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Book Review – Swordsman’s Lament by G. M. White

When a prince is murdered, a legendary swordsman stands accused.

The King wants blood . . .

and loyalty counts for nothing.

Belasko thought he was beyond intrigues and machinations. But when the grief-stricken King demands vengeance, Belasko discovers he is expendable. His options are clear… find the real killer or satisfy the royal bloodlust. 

With the forces of the palace mobilised against him he is thrust into the city’s bleak underbelly and must fight to discover the truth. With betrayal around every corner he must form unlikely alliances. Can the veteran warrior survive long enough to protect his friends and prove his innocence?

Join Belasko on a fast-paced fantasy adventure as he hunts the real killer, from courtly intrigue to the depths of the city’s criminal underworld, and learns the true meaning of The Swordsman’s Lament.

G.M. White has always been an avid reader, a love of the written word instilled in him by his parents at an early age. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that he was a very talkative child and the only time he was quiet was when he had his head in a book. Anyway, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. A lifelong

storyteller he finally decided to put his imagination to good use and set pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard) and started to write down the worlds that he carried with him in his head. The Swordsman’s Lament is his first novel, published September 2019.

Review!

Swordsman’s Lament is a fun and fast paced read, perfect for fans of swashbuckling adventure with humour mixed in. Belasko is the King’s Champion, undefeated in battle, and always has the King’s ear. Until the unthinkable happens, the Prince is killed and the blame is laid on Belasko’s head. The grief-stricken king will not listen to reason and so Belasko knows he only has one option, to find out who the real killer is, or die himself. He needs to rely on his friends, both within the palace and without, because the deception runs deeper than even Belasko can imagine.

This was a really fun story, and at just over 200 pages I flew through it in a matter of hours. Swordsman’s Lament is told through differing perspective although Belasko’s is by far the main POV. We follow his story as he flees the Palace in search of the true killer, his love for the Prince making his thirst for vengeance all the stronger. He relies on his allies, some old and some new to investigate the death of the Prince and why he is the one being blamed. He is unflinchingly loyal to the Crown and even in the face of his own death, risks his life to find out the truth. The other POV’s we get are the Princess Lilliana, devatated at the loss of her brother and sure that Belasko was not the one to blame, she starts her own investigation into Kellan’s death and her insights play a massive part in figuring out who is to blame. Kendra, a chef that Belasko found and managed to get a job at the Palace. It was her dessert that proved fatal to the Prince, and she is kept in the Dungeons whilst the case in on going, and finally Ambassador Aveyard, the ambassador to the warring Baskan government. All these perspectives bring little clues to the overall plot and weave effortlessly together.

A proper swashbuckling adventure that gave me some serious Greatcoats vibes. Belasko is well past his prime, and the only reason he is still the Kings Champion is he can’t find anyone good enough to replace him. I enjoyed reading the flashbacks where we see him in his prime and these also allow us to see another side of him, he doesn’t particularly want to kill, he is just extremely good at it. The author gives us all the fun of sword fights but shows us the realities of fighting at Belasko’s age. The poor man in pretty much constantly in pain from one part of his body or another, but pushes through it, knowing that if he doesn’t solve the crime of Kellan’s murder then nobody else will.

The story line is pretty straightforward and though the plot line of this story is well wrapped up at the end, you can tell the author wants to return to the world and I would definitely be eager to read another book set around the same characters.

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