Monday, April 25, 2016

Mini-Review: Swords and Scoundrels by Julia Knight


It’s a word that I initially wanted to avoid at all costs for this review as I suspect that it’s probably used in just about every review of Swords and Scoundrels by Julia Knight. But, the more I thought about it, I came to conclude that it’s a word that should be fully embraced.

Swashbuckling – it just roles off the tongue. It’s fun to say. It’s one of those words.

So…let’s take a look at what it really means to swashbuckle and be a swashbuckler.

Swashbuckler: a swaggering swordsman (swordswoman), soldier, or adventurer; daredevil

Well, yes, this covers the 2 main characters (a sister and brother duo) in Swords and Scoundrels. It covers it really well, each having different aspects of a swashbuckler. But, it’s really this definition below that I think captures the book.

[to] Swashbuckle: engage in daring and romantic adventures with ostentatious bravado or flamboyance.

That definition above is Swords and Scoundrels in a nutshell, though with some very important caveats. As I said, the book is about a sister/brother duo, each embodying different swashbuckling aspects in different ways – one traditionally flamboyant and one a fair bit darker, though no less a swashbuckler for that darkness. It’s the duality in many ways that has brings more to Swords and Scoundrels than the traditional swashbuckling adventure, offering swashbuckling commentary and even subversion of swashbuckling. Throw in a fantasy setting, large-scale clockworks, a magician or two, and nice bit of populism to add depth, and Swords and Scoundrels is the perfect swashbuckling tale. And as the book is the first in the Duelist Trilogy, there are 2 more presumably equally swashbuckling adventures to follow – excellent!


The Duelist Trilogy

Swords and Scoundrels: Amazon
Legends and Liars: Amazon
Warlords and Wastrels: Amazon

Note, this review joyfully uses a variation of swashbuckle 15 times!

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