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Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book. The Swordsman’s Lament is available for purchase now.
The Swordsmans Lament is an excellent fantasy filled with swordfights, intrigue, and a warrior whose most dangerous enemy is old age. Despite his aches and pains, the warrior’s mind and sword are both still sharp, making for a book with never a dull moment.
The story follows Belasko, the king’s Champion, a peasant-turned-soldier whose deeds on the battlefield have won him notoriety. He’s grown close to the royal family over the years, going from valued for his skill with a sword to being a valued friend. Until, that is, he is arrested for the murder of the prince. He has to somehow prove his innocence, but the evidence against him is damning.
Belasko is the sort of character that I love reading about. He’s grizzled and experienced, sometimes gets lost in his memories, but is as smart as they come. The decisiveness (and desperation) that lead him to take risks that many people would avoid take the book in unexpected and exciting directions.
At less than 300 pages, The Swordsman’s Lament isn’t a chonker. It makes great use of its length, moving at a quick pace and keeping me entertained throughout. The use of flashbacks during pauses in the action (such as when a certain character is incarcerated) was a clever way to establish both the world, its history and its occupants without the dreaded info dump. The flashbacks were also short, made sense to the story and its development, and- wonderful for my poor eyes- were not italicized (seriously, I cannot overstate how much I appreciate that).
I loved everything about The Swordsman’s Lament, from the plot to the dialogue (there’s an observation on monologuing that had me in stitches), to the well-described fight scenes. This is a world I’m happy to get lost in and a character I’m excited to read more about. Highly recommended!