Guest Review: THE DAGGER’S PATH by Glenda Larke (Orbit)

LarkeG-2-DaggersPathThe second novel in the Forsaken Lands series


Ardhi, Sorrel and the excommunicated cleric, Saker Rampion, stow away on a ship to the Spice Islands. They must return stolen items of great power to Ardhi’s home, but there are ruthless men after this power, men who will kill to possess it.

At home in Ardrone, an army of demonic origin runs amok while Saker’s superiors in the church struggle to quell it. And the young queen Mathilda struggles with the possibility that her newborn child, the heir to the throne, may be linked to the corruption that has erupted throughout the land.

Sorcerers, lascars, pirates and thieves collide…

Reviewed by Ryan Frye

Think of a time when you thoroughly enjoyed the opening installment of a series… It’s probably not too hard a task, and honestly, not all that uncommon. Now, think of a time when you enjoyed the second installment of a series more than you enjoyed the first. For me at least, that’s more difficult. Sure, it happens, but once I’ve mentally checked off Empire Strikes Back, Deadhouse Gates, and… um, The Drawing of the Three, I’m forcing my brain into action, and who needs that? Suffice it to say, the second installment in a series is a tricky thing. That fresh, clean smell is gone, the characters are no longer new and exciting, and often (especially if we’re talking a trilogy) the characters tend to do a lot of moving around so that things are set up for the finale.

Well, The Dagger’s Path just so happens to be a second installment in a trilogy, it also follows a first-in-series, The Lascar’s Dagger, which I thoroughly enjoyed. So how did this second volume fare? Quite well in fact. Continue reading

Guest Review: THE LASCAR’S DAGGER by Glenda Larke (Orbit)

LarkeG-1-LascarsDaggerA good start to a new series

Faith will not save him

Saker looks like a simple priest, but in truth he’s a spy for the head of his faith. It’s a dangerous job, and more lives than merely his own depend on his secrecy.

When Saker is wounded by a Lascar sailor’s blade, the weapon seems to follow him home. Unable to discard it, nor the sense of responsibility that comes with it, Saker can only follow its lead.

It will put him on a journey to strange shores, on a path that will reveal terrible secrets about the empire, about the people he saves, and likely lead to his own destruction. The Lascar’s dagger demands a price, and that price will be paid in blood.

Reviewed by Ryan Frye

From the blurb provided above, I honestly had some doubts about reading Glenda Larke’s The Lascar’s Dagger. Buzz words like spies, magical daggers, and empires harboring dark secrets give rise to a few red flags for this reviewer. I’ve never gotten into the whole bad-ass hooded assassin thing. And empires/kingdoms with dark secrets, and sketchy politics have become ubiquitous within the epic fantasy genre. As a result, I try to outright avoid, or at least limit to some degree those genre themes in my fantasy reading. That being said, I’d read some positive reviews of the book from trusted sources, and I had a feeling that I needed to give this book a shot. I’m glad I listened to that feeling. Continue reading