It is finally Friday, my friends. This has been kind of a weird week here on ye olde blogge; apologies for breast milk tangentials. At any rate, I don't think I've yet discussed my extreme love for Dave Duncan fantasy novels. It's--extreme. The first trilogy of King's Blades books (The Gilded Chain, Lord of the Fire Lands, and Sky of Swords), I kept checked out so often from my hometown library that the system got confused on a few occasions as to whether they were in or out. Being a rather confused child, I read Sky of Swords first (though it doesn't really matter what order you read them in) and it remains my favorite. But as you can tell from this post's title, I ain't casting Sky of Swords! Mostly because I've yet to encounter a proper Malinda or Durendal. No no--today's offering is from the world of the King's Blades, a book set after the trilogy proper: Impossible Odds. Like most of Duncan's books, this one has a huge cast, so only the most core are featured.
Duchess Johanna of Krupina: played by Rosamund Pike, the Duchess takes on her husband's image after an assassination attempt and the kidnapping of her son. King Aethelgar of Chivial gifts her three Blades, as the attempts on the duke's life are growing worse.
Duke Rubin of Krupina: played by Toby Jones, Rubin is assumed dead by his wife and court--presumably in a coup led by Lord Volpe.
Lord Volpe: played by Mark Strong, Volpe is the leader of the Vamky Brotherhood, a strange order of monks gifted in powerful conjuring magic.
True: played by Megan Prescott, the former Sister Gertrude of the order of the White Sisters is now a free agent working for the Duchess.
Bellman: played by Aaron Johnson, Bellman lost his opportunity to become a King's Blade when he injured an eye. Now let loose from Ironhall, he finds himself in the employ of the beautiful Duchess.
Ranter: played by Kevin Durand, Ranter is the socially inept, eternally horny half of the Duchess's Blades.
Ringwood: played by Ben Barnes, Ringwood is younger than Ranter but more mature, and is the Leader of his ward's Blades.