Read Recently — July 2014 — Confusing sequel to a story you haven’t read

Sworn In Steel: a tale of the Kin by Douglas Hulick

This is the sequel to Among Thieves (here). One point I missed in talking about it before (since that write-up was so small) is that Drothe spends much of the book losing a friend in the character of Bronze Degan, a member of a specialized mercenary unit of super-powerful swordspeople, each of whom is named after a metal (actually, now that I think about it, I believe that one is named “Ivory”–which was not, the last time I checked, a metal. But most of them are named after metals) who take oaths very seriously; Drothe broke his oath to Bronze and so lost his friendship. Now, however, Drothe is blackmailed into finding Bronze again. This involves going to the nearby country of el-Qaddice, with whom Drothe’s Empire has often been at war, and may be again.

The previous novel used a lot of Thieves’ Cant, a jargon used by the local thieves to talk about their activities without anyone else knowing what they meant. Since Drothe has only one of his people with him, this is used a lot less in this one.

Drothe is still a fun character, the book puts him in a tough situation and he works his way out of it in interesting ways, and he’s surrounded by well-drawn characters both likable and loathsome. Fun books, highly recommended, read Among Thieves first, if you haven’t already.

The Heart of Valor: a Confederation novel by Tanya Huff

A re-read. Written-up here. Still recommended.


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