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| Author: Dave Duncan
| Genre: Sword and Sorcery
| Content: Heroes, Adult
| ISBN-10: 0060094451
| ISBN-13: 9780060094454
| Publisher: Eos (September 28, 2004)
| Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 4 Stars
When the King commands, Blades must be bound into service, even if the highest available candidates have not completed their training.
Sword and Sorcery Book Review by Mulluane
This is what happens to Ranter and Ringwood when a deposed grand duke asks for assistance from the king. Ranter, a rude malcontent, is less then pleased, but, true to his name, he is never pleased with anything. Ringwood is young enough to view the events as a marvelous adventure. Fortunately, for the pair, they will not be alone in their quest to restore Grand Duke Rubin to his throne. Bellman, his future uncertain, makes up for his lack of exceptional swordplay with a sharp mind. His skills with a blade have deteriorated to the point where he is being released from Ironhall as unsuitable for binding. With nothing to lose, Bellman volunteers to enter into service to the Grand Duke. Rounding out our party of champions will be Trudy, a talented White Sister whose strong opinions, and her propensity to express them, has made her unpopular with her superiors.
Our heroes will need her skills for not only has the Grand Duke fled an assassination attempt but also armies of undead have followed him in an attempt to finish the job. Can our four heroes beat impossible odds and restore the Grand Duke to his throne? This is another fun read. Romance, intrigue, mystery, and drama fill the pages and keep you riveted for hours. Nobody is exactly who they appear to be and just when you think you know who is plotting what; you discover that you are wrong. I loved every minute of it. Once again, Dave Duncan expands the world, this time taking us to a country that resembles Germany but with magic. Dark magic and hordes of undead add a dark element to the tale while snippets of humor provide a balance. This story abounds with twists and surprises, the drama keeps you on your toes, and the characters develop rapidly. For the most part, this book contains all of the things I love most about fantasy.
This was a fast read and a solid page-turner. Dave Duncan does characters with skill, he constructs a world that you can easily envision and tells one heck of a story. By comparison, the magic is kind of weak and convenient. Blades are bound by a ritual that commits them to their ward, allowing them to go for extended periods with no rest, little food and endows them with sexual prowess. None of the magic appears to have consequences, with the exception of Blades going insane if their ward is killed. Mortal wounds are magically healed, undead are created, illusions are crafted, all without cost. Granted this is a minor flaw, just one I personally object to. I like my magic to have clear-cut rules and not used as an easy answer.
As far as content goes, it is not bad. Now there are two ways of determining readable age, is the book marketed as YA or just suitable for YA readers. These books were not marketed as YA. However, the main characters are young, teens to early 20s, the violence is not overly graphic, but the sex, while not graphic, is prevalent. As usual, it depends on the reader. I am going to err on the side of adult, simply because Blades will sleep with any woman, even married ones and sexual prowess is part and parcel of what defines a Blade. Other then that, I see no reason why these books would not appeal to a very wide audience. I know I love them!
Series Summary ~ Book One ~ Book Three
Librarything Rating 3.74/5
Amazon Rating 4.2 out of 5 stars
(12 Customer Reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Sample Chapter: Author's Website|
Kindle: Impossible Odds (Tale of the King's Blades)
Buy Book: AbeBooks ~ Books-A-Million
Amazon: US - Canada - UK
Sword and Sorcery Review of Impossible Odds by Dave Duncan - Reviewed by Mulluane - on December 2, 2008 - Rating: of 5 Stars