Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan
(Tale of the King's Blades)

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Synopsis

As unwanted and rebellious boys, they find refuge in Ironhall....Years later they emerge as the finest swordsmen in the realm—A magical ritual of a sword through the heart binds each to his ward—if not the king himself, then to whomever else the monarch designates—with absolute loyalty.And the greatest Blade of them all was—and is—Sir Durendal.

But a lifelong dream of protecting his beloved liege from enemies, traitors, and monsters is dashed to bits when Durendal is bonded till death to an effete noble fop at his king's orders. Yet Destiny has many strange and inscrutable plans for the young knight—for a mission, a contest, and, perhaps, a treasure await him in a faraway land. But he soon finds himself enmeshed in treason and foul intrigues, compelled to betray the king he had hoped to serve. The Blades have ways to protect their own, but death and madness haunt the path to salvation—and few ever return unscathed. As unwanted and rebellious boys, they find refuge in Ironhall....Years later they emerge as the finest swordsmen in the realm—A magical ritual of a sword through the heart binds each to his ward—if not the king himself, then to whomever else the monarch designates—with absolute loyalty. And the greatest Blade of them all was—and is—Sir Durendal.

But a lifelong dream of protcting his beloved liege from enemies, traitors, and monsters is dashed to bits when Durendal is bonded till death to an effete noble fop at his king's orders. Yet Destiny has many strange and inscrutable plans for the young knight—for a mission, a contest, and, perhaps, a treasure await him in a faraway land. But he soon finds himself enmeshed in treasonand foul intrigues, compelled to betray the king he had hoped to serve. The Blades have ways to protect their own, but death and madness haunt the path to salvation—and few ever return unscathed.

 

About Dave Duncan

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Originally from Scotland, Dave Duncan has lived all his adult life in Western Canada, having enjoyed a long career as a petroleum geologist before taking up writing. Since discovering that imaginary worlds are more satisfying than the real one, he has published more than forty novels, mostly in the fantasy genre, but also young adult, science fiction, and historical. Duncan makes his home in Victoria, British Columbia.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 432 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Gilded Chain

Kirkus Reviews

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Later, the king dispatches Durendal to the remote land of Samarinda.With his own bound Blade, Wolfbiter, and inquisitor Kromman, the king’s spy, Durendal discovers the truth: that the monks of Samarinda are indeed rich in gold, and immortal—-and they—re cannibals, too.

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Publishers Weekly

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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 unwant

Nov 02 1998 | Read Full Review of Gilded Chain (Tale of the Kin...

Publishers Weekly

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Duncan (The Great Game) raids some of the juiciest eras of European history for this classy opener to his King's Blades series.

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SF Site

He has taken what could have been a uninspired rehashing of every sword-swinging hero motif and molded a tale that draws more from the characters and the depth of the story line than it does from bloodshed and swordplay.

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Fantasy Literature

It doesn’t help that the first chapter after the prologue can only be understood hundreds of pages later or that women have almost no presence whatsoever (with the possible exception of Durendal’s wife), except when they’re mentioned in the running gag about how the Blades’ superhuman stamina doe...

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Fantasy Series Book Reviews Featuring Completed Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, and High Fantasy Series.

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Reader Rating for Gilded Chain
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