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Book Title: Sword-Sworn|
The author of the book: Jennifer Roberson
ISBN 13: 9780756400996
Date of issue: February 4th 2003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 828 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.5
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“There are times when certain oaths must be broken, if to keep them breaks oaths you have made to others.”
I know what you think: Only the most dedicated fans make it that far. It is true, especially that initially Sword-Sworn was meant to be the final instalment in the tales of Tiger and Del. And the book has a definite ambiance of things coming to an end. At least at the beginning.
Tiger returns to the South where he carries a death sentence on his head. He is forsworn. He also comes back because he had failed (you can give the trip to Skandi many names but success will not be one of them). Homecoming after failure is no the easiest of things. It is also not Tiger’s first return to the South. Yet, this time Tiger doesn’t feel like he’s outgrown his homeland. He’s matured, he’s survived the breakthrough point in the journey of self-discovery: He is now versatile not only in sword-dancing but also magic. And he decided it is time to give back to the community. This, I guess, is the main reason why Tiger wants to (re)start a sword-dancing school in Alimat.
The whole school business, the master-apprentice arc starts only towards the end of the novel so if you are interested in this part, feel free to skip the first thirty chapters (or actually jump straight to the final one). It is a shame, I am a great fan of the “from-zero-to-hero-successful-educational-establishment” trope. In fact, no (view spoiler)[Alimat (hide spoiler)] is the biggest sore spot of the whole book. Surely, it is there, like a carrot dangling in front of reader’s nose, encouraging us to plod on, but we never actually get to munch it. (view spoiler)[We revisit some old venues but never get the chance to know this fabled school. We know it has been destroyed but how and why and by whom? No chance of learning more, the whole issue is dealt within a single paragraph. (hide spoiler)]
This is what I mean by “things coming to an end at least at the beginning”. As soon as the duo hits the shore, it feels like another pointless tour around the desert. The sense of finality evaporates in the blaring sun and we are left with a stream of ad hoc adventures. Our protagonists are retracing their steps - yet again - doing the things that had been done before and renewing old acquaintances albeit with a new twist. But you might try to read the book in the traditional way (i.e. chapter by chapter, not just jumping straight to the end), especially that there are some things worth your while: you will have the chance to meet equine cuteness named Snowball (forget the stud), discover what could inspire Del to contemplate the life of a wine-girl, bear witness to Tiger getting hit with a cantina stool couple of times and suffering some kicks in the gut which make him smile even as he weeps.
Having said this, the last chapter is the best by far. The ending was so good, it basically saved the whole novel. I really wish this could be the end of the series! And I hope the final, final instalment will not be like a belated hiccup.
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Read information about the authorJennifer Mitchell Roberson O'Green is an author of fantasy and historical literature. Roberson has lived in Arizona since 1957. She grew up in Phoenix, but in 1999 relocated to Flagstaff. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Northern Arizona University. Roberson had spent her final semester in England at the University of London. This enabled her to do indepth research at castles and cathedrals, museums and estates, and to visit historical sites in Scotland and Wales.
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