This book is 288 pages in length, paperback. It was page 104 before anything really caught my interest.
The world in Swordspoint is one that i thought would interest me. The medieval-type setting is similar to other fantasy books i have enjoyed, with nobles and commoners and politics. But it didn’t do it for me.
The book starts out with what appears to be two main protagonists: Richard St Vier and Michael Godwin. Michael Godwin is a noble. Richard is a commoner, but a master swordsman. He is in fact the best swordsman around, and has never ever lost.
Swordsmen in this world have a peculiar function. The nobles can challenge each other to duels, and they use hired swordsmen as proxies. The outcome of the duel (which can anywhere from to the death to first blood) decides whatever petty quarrel the two nobles were having.
Nobles do not represent themselves in duels, unless they are challenged when they are alone, and they have no retainers around to accept the challenge for them. But Michael Godwin decides he wants to learn, and begins to take lessons.
Meanwhile Richard St Vier is going about his business performing challenges for other nobles. He also has his hands full keeping track of his lover, Alec. Alec has a penchant for starting fights in bars, so Richard has to kill a lot of drunken commoners to protect him. There is no penalty for killing commoners, by the way.
The first interesting thing happens when another noble decides to challenge Michael Godwin, and hires Richard to be his champion. Page 104.
After that, it does get a good bit more interesting, and i was able to finish the book. I had almost given up around page 100. I’m glad i didn’t, b/c i hate to not finish books. But i can’t really recommend this book to anyone. The slow start was hard to get through. And then, the author totally dropped the Michael Godwin storyline by sending him offscreen to another country. I thought for sure he would have to face the great Richard St Vier in a duel at some point. I won’t be reading the sequel.
My next book review will be a bridge autobiography that pretty much none of my readers will be interested in.