The Swordsman's Oath : The Second Tale of Einarinn Mass Market Paperback – 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
As usual, once you start reading, you'll find it hard to stop. The pace quickens at a tolerable level, to a point near the end where you will find yourself reading late into the night, or forgetting that your lunch hour is only an hour.
The characters are as rooted in reality as always. McKenna does an excellent job writing from the point of view of a man as she did for Livak. This book is written from Ryshad's perspective, though Livak does appear in the book as well.
If you're tired of the fantasy genre, you'll probably still enjoy this book. The characters aren't necessarily heroic. Like most of us, they have reasons for what they do - even the villains. The best thing about McKenna's writing is the reality she infuses into the characters - the way they swear, have sex, joke, and love one another. It feels like real life, and it truly reflects the 'commoner' status that her characters have. Unlike most fantasy novels, these are not princes and princesses, or noble knights. She writes about a maidservant turned expert gambler, a craftsmen's son that signs up in the service of a lord.
Juliet McKenna has an unusual style in this series, the 'focus character' is told in the first person, and the surrounding characters in the third person. In The Thief's Gamble the first person viewpoint was Livak, a thief and gambler, but in the Swordsman's Oath the viewpoint has switched to Ryshad. This is initially disconcerting, especially in scenes with Livak, but I soon settled into enjoying this book. While The Thief's Gamble was good, The Swordsman's Oath is better and Juliet McKenna has clearly matured as a writer.
In The Swordsman's Oath the reason why some old family treasures have some strange properties are fully explored in a very entertaining story, which has its roots hundreds of years in the past. More is also learnt about the Ice Islanders strengths and about possible methods for combating them, but there is definitely no easy answer.
Juliet McKenna writes some very convincing characters, and then puts them in some truly testing situations. Some of the things she does to Ryshad really shouldn't happen to any self respecting warrior. I was also pleased to notice that a secondary character, who first appears in Thief's Gamble, happens to be gay. It doesn't have any bearing on the story, it is just the way he is. This is a pleasing matter for the fantasy genre, where gay characters are relatively rare, and where gayness is far too often the signal for villainy.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
While I am not a fiction reader, I did buy the book out of curiosity since my last name is "Livak". Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2001
Having just finished this book about 1/2 an hour ago....I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was disconcerting at first to get used to the main voice being Ryshad instead of... Read morePublished on April 10 2001 by Leigh Mackie
I love Juliet's books. Especially the fact that if you know a bit of history, and you really get into the book, you'll realize it's like what happened with The Lost Colony. Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2000 by Plague2032
Actually I am wondering how Thief's Gamble could be so engrossing and this be so dull. In her attempt to show a man's voice she lost track of the humanity and believableness of any... Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2000
This book was kind of tough to get through. There are way too many characters, including ones in flashbacks that are hard to recognize as flashbacks. Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2000
the book was rather intriguing,and i liked the characters ecspecially the heroine!!! She was great, extremely well-developed character. This book wasn't a bad buy. Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2000 by Rex