Lately, I have been reading voraciously and I have stumbled across some very good books but nothing noteworthy enough to recommend. However, I was tidying up my bookshelves I came across this gem and realized I had not yet spread the word about my love for Dave Duncan and, most especially, The Gilded Chain.
I am not sure where I was first introduced to this book or how I found it but The Gilded Chain is one of my all time favorite stories. It sits nestled next to The Princess Bride on my shelf for a reason. This book is actually one of a family (not series, not really) of books about The King’s Blades. All of them are incredibly well crafted, fast paced and pure fun to read but The Gilded Chain remains my favorite mostly because the main character, Durendal, is my idea of an ideal hero.
This book introduces the reader to the world of Chival where the King is protected by his Blades. These men are raised from a young age at Ironhall to be the best swordsmen, strategists and all around protection for the person they are promised to protect. Their skills are then enhanced by magic that also binds them to their assigned ward. Many blades are assigned to the King but occasionally, the King will gift a Blade to someone. Poor Durendal is gifted away and his very long and fascinating adventure begins.
Now, I must give two warnings about this book. First, the story has a longer set up and so it can take a while to get to the real action. Second, once you are into the action you will never want to leave Chival. Thankfully, Duncan has written many more books about the Blades with the newest, One Velvet Glove, coming out eventually (which is absolutely not fast enough.)
The Gilded Chain is like a great British murder mystery. It is so tightly written and so intensely interesting to me that every time I read it I find a detail I missed the last time. All of the King’s Blades books are wonderful – I will probably do a Serious Series Love on them after the new book comes out – but I could not wait to recommend this one.