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Paragon Lost: A Chronicle of the King's Blades Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: A Chronicle of the King's Blades
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Reissue edition (July 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380818353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380818358
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Canadian author Duncan offers plenty of swashbuckling fantasy adventure in this outstanding stand-alone novel, a follow-up to the three books in his loosely connected Tales of the King's Blades series (The Gilded Chain; Lord of the Fire Lands; Sky of Swords). Set during the reign of King Athelgar about a dozen years after the action of the previous volumes, the present story follows the binding of Sir Beaumont, one of the best of the King's Blades (swordsmen) in the land of Chivial, to the aged Lord Wassail, who must escort a royal princess from the court of the treacherous and insane Czar Igor and deliver a bride to the king. Along with fellow blades Arkell and Oak, Beaumont travels a narrow path in order to keep Wassail safe. Meanwhile, Igor desires his own blade and seeks the secrets of the rituals needed to gain one, aided by vicious ensorcelled dogs and the murderous strelsy. It's up to Beaumont, now disgraced and out of favor, to retrieve and stop a missing blade, Swithin, who's bound to the czar's brother-in-law, from reaching the czar's court. Rich, evocative language and superior narrative skills lift this mix of quest, swordplay, politics, love and honor high above the usual run of genre fiction. This book can only enhance Duncan's reputation as one of the leading masters of epic fantasy.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Bound by magic to serve the King or one of his chosen nobles, the King's Blades represent the epitome of loyalty and swordsmanship. Only Beaumont, once the finest Blade, brings disgrace to his calling. Duncan's latest installment in his popular "Tales of the King's Blades" series (The Gilded Chain; Lord of the Fire Lands; Sky of Swords) relates the truth behind the life and career of Ned Cookson, formerly Sir Beaumont of the King's Blades. Swashbuckling action and fantasy adventure add spice to a story of one man's struggle to find his own meaning of loyalty and courage. Recommended for most collections, particularly where the series is in demand.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dave Duncan is a prolific writer of fantasy and science fiction, best known for his fantasy series, particularly The Seventh Sword, A Man of His Word, and The King's Blades. He is both a founding and honorary lifetime member of SF Canada. Dave and his wife Janet, his in-house editor and partner for over fifty years, live in Victoria, British Columbia. They have three children and four grandchildren. Visit his blog and webpage: www.daveduncan.com

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Here is the latest in the wonderful Blade series by Dave Duncan.
e s r
A fantastic book, especially for those who are fans of the series, I would reccomend this book to anyone at all.
Kalika
Great characters, fast-moving and unpredictable plot, set in an interesting, consistent world.
J. OHAVER

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Every King needs guards that are loyal to and willing to give up their lives in service to his majesty. In the kingdom of Chivial, the king's Blades are bound to their liege through a secret magical spell and to whomever the king binds them to as well. Sir Beaumont is the Blade with the best skills and is an excellent planner. His schemes are always successful, a trait that irritates his king.

Beau is bound by King Athlegar to Wasseil for the trip to Skyrria whose ruler Czar Igor is a madman willing to do anything to learn the binding spell for the king's blades. Beau uses chicanery and sleight of hand to successfully complete his mission and the king, instead of being grateful, dismisses Beau from his services.

This is an excellent swords and sorcery fantasy starring a protagonist who is right so much of the time, it is easy to see why he grates on the King's nerves. Skyrria feels like czarist Russia as a place where everyone has a hidden agenda, spellbound dogs are killing Igor's enemies and the people are afraid to say a word for fear of being killed. Chivial is too tame for the likes of Beau and it is hoped that he will appear in another king's Blade adventure living in a place like Skyrria.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. OHAVER on November 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife and I are both Dave Duncan fans. Our favorites have been his Seventh Sword and Man of His Word series, and they both rank high on my reading list for all fantasy authors. Paragon Lost ranks up there with any of Duncan's previous works. It is a big-time get-lost-in-the-time-warp page-turner. Great characters, fast-moving and unpredictable plot, set in an interesting, consistent world. As always, Duncan's characters are believable, flawed (human) but lovable. They move you as you read. Well worth getting in hardback.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Gray on April 13, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Paragon Lost by Dave Duncan starts another set (three) of book dealing with King's Blades. The first set, A Tale of the King's Blades dealt with a central theme and, for the most part, story line. The next three books I believe are stand-alone novels that deal with events after the first set of books. I think to really understand the events of this book you should read the first set of books before tackling these books. The best order to read the first set is: Gilded Chain, Lord of the Fire Lands, and Sky of Swords. Then move on to this set of books. I only say that because the back story will make the events in this book much more enriching. However, if this is the only Duncan book you can track down you won't be too lost reading this first.

This book follows the style that Duncan fans have come to know and love. Again Duncan weaves a tale where both the plot and the characters are equally important. Just when you think one will trump the other, the other rears up and takes over. It's flawlessly done and makes for yet another fantastic read and one that is definitely hard to put down.

The plot of this book is rather simple, but done in a way that adds depth and intrigue to the entire book. The plot is basically a disgraced bade is given a mission that no one else could do. However, in between finding out what the mission is and the culmination of the mission, Duncan gives the reader a look into this disgraced Blade's past and shows the reader why he is in the position he is in. Along the way there area few side-plots as well as an epic battle. At times, some authors put in side-plots and they often feel forced or rushed, however, with Duncan they flow well and become more enriching to the story.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen Miller on October 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What a brilliant read. This matches Duncan's first in this loosely connected series, 'The Gilden Chain', one of my top 5 fantasy reads. This book is stylish, witty and immediately engaging. Fabulous characters, intense plotting, superb narrative construction with some truly gorgeous prose. Run, don't walk, to get this. And if you haven't read 'The Gilded Chain' shame on you ... rectify the omission immediately!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. G. VINE VOICE on February 20, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
What can I say-- Dave Duncan is the master of the ripping yarn. He is like a modern day Alexandre Dumas. His books are impossible to put down. His characters are riveting, and he isn't afraid to slay them to make a point.

Each book is a stand-alone novel, but the more you read, the more you get an understanding of the Blades and their world. Duncan is witty without being forced and his characters are absolutely fascinating to read.

Duncan is an amazing writer who should be required by law to write at least 2 books per year!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By General Pete VINE VOICE on May 9, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Very good once again an old fashioned fantastic adventure that is light on the magic (thank god). The book follows a group of Blades as they leave their country of origin and go to a country that in a lot of ways mirrors medieval Russia.

Its sort of a back story for the events that were chronicled in "the gilded chian" so some of the characters are very familiar. It is good to see most of them in their prime. It is still wonderful but it is my least favorite book of all of the David Duncan books that I have read.

Overall-Still, just buy the book and thank me later.
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