review: born of swords, by steven l shrewsbury

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Born of Swords, Stephen Shrewsbury
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: Seventh Star Press, LLC (June 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1941706851
ISBN-13: 978-1941706855
Paper: $14.34, 324pp, trade paperback
Kindle: $3.99

Interviewing the biggest legend of them all, Gorias La Gaul, is a dream come true for Jessica, and she’s traveled quite a distance and lost several escorts along the way to meet Gorias in Segesta. The city is a stop along a route Gorias takes each year on a regular schedule. She’s an undergraduate scribe from Nineveh School, sent by Dr. Allard, a former instructor of Gorias’, in order to collect information for “a true transcript from [Gorias]” as “a valuable testament or an exciting chronicle for future generations” for posterity.

Gorias warns Jessica that his life and travels aren’t “a fantasy adventure, sweetheart” and goes on to tell her, “it’s horror, pure and simple.” To this she gives the simple reply, “I understand, Lord La Gaul,” truly not understanding what she’s gotten herself into.

The tales she collects are from of Gorias’ earliest days, back before he’d found his swords, to a time when a dragon needed killing. Tales back before his heart had hardened. Maybe. For a legend like Gorias La Gaul, even the past is up for debate. Along the way, they happen upon side adventures. Through these, and through the memories of Gorias she collects via stones called Eyes of the Dragon, she learns who Gorias really is. However, this doesn’t prepare her for the cold truth of his yearly, 600 mile pilgrimage.

Gorias La Gaul lives in three novels and in one collection – and this one isn’t to be missed. Through this adventure, through the little information he tells Jessica and through the Eyes of the Dragon stone, the reader learns more about the legend than we’ve known before. The reader is taken down into the gritty, ugly meat of what created the man who became the legend. For those readers who enjoy their fantasy infused with swords and madmen and a bit of sorcery, Born of Swords delivers these and more.

While I enjoyed this adventure very much, the narrative could have taken some extra editing. Most of the errors weren’t that jarring (misspellings, punctuation), but they were jarring enough to pull me from the story at times.

ShrewsburyAuthorPhotoBWSteven L. Shrewsbury lives, works and writes in rural Central Illinois. Over 365 of his short stories have been published in print or digital media since the late 80s. His novels include Within, Philistine, Overkill, Hell Billy, Blood & Steel, Thrall, Stronger Than Death, Hawg, Tormentor and Godforsaken. Shrewsbury maintains a blog at https://sshrewsbury.wordpress.com and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorstevenshrewsbury.

I give Born of Swords three out of five coffee cups.

Blog Tour Schedule and Activities

10/26 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author   Guest Post
10/26 Man’s Midnight Garden    Review
10/26 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews   Guest Post
10/27 Azure Dwarf    Review
10/28 Book in the Bag    Interview
10/29 Creatives Help Board.How may I direct your call?   Interview
10/30 WebbWeaver Reviews   Guest Post
10/30 Sheila’s Blog   Guest Post
11/1 Dice Upon A Time   Top-Tens List

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Author: Mari Adkins

Appalachian gothic fiction writer - my works reflect a love of literature flavored by the darkness and magic residing in these ancient mountains. In my spare time, I'm a Simmer, I tumbl, I journal, but I always have a very strange sense of humor. I have lived away from the mountains and lived deep in the mountains. I currently live in Central Kentucky with my lifepartner and his cat. The mountains, their culture, their superstitions, their particular magics, will always be in my blood.