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Swords-and-sorcery fans aren't always proud. At times, they're left feeling a little embarrassed when they get a fix for their "pulp" addiction, maybe even sheepishly admitting that the genre isn't always that... sophisticated. Well, with Dave Duncan's The Gilded Chain, no apologies are necessary.
The author presents traditional high fantasy, with knights and magic (and even a few monsters) in a Tudoresque setting. The Gilded Chain satisfies all the usual cravings, while still managing to be both original and thought-provoking. Subtitled A Tale of the King's Blades (an indication that more excellent stand-alones should follow), Gilded Chain follows the career of Durendal, one of the King's magical and deadly swordsmen, who's compelled to serve his ward until death with single-minded purpose. Bound to a conniving, sniveling courtier and apparently doomed to a boring--or worse, compromising--existence, Durendal must find a way to fulfill both his potential and his duty. Events quickly hurl him halfway across the world to investigate the grisly secret behind a brotherhood of immortal swordmasters. This quest fuels the plot for the remainder of the book, which is nearly impossible to put down after the halfway point (just about the time a side story involving a Lord Roland cleverly dovetails with the main narrative). An inventive, intelligent exploration of duty and honor, and just a corking good adventure besides, The Gilded Chain is swords-and-sorcery at its best. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Duncan (The Great Game) raids some of the juiciest eras of European history for this classy opener to his King's Blades series. In the sorcery-ridden land of Chivial, the grim Ironhall nurtures unwanted boys, transmuting them by muscle-building, weapons-training and fearsome magic ritualizing into an elite corps of swordsmen, each spiritually bonded to defend a master unto death. Bound first to an outrageous fop, then to a Henry VIII look-alike monarch, rebellious knight Durendal pursues adventure and the horrifying secrets of immortality. Duncan's people are marvelously believable, his landscapes deliciously exotic, his swordplay breathtaking. Initially, the narrative disconcertingly alternates between dashing young Durendal and righteous Chancellor Roland, but all soon becomes satisfyingly clear. "Durendal," the sword that legendary Roland used to smite his Saracen enemies in France's national epic, binds swordsman and statesman into one irresistible hero in this handsomely crafted commentary on honor and betrayal.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are looking for a book that gossips about the adventure as seen only through the opinion of the main character, this book is for you. Read morePublished on April 11 2004
This book is the first in the 'King's Blades' series of novels. It is essentially a series of highlights in the life of the most famous of Blades, Sir Durendal. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2003 by K. Maxwell
The Guilded Chain was one of the first fantasy books I read and now I'm hooked.
The characters are wonderfully developed. Read more
but definitely not my last. I usually don't read Sci/Fi or Fantasy but I can say I do now. I really liked this book and this author. I liked the story and the characters. Read morePublished on April 25 2003 by Maddely
This book is lighter than Tolkein, Jordan, or Martin. Duncan has a straight forward style that is very intelligent. Read morePublished on March 14 2003 by James C. Ladd
Im not really a fantasy reader and being that I could not get through the first book in
Lord of The Rings without being bored, I was a bit skeptical on reading another... Read more
Fantasy books can be like beverages: you have your exquisitely aged wines (The Lord of the Rings, Mists of Avalon); your rich ports and liquors (the works of Guy Kay and Patricia... Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2003 by the_smoking_quill
I have read EVERY Dave Duncan book and have not read one book of his that I haven't liked. Duncan's books are never the same and never formulaic. Read morePublished on Dec 25 2002 by Laura M. Bangerter