...every...single...time...and yet, you can not help but love the guy. I do not know how Dave Duncan does it, normally the "perfect hero who can turn mud into wine" makes me grit my teeth, but not in the case of Sir Beaumont.
Dave Duncan is a little bit like Sir Beaumont, there is little that he does wrong. The pacing is perfection, the characters are lovable, likable or despicable, the world is well crafted and the plot is just plain fun. The world is done well enough to classify this as alternate history. You will easily recognize both lands and people who existed during our own medieval period, only with magic and of course, different names.
Content wise, these books are adult, about adults for the most part and there is plenty of sex and violence. They are skilled warriors after all plus their magical binding makes them irresistible to women, and they take full advantage of this. Now none of the content is graphic, but the subject matter does not "feel" YA. However, as long as you do not mind that Blades will sleep with anything in a skirt and live to poke holes in people, you'll love this story and any of the others in the Blades series. If you love mystery, romance, adventure, and swordplay, you cannot go wrong with the King's Blades.
Series Summary ~ Book 2 ~ Book 3
Librarything Rating 3.88/5
Amazon Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars
(20 Customer Reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Kindle: Paragon Lost (A Chronicle of the King's Blades)|
Buy Book: AbeBooks ~ Books-A-Million
Amazon: US - Canada - UK
Sword and Sorcery Review of Paragon Lost by Dave Duncan - Reviewed by Mulluane - on December 4 2008 - Rating: of 5 Stars