Mailyn says...

The Genre

Sword & Sorcery/Heroic Fantasy

The Plot

From Amazon:
"Gilded Chain follows the career of Durendal, one of the King's magical and deadly swordsmen, who's compelled to serve his ward until death with single-minded purpose. Bound to a conniving, sniveling courtier and apparently doomed to a boring--or worse, compromising--existence, Durendal must find a way to fulfill both his potential and his duty.

Events quickly hurl him halfway across the world to investigate the grisly secret behind a brotherhood of immortal swordmasters. This quest fuels the plot for the remainder of the book, which is nearly impossible to put down after the halfway point (just about the time a side story involving a Lord Roland cleverly dovetails with the main narrative). An inventive, intelligent exploration of duty and honor, and just a corking good adventure besides, The Gilded Chain is swords-and-sorcery at its best."

The Review

I actually read this book a while back but it has taken me forever to write this review because I don't think I can do it justice. This books is one of the best I have read and Mr. Duncan's writing is simply exquisite. I think this is a modern-day masterpiece along the lines of Dumas and Sabatini blended flawlessly with fantasy.

There was nothing I found lacking in Duncan's writing or in the plot itself. Durendal is an excellent hero and he quiclky became one of my favorite. In short, I wish I could say more but this book is better experienced than talked about. Or maybe it's just me and I can't come up with enough praises for this!

This is a great example of quality fantasy as Duncan doesn't sacrifice language, characterization, or plot unlike a lot of modern day fantasy authors that write as if their readers where teenagers or pre-teens.

As a side note I should say that this book should appeal to Temeraire fans. The concept of a bond between master and Blade is similar to the dragon and rider bond in that series. A bond that cannot be broken without terrible consequences and the choices they must make because of it.

The Verdict

Run to your local bookseller and get your hands on this. I don't think there is anything left to say except I'm giving it a solid 5 out of 5!


I have the first book of the trilogy off of this one on the go, Paragon Lost. I haven't been reading very much of it, though, have other things on the go...

Hey Kailana...a couple of places that I have read have Paragon Lost as the fourth book in the series that starts with The Gilded Blade, but you said that it was a separate trilogy. Are they connected?

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Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with books. Early photos show me with a book in hand, even if it was not exactly my reading level... My first word was a made-up word meaning 'book', actually. I suppose I had my priorities at an early age... Over the years my interest in books has become one of the defining features of who I am as a person. You can probably call me a bookworm. While I have other interests, reading will always be the one I talk about the most, even if I am not focusing on it as much as I used to.