Sir Stalwart

My g/f came home from the library with a treat for us. I mentioned The Gilded Chain a few days ago… this is the first novel in Dave Duncan’s The King’s Blades series. Well, Duncan also has a young adult series set in the same universe; he calls this one The King’s Daggers. Sir Stalwart is the first book in that series, and it was a delight to read.
I’m one of those oafs who gets really uncomfortable at the idea of reading a “kid’s book” but I’m glad I got past that barrier this time. The only thing that really identifies this as a young adult novel is its relative brevity and the fairly straightforward plot line. I assumed, going in, that there wouldn’t be an violence or real evil being shown, but I was wrong about that. True, at times the ‘camera turn’s away’ from a particularly violent act, but we see the setup of it and the results, and our imaginations fill in the rest.
The story revolves around Stalwart, 5th in line to become bound and a member of the Blades. But instead of following the usual course of a candidate, he is whisked away from Ironhall (where boys train to become Blades) and becomes the only unbound member of this elite troop, and sent on a covert mission. Aiding him (unknowlingly) is Emerald, a White Sister of as few years as Stalwart. To say more would be to ruin the book.
It’s a fast read; perfect for a long day at the beach or a rainy weekend. If you enjoyed The King’s Blades series, don’t overlook The King’s Daggers.