The Swordsman’s Intent by G.M. White

The last competition Belasko won was the catch a slippery pig contest at his village fair.
Now he has to beat the best warriors in the kingdom.
Belasko, a farm boy who ran away to war, is a decorated soldier and war hero. When Markus, the Royal Champion, stages a competition to choose a successor, a world of possibility opens up to him. Possibility that Belasko cannot resist. Can Belasko fulfil his potential, beat the finest blades in the kingdom, and become the first commoner to claim the title of Royal Champion?
Set fifteen years before The Swordsman’s Lament, this novella sets in motion both the events of that novel and Belasko’s destiny. (Taken from Amazon)

Thank you to the author for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. The Swordsman’s Intent is available now.

After reading and thoroughly enjoying The Swordsman’s Lament, book one in the Royal Champion series, I was excited to check out The Swordsman’s Intent. It’s not a part of the main series; rather, it’s a prequel novella that gives more of a background for certain characters in the series. You can find my review for The Swordsman’s Lament here.

The Swordsman’s Intent follows Belasko’s rise to his position as the Royal Champion. The Belasko we meet in The Swordsman’s Lament is grizzled and a little world-weary. Young Belasko is an experienced soldier with fewer aches and pains. There are bits and pieces of Belasko’s backstory told in The Swordsman’s Intent and I loved reading more about who he was and how that led to who he became.

Perhaps due to its shorter length, there isn’t a ton of worldbuilding in this story. That’s not the point of this tale, though. Instead, we get a highly entertaining story that sets up events and characters that will be more fully explored in the Royal Champion series. The amount that is packed into this shorter book is astonishing. Author G.M. White crafted an exciting fantasy story that I highly enjoyed.

Belasko is a great character to follow: smart, strong, and humble. It’s easy to want him to succeed. I enjoyed seeing how events in this book hint at the person he will become, given time and experience. Of course, the addition of other characters also seen in the Royal Champion series serve to add new perspectives and make the series richer and more detailed.

The fight scenes are well-written and engaging, creative and not at all repetitive. The pacing was great, and the writing was, of course, excellent. G.M. White is an author to read and both The Swordsman’s Intent and The Swordsman’s Lament are fantastic additions to the fantasy genre.

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