In Chivial, Grand Duke Rubin of Krupina asks King Athelgar
to help him regain his lost dukedom. Rubin's warrior-
cousin Lord Volpe tossed him off his minor throne and has
attacked him with evil magic as he crossed Eurania to come
her for assistance. Rubin pleads with the monarch to
assign the King's Blades to help him regain his power.
King Athelgar has no fully trained Blade available so he
selects the inexperienced Ranter and the rookie Ringwood
led by the injured Bellman to assist the Grand Duke.
However Trudy of the Sisterhood, states that Rubin is
using a magical device to alter his appearance. He turns
out to be a she as the visitor is the Grand Duchess
Johanna, who does not know the fate of her spouse or their
son. Johanna accepts what she can and leads her motley
crew back to Krupina to confront Volpe and his magic
The fifth Chronicle of the King's Blades is an exciting
sword and sorcery tale that reads somewhat as if an
amateur sleuth story was set in a fantasy realm. The
quintet heads to Krupina for a final confrontation are
very distinct realistic characters. The story line is
fast-paced so that fantasy fans will enjoy the enchanted
battles while mystery readers who appreciate a radically
different slant will relish Trudy. Fans of the series
will want to read the latest Blades adventure as once
again those magically bound to defend the King (and anyone
he chooses even to the death) risk their lives.
When the deposed Grand Duke of Krupina arrived at Ironhall with a warrant from the King, even Grand Master considered his plight impossible. Not only had the Duke been deposed by the greatest warrior in all Eurania, he was being pursued by dread sorceries sent to kill him. The King's command was that Grand Master assign Blades to defend the refugee and help him win back his throne, but Ironhall had already been stripped of all qualified candidates. Prime, the most senior boy in the school, was a dullard swordsman, and an oaf. Second had promise but was much too young to endure the fearsome magic of binding. Bellman would have been an excellent choice, had he not been injured, so he would never fight well enough to become a Blade. All three were a year short of completing their training. But the King's word was law, and Grand Master must obey, even if he believed he was sending his young charges to certain disaster. And Grand Master did not even know the worst of it...