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Sky of Swords : A Tale of the King's Blades Mass Market Paperback – September 4, 2001
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But this devilish author knew what he was up to, and Sky of Swords promises to answer all your questions. Just as The Gilded Chain jumped back and forth in time and Lord of the Fire Lands followed a concurrent tangent plot from Gilded Chain, Sky of Swords will likewise tie your brain in knots for a spell. (It should be stressed that all of these books are standalones, following different characters through overlapping timelines--you don't need to read them all, but each is much richer for having read the others.)
Swords picks up Fire Lands' crossbow-bolt-between-the-eyes finale somewhere around page 80. But this time we're looking through the eyes of Princess Malinda, this book's irascible (she is Ambrose's daughter, after all) but ultimately likable heroine. We learn about Malinda's bumpy upbringing, but Swords doesn't really get interesting until the aftermath of Ambrose's death, the ensuing threat of civil war, and the outcome of Malinda's trial for treason (which begins on page 1, but in true Duncan fashion, doesn't actually happen until near the book's finale). What's the best part of Sky of Swords? Not to ruin anything, but you've probably already read its conclusion--in the final pages of Gilded Chain. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Susan Salpini, Purcellville Library, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Gilded Chain was my favorite Dave Duncan book (and I have read and enjoyed the vast majority of his works - it's a shame that many are currently out of print). I was intrigued to discover the discrepancy between its ending and that of Lord of the Fire Lands, the second book. The first two books do stand alone marvelously. This third book resolves the contradictions between the first two, but is the weakest of the three, and should not be read without first reading the other two books.
I did not like the manner in which the contradiction between the first two books was resolved, but despite that, the book tells a good tale, and gives the reader more depth of information about the Blades as an order, and as individuals. One cares about the characters. If you liked the first two, you'll like the third as well.
If King Ambrose is Henry VIII (and he clearly is, with all his multiple wives and his problems with the 'conjurers'), then Malinda is Elizabeth I. And we get plenty of backstory to help us understand the woman she grows up to be.
Some things left me sad (poor little Amby's curtailed life, all the Blades who died, sniff) and some things made me happy (the rehabilitation of Radgar, whom I loved in Lord of the Fire Lands), and there were a lot of things I would have liked to have seen amplified, but then the book would have been too heavy to lift.
The Noble and Ancient Order of King's Blades is one of Dave's most enchanting inventions, and I sincerely hope that he can find more stories to tell in this universe. I've never met a King's Blade I didn't love. -- Jane
Unfortunately, without giving too much away, he uses an overt "deus ex machina," or in this case, "deus ex octagram" device.
The good news is all is set right in the end. The bad news is that you have to live through a real Gotterdaemmerung to get there--and when all is resolved, I, at least, was left feeling rather manipulated.
However, the book is well-written, and Malinda is an interesting character--Duncan has worked hard in this trilogy to give us three very different protagonists. It is just too bad that he essentially has to pull a rabbit out of the hat to bring the trilogy to closure.
About half-way through Sky of Swords, when truly shocking things had been happening that are in total conflict with the first novel, the light suddenly went on in my head as suddenly I *knew* what Duncan was doing. And I was truly impressed.
Altho it has been recommeded that they should be read in the cyclical order of Gilded Chain, Sky of Swords, then Lord of the Firelands, despite Firelands having been published before Sky, don't ruin that one moment of realization that is so rare in any work of fiction by doing this. Read them in the order that they were published.
Pure literary genius.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The novel fits the other novels in the sereies very well and presents a tale of court politics and double dealing along with a bit of a surprise conclusion.Published 22 months ago by R. Thomas
If you have read the first two books of this not a trilogy stay with this one. As it progresses there will be major discrepancies that will make you go WHAT THE ????. Read morePublished 24 months ago by SanteeFats
I really should have read the first books, but I got it cheap at a book sale, so what are you going to do? Read morePublished on July 11, 2013 by Sinuhe
I really like this series. It inspired me to go out and do great yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda.Published on September 21, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Include me among those who can't believe they've never heard of Dave Duncan until recently. His Reluctant Swordsman books were recommended in a fantasy discussion here, and since... Read morePublished on July 26, 2010 by Captain
Although this book can be read comfortably alone, it is part of an interlocking series along with The Gilded Chain and Lord of The Fire Lands which may be read in any order. Read morePublished on March 1, 2008 by Miz Ellen
At the end of "Lord of the Fire Lands" Dave Duncan did the unthinkable for those of us with good memories for what happens in a series; he contradicted what he'd written in the... Read morePublished on July 12, 2007 by M. J. Keel
The reason I was confused is because I read "The Gilded Chain" first, so I knew there was a disconnect somewhere. And I'm not sure I like the way it was resolved.... Read morePublished on October 26, 2006 by S. Potter