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#1 IN A NEW EPIC FANTASY SERIES from Monster Hunter series creator and New York Times best-selling author, Larry Correia!After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts, until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the#1 IN A NEW EPIC FANTASY SERIES from Monster Hunter series creator and New York Times best-selling author, Larry Correia!After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts, until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since the land has belonged to man and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated. It was prophesized that someday the demons would return, and only the descendants of Ramrowan would be able to defeat them. They became the first kings, and all men served those who were their only hope for survival.As centuries passed the descendants of the great hero grew in number and power. They became tyrannical and cruel, and their religion nothing but an excuse for greed. Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The castes created to serve the Sons of Ramrowan rose up and destroyed their rulers. All religion was banned and replaced by a code of unflinching law. The surviving royalty and their priests were made casteless, condemned to live as untouchables, and the Age of Law began.Ashok Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashok isn’t who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war—and destruction.At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management)."Bestselling fantasy author Correia (The Grimnoir Chronicles) casts a compelling spell with this India-influenced series opener...Correia skillfully sets in motion this story of plots within plots, revealing complex, sympathetic characters and black-hearted villains with equal detail and insight. Full of action, intrigue, and wry humor, this exciting series launch promises many more thrills to come."— Publishers Weekly Starred Review"Correia is best known for his action-packed urban fantasies (“Monster Hunter Nation” series) so this non-European–set epic fantasy is a pleasant surprise...Fans who like Correia’s fast-moving style will be pleased with the plethora of action scenes, and epic fantasy readers interested in delving into a new universe should be equally satisfied. A solid choice for admirers of Brent Weeks and Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn” series."— Library JournalAbout Son of the Black Sword:"This book has everything I like in fantasy: intense action scenes, evil in horrifying array, good struggling against the darkness, and most of all people—gorgeously flawed human beings faced with horrible moral choices that force them to question and change and grow."—Jim Butcher, creator of the New York Times best-selling Dresden Files“I loved the book, it was great, fast paced, with wonderful characters, and also a lot of wonderful scenes that screamed to be painted.”—Larry Elmore, legendary, award-winning artist, and cover artist for Son of the Black Sword.About the Urban Fantasy of Larry Correia:“[A] no-holds-barred all-out page turner that is part science fiction, part horror, and an absolute blast to read.”—Bookreporter....

Title : son of the black sword
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ISBN : 27217864
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 342 Pages
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son of the black sword Reviews

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2018-10-19 15:14

    I have read several books by Larry Correia, the man is moving into different (yet related) genres and I've liked (pretty much) all I've read (okay, one book not so great but you can't pitch all no hitters).Here we are building a fantasy world and while it has some facets you'll recognize that isn't a big deal' I've said before that with a few thousand years of story telling there can't be all that many truly completely original plot lines out there. This takes the world with a somewhat nebulous past (probably lost technology etc, with bits and pieces still around). There is a civilization that depends on strict attention to and obedience of THE LAW. Our "hero" Ashok Vadal is a Protector as he protects the people from the incursion of Demons from the sea and otherwise upholds THE LAW.See there was a war in heaven (I've read that somewhere) and the Demons were (the story goes) cast out to Earth where they were more than a nuisance... They were sort wiping out humanity. But a hero arose (Ramrowan) who organized humanity and drove the demons into the sea. Since then the Demons rule the water and humans the land. This also started the age of Kings...which fell apart because of human greed and selfishness, humans fighting each other. Thus THE LAW was established.As it happens Ashok Vadal has also been chosen by an ancient magic sword which gives him the experience and most of the memories of all it's former wielders. He is quite literally the most "BA", nasty, dangerous warrior/protector out there.The world is also one of a strict cast system...all these things come together to make one of the best epic fantasy (beginnings) I've read in a long, long time. While (as I said) there are elements you will have seen in other novels they are used in a great and mostly original way. I was vacillating between 4 and 5 stars as there are a couple of what I suppose I'd call "sour notes" in the book. That said I doubt any of them will take away from the story for most readers and in the finial analysis they are mostly subjective and apply to me.Okay, makes it across the line to 5 stars and I like it. Highly recommended, enjoy.

  • Bob Milne
    2018-10-27 15:37

    Larry Correia is an author best known for his guns-and-monsters, no-holds barred, testosterone-soaked urban fantasy sagas, Monster Hunter International and the Grimnoir Chronicles. For those who were curious as to how he’d make the transition from guns to swords, Son of the Black Sword is pretty much everything you’d expect, with his macho sense of almost superhuman bravado slipping well into a pulpy heroic fantasy world.It’s not great literature, and lacks a certain polish in the narrative, but it’s an engaging bit of fantasy fiction.The world building and mythology encompass a very South Asian flavored world, which is a nice change of pace from mostly European fantasy, but there’s an important twist – instead of the seas providing prosperity and purpose, they are something to be feared, dotting the coasts and the beaches with the cobbled together hovels of the lowest of non-people. You see, due to an age old supernatural pact, man commands the land, demons command the seas . . . and the Law states that any who trespass must die. Lok is a bland, bureaucratic world, full of rigid caste systems, where faith and superstition are forbidden. It’s so deliberately constructed that if you don’t see the threat of rebellion coming in the first few chapters, and don’t anticipate the rise of a prophesied hero, then you’re clearly not aware of the genre’s central tropes.As part of the mythology, ancestor blades are a relic of the days before that pact. Only one of these rare blades can pierce a demon’s hide, and they carry within them the skills and instincts of those who wielded the blades before. Whereas authors like Moorcock and Sanderson have done some really fascinating things with such weapons, using them to elevate the narrative to another level, here they just come across as another fantasy trope. Not bad in and of themselves, but certainly a bit of a cheat in justifying that almost superhuman bravado. On that note, Ashok is a serviceable hero with at least the beginnings of a significant character development arc, but he lacks the kind of personality that makes for a truly engaging protagonist.Ultimately, this was an interesting read with enough top-notch action scenes to keep me engaged through to the end, but it’s just a little too serious and straightforward. I didn’t find any sense of wonder or awe in the magic or the monsters, no personality in the protagonist, no real appreciation for the plot twists, and no humor (ironic, self-depreciating, or otherwise) to distinguish the narrative. I don’t see myself continuing with the series, but I’m certainly willing to give his other series a shot.Originally reviewed at The Speculative HeraldDisclaimer: Thanks to Angry Robot for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  • TS Chan
    2018-10-14 14:43

    3.5 stars.This was the first book I've read from Larry Correia, which I understand to be also his first foray into medieval-type fantasy. The Saga of the Forgotten Warrior was set in a world where land is occupied by the humans and the sea by demons. History had it that during the war of the gods, these demons have been cast down into the world and were subsequently driven into the sea. Tens of generations have since passed, a caste system was formed and the Laws of the land were upheld by a select group of warriors imbued with magic called the Protectors. Ashok Vadal was the most fearsome and skilled of all these Protectors. But he has a secret, one which he was not aware of himself, and one which will threaten everything that the Laws were created to protect. The plotline presented was a classic example of history being written by the victor, or to be exact, rewritten by the victor, and the reigning authorities will not stop at any cost to conceal the truth. A well-paced grimdark narrative with some brutal and violent scenes balanced with an occasional touch of humour, the characters were fairly well fleshed-out in spite of the moderate length of the book. I'll have to admit that the main protagonist's single-minded devotion to the Law did result in some actions of his which I found hard to accept at first. Caste systems are the bane of humanity as far as I am concerned, and in this world it went as far as having the casteless, humans which are deemed as non-people. This was probably the one aspect of the story which I've found most difficult to digest. Even so, the story was compelling enough that I was drawn in, in spite of my disgust and I enjoyed it as a whole. The ending of this debut instalment opened up interesting possibilities and sank its hooks sufficiently to ensure that I will continue with the series.

  • Nathaniel
    2018-11-13 14:33

    So this review has basically two parts. Part 1: Why Son of the Black Sword is Amazingly Awesome. Part 2: Why Son of the Black Sword is Astonishingly Mormon. I'll put Part 1 first, since it should interest more people.Larry Correia is first and foremost famous for his Monster Hunter International series, starting with the eponymous Monster Hunter International. I thought the book was OK, but I wasn't the biggest fan. It was a little too obsessed with the specifics of gun-fighting and (to me at least) read like the first novel it was. I couldn't get into the sequel. (I also really don't like the narrator for those two books on Audible. He sounds like he's trying out for a testosterone supplement infomercial.)Luckily, my first intro to Correia was with his other series, starting with Hard Magic. Alt-history urban-fantasy? Yes, please. One of my all-time favorite fight scenes from any book was in the story, and the entire trilogy was amazing. The multiple perspectives and alt-history world-building really showed Correia's potential in much more impressive ways (to my mind) than the MHI series.Still, fantasy is not my thing so I wasn't necessarily going to jump all over Son of the Black Sword when it came out, until I heard it got a starred review at Locus and started hearing some really good buzz. Then I was intrigued. So I picked up, and from that point on could not put it down.It's just good. A lot of the plot isn't really novel, but that's OK for me. I will always pick elegant execution over rank novelty any time. So we've got the kind of fairly post-apocalyptic science-so-advanced-it's-magic setting going on here, something that Correia doesn't try to hide, but does reveal with relaxes pacing as you go through the book. (Looks like the "magic" is based on forgotten nano-technology.) The world building is very fresh, however, with an interesting caste system that ties into some really great historical back-story. It's also thematically mature (meaning: interesting and complex, not meaning full of sex and gore) with an interesting blend of villains, heroes, and folks who fall realistically and intriguingly in between. The plot is fairly straightforward, as far as the main action goes, but Correia does an unusually deft job of weaving the big picture plot in with the story of his front-and-center characters. This is just one of those work-a-day tasks that writers aren't always really proficient at: can you move the big plot (empire in danger, awakening ancient evil, etc.) without jerking your characters around like marionettes? When it's done well, you don't even really notice it unless you're looking for it, and Correia does it very, very well.But first and foremost the book was just FUN. Great characters, good dialogue, fast pacing, great action (maybe just a bit too much hack-and-slash at times, but only a bit), and all while you feel like there are things going on that are worth caring about.The book doesn't end with a cliff hanger, but it does end with a great, great set up for the next one. I can't wait. Definitely will read that as soon as it comes out.In the meantime, I'm going to put this one in the running for my own personal consideration for 2015 Hugo. (Won't happen cause of politics, but based strictly on quality, the book is that good.)Now, part 2.Correia is Mormon. And I don't know what it is about Mormons and fantasy, but it seems to be our literary home. Just ask Brandon Sanderson. And when we're not writing fantasy, we're doing sci-fi. Just ask Orson Scott Card or Brad Torgersen. (And there are lots more.)What's really fun, as a fellow Mormon, is to see how much Mormonism (either our actual doctrine or just our culture and folklore) influence their worldbuilding. There are folklorish elements of pansychism in Mormon folklore, for example, that showed up quite a lot in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series. (Of course, he also retold the Book of Mormon in the Ships of Earth, the origin of Joseph Smith in Alvin Maker, more Mormon theology in the Worthing Saga, and then just wrote explicitly about Mormons in The Folk of the Fringe as well. OSC is all about Mormonism.)Sanderson's influences aren't as obvious, but they're definitely there. Culturally, his treatment of love and romance is saturated with the marriage-centric and family-centric culture of Mormon Utah in general and BYU in particular. You can tell in several of his books that talking about relationships--especially with an investment / assumption that you should make them work even when compatibility might seem to fade--is in his background. There's this odd simultaneously romantic and pragmatic view of the whole thing that is distinctly Mormon, and he's definitely got it. There are also echoes and reflections of contemporary discussion of faith as well. Mormons are unusually sensitive to the interface of religious culture and secular society, since we have always tended to stick out as very religious but are also encouraged to be proactively engaged in the world. We have no tradition of monasticism or ascetism. And so, even though this is common to all faith traditions in our secular age, Mormons are thinking a lot about faith and doubt these days, and that came through particularly clearly in Sanderson's Mistborn series. (That, and Alloy of Law, are also where a lot of his relationship stuff comes through.)OK, back to Son of the Black Sword: Larry Correia's Mormon influences are more pervasive and specific than any other since OSC. [MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!]In Correia's world, water is impure and specifically salt water. It's not 100% sure why this is, but one thing is certain: no one is safe near the ocean. Only the lowest caste eat fish or live near the shore, any vessel that tries to sail over the seas is attacked and destroyed by demons, and every now and then demons come up out of the water and go on a murderous rampage. You might be thinking Godzilla, but here's a few verses from the Doctrine and Covenants to show how this resonates with Mormons:D&C 61:13-1513 And now, behold, for your good I gave unto you a commandment concerning these things; and I, the Lord, will reason with you as with men in days of old.14 Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters.15 Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters.This might sound weird out of context, and I don't want to misrepresent my own faith. If you're curious what Mormons actually believe about this, read here. The point is that there is a folklore about Satan having power over oceans in Mormonism. It is actually wrong (see the link I posted), but it's basically the equivalent of an urban legend: and here we have a world where no one can go in the ocean because it is infested with man-eating demons. Hmm...Correia's main theme for the book is also one of justice / law, and it closely parallels the way Mormons talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. There are too many verses to note here, but the Book of Mormon in particular is full of this idea that you've got a central conflict between the law--which is pitiless and condemns us all--and mercy. How can mercy overcome justice without creating a world of chaos and unfairness? That seems like the central question in the book so far. And no, of course that's not uniquely Mormon. All Christians have theology along these lines, but Correia's take on it seems particularly influenced by the penal substitution variant of the theology that is prevalent in contemporary Mormon teaching about this issue.And finally, there a few little phrases that have really specific context for Mormons. It's always interesting to hear Mormons use them in unusual ways and settings, and it seems as though convert Mormons are more prone to do it. (Might be my imagination.) One that comes to mind is Glenn Beck, who converted to Mormonism and occasionally uses Mormon phrases on his radio show in ways that I think might confuse his non-Mormon audience a bit. Correia is also a convert to his faith, and he uses the phrase "fulfilled the measure of its creation" which is a very Mormon phrase. (Just Google it and see how many references point back speeches or articles hosted at BYU.edu or LDS.org domains.)None of this makes the book better or worse. I don't think it's really intentional. It has nothing to do with trying to preach Mormonism or anything like that. It's just an interesting example of how a writer's background shapes their creative process.

  • Nickolas
    2018-11-13 16:44

    As Larry Correia's biggest fan I've been looking forward to his fantasy debut for a while now. If I remember properly he's been teasing fans, talking about it on his blog for a couple years now at least. Judging by how incredibly large scale Larry's urban fantasy and alternate history novels have been I've been eager to see what he could do with straight up fantasy. I can happily say that SON OF THE BLACK SWORD will not disappoint the Monster Hunter Nation and it will also likely earn Larry a lot of new fans from the fantasy genre.Here's the plot synopsis: After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts, until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Yet as centuries passed, Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The Age of Law began.Ashok Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashok isn't who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war—and destruction. Ashok seems like a deceptively simple character. Trained by an Order of warrior monks and chosen by the ancestor blade Angruvadal to be its bearer, Ashok is peerless. He is the best of the Protectors, a perfect soldier that carries out orders without question. The massacres he has perpetrated in obedience to the Law have earned him the nickname Black Heart. On the surface he could appear one dimensional but this couldn't be further from the truth. The truth is that Ashok shares literary DNA with Toru, the disgraced samurai from The Grimnoir Chronicles and Agent Franks from Monster Hunter International -- my two favorite Correia characters. Ashok starts out as a tool, a weapon, but this is purposeful. When Ashok's world is turned upside down by a terrible truth his unflinching devotion to the law serves to really complicate matters for him and everyone else. There's a certain humor to Ashok, despite his stoic, no-nonsense attitude (or perhaps because of it). We have a protagonist that believes so fiercely in the Law that he voluntarily turns himself in to the authorities upon committing a crime, imprisoning himself in a jail that could not possibly contain him. He's not a good man by any means. Over the 20 years he has served as a Protector he slaughtered countless men, women, and children for a number of offenses. And yet this is the man that has been fated to lead a rebellion that will free millions of casteless from tyranny. There's a prophecy but it's a nice twist on the typical simple, innocent farm boy who will rise to defeat evil. Ashok has a fulfilling character arc over the course of SON OF THE BLACK SWORD and there's still much more room for him yet to grow as the series continues. Correia novels are notorious for ensemble casts of colorful characters -- in the case of the Monster Hunter series several of the supporting characters have been so successful as to earn their own spin-off novels (MONSTER HUNTER ALPHA and MONSTER HUNTER NEMESIS). SON OF THE BLACK SWORD introduces a handful of potentially amazing characters, though the book would have benefitted from giving them a greater focus. A lot of time is wisely spent developing Ashok but the others are given considerably less attention. I'm very interested to learn more about Jagdish the twice dishonored warrior, Rada the antisocial archivist, Keta the Keeper of Names, and Thera the mysterious mercenary. Regardless, this is only the first book of the series and there is plenty of time and opportunity to further flesh out these characters. I also look forward for more to be revealed about Grand Inquisitor Omand, Sikasso the assassin and their motivations come the sequel. Correia writes some of the absolute best multi-dimensional villains you can find in genre fiction. Those fantasy readers who have grown tired of white bread pseudo-European settings should rejoice because SON OF THE BLACK SWORD has a very obvious Asian flavor to it (for reasons that are hinted at over the course of the novel). I believe that it's safe to say that the Writer Nerd Game Night's Legend of the Five Rings fan fiction has had a major influence on the creation of this world (in the best possible way).There are lots of fun nuggets of world building. Demons dwell in the ocean and as a result mankind has been confined to land for centuries. Demons occasionally strike forth from the depths and wreak havoc on coastal cities. . Only the lowest of the low are condemned to live near water. "Fish-eater" is used as a derogatory term while "ocean" and "saltwater" are used as curses. Another awesome aspect of SON OF THE BLACK SWORD is the titular black sword. Ancestor blades are extremely rare relics. They are the only weapons capable of easily parting demon flesh and bearers have access to the instincts of all those to have wielded the sword before them. These black swords (such as Ashok's Angruvadal) are the ultimate weapon/status symbol and they are a major driving force of the plot. I will admit that terms like "Inquisition" and "Protector" could have been substituted for something better fitting of the setting but that's a minor nitpick. The continent of Lok is ruled, not by a brutal tyrant but instead by an uncaring bureaucracy. Religion and superstition are illegal, punishable by death and the Law dictates every aspect of daily life. A rigid caste system maintains order and at the bottom of the hierarchy are the casteless. These untouchables aren't even considered human and as a result they are treated as property less valuable than livestock. For hundreds of years the casteless have lived brief, meaningless lives toiling in fear but a Prophet has been chosen and the rebellion ignited. The history of Lok is obscured to all but a select few though myths and legends are difficult to stamp out entirely. This wouldn't be a very good review of a Correia book if I neglected to talk about the action. When you open SON OF THE BLACK SWORD be sure to wear a parka because you're going to be bathed in buckets of blood. With his magical sword and Protector training Ashok is the sort of protagonist to do Conan proud. There's a running melee through a mountain town between Ashok and an army of raiders at the end of the book that lives up to Correia's trademark set piece battles. What I appreciate most is that the protagonists are given logical reasons for being able to surviving pitched combat that would fell an ordinary man or woman in moments. It's fantasy, sure, but that doesn't mean it has to be unbelievable. The plotting is as deft as it's ever been, Correia's writing only continues to approve with every new release. There are a couple of awesome twists, including one with some major implications that I truly did not see coming. Hints are dropped over the course of the novel relating to the true nature of things but there are a lot of questions in need of answering. SON OF THE BLACK SWORD delivers a fun and fulfilling sword & sorcery tale while setting the stage for something even greater for the sequels to come. Correia thinks BIG and I'm confident that Saga of the Forgotten Warrior book two will serve to ramp up the scale to mammoth proportions. Recommended Age: 14+Language: I only remember a few minor curses (beyond the made up ones) Violence: Robert E. Howard levels of violence. Sex: Hinted at but not shown. Nick SharpsElitist Book Reviews

  • Beanbag Love
    2018-10-27 13:23

    This is the first of a new epic fantasy by Larry Correia. He's usually writing urban fantasy or diesel pun or military action. Those forays clearly inform this book and it made for a really good fit for this genre. I like epic fantasy, but I find that the world building can be very slow. I often see reviews where people just couldn't get through to the "good stuff". Not so here. I think Correia's urban fantasy experience informs his world building and he just gets right on with the story. Certainly there's information still to impart throughout, but I was pulled in enough from the very beginning that I never felt distracted by trying to figure out what was what and who was who. His magic system is fairly straight forward and that helps. The world he's built is one under the rule of Law. Yes, with a capital "L". It has replaced religion (which is illegal in all forms) and is used to perpetuate a rigid caste system from which no one can escape. The lowest of the low have no caste. They're called the "untouchables", "the casteless", basically non-people. They're used for labor but easily discarded while livestock and belongings are protected against harm. It's a world where there are demons that live in the ocean making sea travel impossible as they can board vessels and kill everyone aboard. There is also magic, but it's also illegal in most forms even though it's practiced on the sly. And speaking of practicing on the sly, systems such as these tend to make black markets and secret organizations the norm. When authority rules absolutely, everyone is at risk of being trampled by it.Enter a warrior who has been the most fierce guardian of the Law to date. A powerful Protector who is both feared and admired. Mostly feared. Ashok is so devoted to the Law that he doesn't even question when he has to kill an entire group of people for an infraction. He follows the Law absolutely with no doubts whatsoever as to its righteousness.His world is about to be turned upside down.There are other characters of course, but Ashok is the most important. He's a lot like Agent Franks in Correia's Monster Hunter International series, but there are some very important differences as well. He's definitely an "I've never failed a mission!" type of guy (a typical Agent Franks phrase for those who haven't read MHI). The entire world from top to bottom in this series is being turned upside down and the villains have no idea what they've unleashed. I'm hoping for redemption for some and slow torturous death for others, but regardless I will be reading the whole thing.

  • Jeff Raymond
    2018-10-23 16:18

    This was fine.I don't know how else to describe this except "fine." If you've read Larry Correia's blog, you know he takes a more populist approach to genre fiction, and it's one that I'm sort of on the fence about. I tend to like really epic fantasies, and Son of the Black Sword isn't it. It definitely plays to the epic storyline of the Destined Sword and the Changed Hero, but it's almost like fantasy on easy mode. I can see this as sort of like what Terry Brooks was for me 25 years ago, but as someone who looks for more in his fantasy...This wasn't bad, don't get me wrong. This is a solid story with a decent backstory and workmanlike prose. I just know what I look for in fantasy, and it's just not quite what I need.

  • Marcela (BookaholicCat)
    2018-10-18 16:39

    Originally posted at The Bookaholic CatSon of the Black Sword is the first book in the Saga of the Forgotten Warrior by Larry Correia. Tim Gerard Reynolds narrates this audiobook.I’m always in the search of new books and new authors to love. When I saw this audiobook -narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds- available for review I knew here was my chance to give a try to a new (to me) author.The blurb perfectly explains what Son of the Black Sword is all about, saying more will be giving too many spoilers away.Son of the Black Sword has everything I look for in a fantasy book. It has a hero that is flawed but at the same time he’s easy to love and admire. It has a complex world with magic where social castes are ruled by a few houses. It has horrible villains and a rich array of secondary characters; but the best part about Son of the Black Sword is that even though everything looks black and white the reality is far from it.Correia gives the story many dimensions with plots within plots and stories within stories. When you think something is going certain way he throws a curveball and takes the story in a different and unexpected direction. I like when an author surprise me and Correia did it couple of times.Tim Gerard Reynolds narration is top notch as always. I think he’s one of my top three fantasy narrators. He’s amazing creating unique and different voices for the characters and his performance always enhances the story.Son of the Black Sword is an amazing start to a very promising series and the perfect book to meet a new (to me) author. I highly recommend Son of the Black Sword to fantasy fans. I also recommend listening to the audiobook; Reynolds performance is simply perfection.I can’t wait for second book in the Saga of the Forgotten Warrior. I really hope that audiobook will be narrated by Reynolds as well.

  • Liviu
    2018-11-03 13:28

    While fairly predictable and fitting perfectly into the current grimdark epic scene - somehow given the author's reputation I expected something different and more interesting to be honest and I was really eager to read this one as I am not into urban fantasy so have no interest in the books that made him famous - the book kept me interested till the end which is more than i could say about so many current fantasy series.Its complete self-seriousness without the irony of Abercrombie or the dark and cynical humor of KJ Parker (which for me at least are by far the best writers of grimdark today) and the one note world building (Indian based with castes and names but not gods) which lacked the breadth of David Hair's outstanding Moontide Quartet, left the novel a bit short of my top tier fantasies, though I plan to at least take a look at the sequel, though I have to say I am far less intrigued about it than I was about this one (accurate blurb and the Baen free samples available, some 13 chapters in all should give a very good idea about both the subject and the writing style) Overall - straight out grimdark, nothing that special with better out there, but not bad either and interesting enough to keep me reading till the end and wanting to take a look at more in the series

  • Marat Beiner
    2018-10-26 14:43

    A very nice mix of different books into one.Imagine Judge Dredd wielding a shardblade in a world of noblemen and Scaa fighting demons. Looks pretty good, wouldn't you say?If you read Stormlight Archive series and Mistborn trilogy you probably will love this book too. It has great action as Larry Correia proved that he capable of writing, it has an interesting story, it has complex characters, and finally it has a few flips and turns.Usually I don't like books which are ripped off from others, but in this case, although every time I compared the black sword to shardblade and half-human to Scaa, I still didn't fill like it's a rip off, but a combination of books which made a fresh one, with it's own story.The book is not among my favorites, as it has a few flaws, but the series has a potential to be one. I thought The book could be actually a little longer, with more world building, because all the world building was made from flashbacks which by the way, weren't made as good as could have been. I actually got lost a few times in those flashbacks.In conclusion, I did liked this book, and I eagerly wait for the next installment, and I definitely will recommend it to other, especially because as it seams right now (according to number of people who added this book and the rate of it), it will not be a widely popular book.

  • Mike Moody
    2018-11-08 16:24

    Everything you need to know about this novel happens in the first chapter. In the midst of a typical frenetic Correia action sequence you gain a good understanding of both the protagonist and the world he inhabits. It it a first-rate piece of writing and demonstrates what a excellent craftsman Correia has become in what may be his best book yet.The setting is an atypical fantasy world with a strict caste-system governed by an inflexible Law whose compliance is enforced by the Protectors, a band of roving Judge Dredd-like swordsman. The hero is one such Protector, humorless and utterly dedicated to his duty, a man focused on justice untempered by mercy. Think Javert with a magic sword. The main story quickly gets underway and makes for compelling reading, with barely any slowdown in the plot or action as the hero slowly and believably comes to understand the flaws in his worldview. The secondary characters are also uniformly excellent and really add to the depth of the story. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

  • Mary Catelli
    2018-10-18 19:42

    A tale of the far future -- in high fantasy. (indeed the far future is read between the lines.)Our hero Ashok, a Protector, is fighting a demon, using his ancestral black sword to good effect, and dealing even with there being two of them. The warriors have fled; the only one standing against hem is a casteless old man with a spear (which, as a casteless, he is forbidden to hold). But then he is summoned back to meet with the dying master of his Order. Not, as a friend of his believes, to be named the next master, but to learn the terrible secret of his past.This has consequences.The tale involves wizards who can take hawk form and replace a multilated tongue; giving two children things and rescuing from those who think they are thieves; the name Ashok was born with; a prisoner sparring with the man in charge of a prison; damaged documents with certain information suppressed; a barge used by smugglers; and more.

  • AudioBookReviewer
    2018-10-28 13:28

    My original Son of the Black Sword audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.Son of the Black Sword is the first in a series called Saga of the Forgotten Warrior by Larry Correia. Ashok Vadal is a protector in a realm that is ruled by the Law. The Law governs a society of castes from the first and most powerful to the non-people who have almost no rights. Protectors carry out the justice as demanded by the Law. As news of the non-people or the caste-less rebellions against the higher castes begin to increase, Ashok soon discovers a great secret that causes life as he knows it to unravel. As he tries to find his place in the world, he meets a variety of people that test his faith and try to manipulate him. The actions of a variety of unseen people in many different castes and with varied ambitions attempt to shape Ashok’s path in ways that he does not realize. However, he must determine the right path for himself.I really enjoyed this novel! This is a story that is full of war, politics, magic, and history. Oddly, it felt like a combination of high fantasy and post-apocalyptic stories - the history of the people and the world that they have been living in for generations is seemingly at a breaking point in many different places. The cast of characters reminded me of chess board pieces or an elaborate war game. The actions that the different characters take don’t seem to be that influential until events begin to unfold. As the story progressed, I was engrossed by not only Ashok, who honestly can be a bit flat, but all the different characters. There was a diverse mix of characters from all the different castes and men and women both and they all seemed to have their own motivations and histories, giving them depth. One aspect of the novel that I really liked were the flash backs. They gave insight into the characters right when needed and this was a good way of giving backstory without just stating it.The narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds was excellent. I couldn’t put my finger on why he was such a good narrator for a while. He is able to add feeling and emotion into the most mundane sentences – it was excellent. He did a good job with voicing and tone, as well. The production quality of the novel was good. One unique aspect of this novel that I wanted to touch on was the south Asian influence in terms of names and caste system. It’s unusual to hear such names and see this influence in novels ordinarily and it was especially refreshing for me. It really would’ve been nice if the accents for the characters weren’t all in shades of European – but I can’t fault the narrator too much the novel isn’t really on Earth. Overall, I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes high fantasy with ongoing action, a complex plot and interesting characters.Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

  • Clyde
    2018-11-09 12:18

    I don't read a lot of fantasy, leaning more towards SF and crime fiction. However, I had been eyeing Son of the Black Sword as I had heard some good things about it. So, when my book club picked it as a monthly read, I decided to give it a go. I am glad I did; Larry Correia has written one kick-ass book. I quite enjoyed it.This is epic fantasy, but not the Euro-centric epic fantasy that is the norm. It has more Indian and African influence with perhaps a taste of Japanese culture thrown in. It is dark, and it is very violent. The level of violence reminded me of Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself.The main protagonist Ashok, a Protector, is a magically enhanced fighting machine. Using his ancestral black sword, Angruvada, he defeats demons and takes on entire armies of ordinary men. His implacable devotion to and merciless application of The Law has earned him the name Black Heart.Ashok's world is turned upside down when he learns a terrible truth. The perfect "Protector" that carries out orders without question has his life set on a different course.I won't get into details as that would involve spoilers. But, I'll just say that Larry Correia has created a world full of wonders. Demons, warriors, magic, shape-shifters, assassins, prophets, inquisitors, and ordinary people high and low all make their appearance. Action abounds and the plot twists under Correia's skillful writing. What's not to like?

  • Sterling
    2018-11-08 13:29

    This book wasn't completely original. At the beginning I found myself comparing it to other fantasy novels I have read recently. Their were similarities to The Mistborn series and the Red Rising series. But after I got over the similarities, which only affected my opinion at the beginning of the book, I really began to enjoy this story. The world is absolutely fascinating, their are similarities to Earth but some large differences, like 2 moons, and the characters are so fantastic. I really can't wait for book 2 to come out. Son of the Black Sword is about a world that has demons living in the seas and man living on the land. Their are classes of people similar to the medieval world but their are also non people. They are people but they are treated like cattle/property. The main character is Ashok Vadal. He is a warrior that battles demons when they dare to come on land and he upholds the law. He has a very interesting backstory that unfolds over the course of the book and he begins to have to make some difficult decisions.I really liked this book. I would highly recommend it to all fantasy fans. It started out similar to other fantasy stories but it really has a voice all its own. It is definitely worth reading. The audio is done by the great Tim Gerard Reynolds. He is always a fantastic narrator. He adds great depth and emotion to the charecters. Story 5 stars, even though it wasn't original it still deserves 5 stars. Narration 5 stars.

  • Leiland Tanner
    2018-11-05 19:17

    This year I pledged to read 35 new books and I've already smashed 21. I have been thoroughly satisfied, captured and extremely entertained by each of those 21 so far, but the king of my 2016 stack without question is Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia. I can't remember how many times I had to just sit and replay an action scene or reread the description of a demon's movements - not because it was difficult to understand - but because I wanted to imagine it again. It's like - I don't even know... but I wish I did. The book made me proud to say I'm a sucker for honor-bound heroes with haunted swords, demonic villains and magic that isn't G-rated but actually evil, political and religious turmoil and gruesomely vivid battle scene's with that new-age-Sherlock-Robert-Downey-Jr-Slow-Mo SWAG. I also can't count how many times I had to stop the tape, cover my mouth with a fist, make a stink-face and say "Daaaaaaaaaaang". I usually don't write reviews and just give stars because nobody cares about what I'm writing lets be real, but this book deserved some carne asada. If this isn't made into a Zack Snyder movie or a horrifically graphic HBO series I will be disgusted.

  • Enzo
    2018-11-11 16:33

    "Son of the Black Sword" is an excellent fantasy novel. Larry Coreia really steps up in a series introduction book. From the start the book gets its act together in a very short period of time and them keeps the reader engaged throughout. If you want action this book delivers. It really is fun to see the world building that he does but never steps off the pedal. Maybe its because Ashok is such a great character. Some characters are just easy to fall in love with, Ashok is one of them. The description of the Orders and the Castes for lack of a better word is great. But it doesn't stop there the real trouble is in the details and Coreia gets them right. Then comes the love affair with the sword. Yes, we all love Excalibur and we all really have a thing for a powerful sword.

  • Christopher
    2018-10-21 19:18

    A random pick that turned out to be a worthwhile read! This is no masterpiece nor top notch fantasy, but it's a decent epic fantasy with gray some gray main characters. The world building is great and the characters are well done. The story is solid and quite creative. While it's good in almost every sense, it does not excel in any particular point, other than a very unique back story and creative world building.Would I recommend it? Sure, if you don't have any other book currently on your "to-read". This will be a safe bet, and provide a high quality fantasy read. Ps. The author does know how to write

  • Travis sivarT
    2018-11-05 14:29

    I think this is Correia's most sophisticated writing. Proving he is more than just gun porn.

  • Kelly
    2018-10-15 12:39

    I have been looking forward to Son of the Black Sword ever since I read "The Keeper Of Names" in Baen’s Shattered Shields anthology (reviewed November last year). "The Keeper Of Names" is not only an engaging and more than competent short story, it serves as an introduction to a new venture for Larry Correia: the Saga Of The Forgotten Warrior.Son Of The Black Sword opens with Ashok Vadal, Protector of the Law, battling demons risen from the sea. Where one was reported, two appear. Ashok is gravely injured and unable to fight both. One of the demons is distracted by another man with a spear, allowing Ashok to gain the upper hand and win the fight. Both demons are killed. It is then Ashok’s duty to kill his rescuer. The man is casteless, a non-person, and the Law prohibits non-people to touch weapons. Because the casteless’ intervention surely saved Ashok’s life, he is prepared to be merciful. If the man will put down his spear and walk away, Ashok will let him live. While they argue, the casteless man’s fate is decided by one of the warrior caste.The incident serves as a brutal but compelling introduction to Correia’s world. It is also a hint of all that will follow. That one moment of compassion will change Ashok’s life.Following the battle, Ashok is summoned to appear before the Lord Protector. Though he is humble enough not to want the title of Lord Protector for himself, it is assumed it will be offered to him. Ashok is not the most senior, but he is the most feared of all the Protectors. Over nearly twenty years, he has built a reputation for being the ultimate instrument of the Law. He is offered the title and a letter. After he’s read the letter, it will be his choice to either accept the appointment or retire from the Order.When the contents of the letter expose the fallacy of his entire life, Ashok journeys to the only home he remembers and takes the Law into his own hands, setting in motion a series of events that are both unexpected and foretold. His actions put him on the wrong side of everything he believes in, but on the right side of a battle as old as time, that is between the downtrodden and their oppressors. He will become an unwitting and unwilling symbol for the casteless, for the non-persons, and a reason for them to rise up at last and take back what may rightfully be theirs.It’s difficult to write something new when creating a world of fantasy. There is a sense every story has already been told, the mythos all pieces and parts, the magic borrowed. Son Of The Black Sword manages to entice the reader with enough familiarity – an embittered warrior, a magic sword, a prophecy – while telling a story that feels fresh. A part of this is Ashok’s character. His absolute adherence to the Law, even when it betrays him, is the fulcrum of this novel. Ironically, having such a stubborn man at the centre makes the rest of the story difficult to predict because you’re unable to guess what his tipping point will be until it happens. Until then, his action and non-action both will affect all other players and plotlines.The lore here is fascinating and well told. I enjoyed learning the history of the world and the legend of Ramrowan. The politics are just complicated enough to feel real without being too difficult to follow. Where the book truly shines, however, is in the characters. All are well drawn and distinctively voiced. My favourite is Jagdish. He is the guy in the middle. A warrior of low rank and high aims. Unfortunately, every time his path crosses that of Ashok Vadal, his rank falls and his ambitions recede further into the distance. Jagdish is a good man, however, and one of the few who seem able to think outside of the caste box. I also got the feeling Correia enjoyed writing Jagdish as his chapters are full of the author’s trademark wit and humour.Being a novel of the fantastically epic variety, Son Of The Black Sword serves as the beginning of the ‘Saga Of The Forgotten Warrior’. But it does deliver a complete and satisfying tale while setting up the larger story. I’m looking forward to reading on.Reviewed for SFCrowsnest.

  • Mark
    2018-10-24 15:41

    This is probably my first three star review for a Larry Correia novel and I don't give it that rating lightheartedly. While the story is good, some of the pacing seems forced and high profile characters a little one dimensional, at least at the beginning. Most of these issues are resolved in the second half of the book but the first half is off pace due these issues. It really feels like this was written by a writer earlier in his career than Larry is at this point.Let me make clear that Ashok is a great character. I can't help but this he has a touch of Asperger's Syndrome based on knowing people in varying places on the spectrum. Once his story is revealed that feeling begins to make sense. I'm not sure Larry intended to give that impression but I think it works really well and if you know someone on the spectrum Ashok is easy to relate to.The last half of the story more than makes up for the pacing issues I found in the first half as more of the plot is revealed. I think the issue might be that too long was spent on the setup for the hook but once the hook is revealed, it sets immediately. It took me a third of the time to get through the second half as it did to get through the first half and I don't think that'll be a problem with the rest of the series. I can easily see a new genre, new world, and a new cast being the cause of the issues I saw with this and it's still almost a four star book.The ending, without giving spoilers, was what stuck this at three stars. While the conclusion of the conflict involving Ashok was nicely handled the actual end of the book seemed out of place with Devedas acting, seemingly, out of character and while it's only a chapter it seemed like the first half of the book. Even with everything I mentioned, I am still really excited for this series. Larry has created a world with breadth and depth and I am stoked to see what he does with it. While magic played only a small role in this book it seems like he knows what he's doing with the system and more will be revealed in next book and that'll always get me excited. Mind you the only reason I am disappointed to rate this one a three is because I love Larry's writing and had very high expectations going in, maybe I shouldn't do that but at the same time maybe it can't be helped.

  • John Brown
    2018-10-19 18:34

    I just finished reading Larry Correia’s Son of the Black Sword, and enjoyed it immensely.It takes memes from King Arthur’s sword, Moses, the Shaolin monks, special operations forces, ancient India, prophets, and freedom and mixes them into an epic fantasy that’s simply tremendous.It has all the action and entertainment you expect from a Correia production. There are monsters. There are battles and wonderful scenes of sword fighting. There are magic and wizards, but it’s not the magic and wizards you’ve seen before (magic from demon body parts?!) And unlike many fantasies, which revolve around the magic—discovering how it works and some chosen person growing in its power—this story revolves around matters of justice and mercy and law and truth.This isn’t a story about magic. It’s a story about a man in terrible conflict.The main character, Ashok, is not just a Lord Protector, one trained in battle to kill demons and administer death to those who break the law, he’s the most fearsome of them all. And the most pure in his devotion to the law. There’s just one problem—he finds out that he himself is a terrible affront to the law.Discovering why that is and how it occurred is part of the enjoyment, so I won’t give it away. But along with that and all the action, you’ll be transported to a new world based on the old Indian caste system with a number of twists. You’ll encounter the court intrigue found in so many fantasies. But probably what was most delicious to me was a central mystery shrouded in the ancient past and a whole cast of wonderful characters. There’s Ashok, but we also get a courageous librarian/legal assistant, a tough female boat captain, a funny black market smuggler, and a veteran soldier who wants to restore the honor that was unjustly taken from him.As a reader, I was delighted. As an author, I found many things to admire (and some to be envious of), including the fact that when you’re in the point of view of a character, you’re with that character, caring about what they care about and seeing the world through their eyes.Son of the Black Sword is a book chock-full of delights. If you like fantasy and action, I think you’ll love it. As for me, I can’t wait for the second in the series.

  • Ratseal
    2018-11-12 19:20

    This is the first eARC I have ever purchased, and if I could be certain that all the following ones would be as good as this, I would buy eARCs exclusively for the remainder of my life. Larry is best known for his Monster Hunter and Grimnoir series, which are quite different from SotBS, both in tone, pacing and character development. The principle commonality that those series have with this one (so far - this is only the first novel) is that Larry proves yet again that he can write action, whether it is sorcerers slinging magic, private eyes slinging lead or warriors swinging a sword. He has created an interesting and complex world, featuring elements of familiar social constructs (rigid caste systems, oligarchy) with the unfamiliar (humans can't use the ocean, and hate it). I was reminded of the society described by Heinlein's protagonist Baslim the Cripple in Citizen of the Galaxy. As a beggar he had status, low status to be sure, but status none the less. Everyone knew where they belonged. He taught his protege, a slave, how to navigate the structure safely and profitably. This book explores what happens when the fundamental beliefs that uphold that structure are upended. Even more interesting, the plot compels a former enforcer of the structure to navigate the structure as the lowest caste person possible. I saw a little similarity with works such as Logan's Run, but that is incidental - Larry doesn't borrow from that work directly. The flavor of the book is not unlike Butcher's Codex Alera series, which isn't surprising since Larry is an admitted fan of Butcher. My quibbles are few. He hasn't really opened up any characters beyond the central player, yet. He killed off a couple promising prospects (no specifics). To end on a positive note, Larry leaves the character and his reader in the lurch - you will want to come back for more.

  • RC1140
    2018-11-05 14:31

    Overall feelings on this book were really good, the book kept me constantly engagedand presented a reasonably different yet somehow relatable world. I was quite happyto see that the magic in this book is not simply just talked about, it is executedrather well and does not feel overly abused (i.e. simply to make the story move forward).Having read other books by this author I was initially not expecting such a deepand engaging book. As such I was left quite amazed at the style of writing presentedin the book, starting the book off with a very strong hero figure and then maintaininghis power is something that is not easily done in a fantasy world. The nature of thehero in the story is also quite odd, yes interesting to follow. His stubborn natureseems odd at first but definitely fits in with the overarching story in the end.I was originally a bit wary of how often new characters were being introduced intothe story but when you realize that this is the first book of a long series it makessense. This is simply laying out the various story pieces and moving them into placeso that when required all the leg work has been completed already.There was not much that I did not like about the book except its really sudden ending.I cant explain just how much I was enjoying it, when it felt like the story just endedand was quickly wrapped up (not in the best way either). Thankfully it doesn't havethe worst cliffhanger ending in that you can see the path the larger story may be following,but you will be left wanting more (sadly at the time of writing this the other bookshave not yet been published).With all this in mind I would easily recommend this book to readers of the fantasy genre.Though possibly wait until at least one or two more books are out.

  • Felix
    2018-10-14 15:23

    A man of justice is played as a pawn to overthrow an empire. This is a beginning foundation of a great tale! Loaded with action and turmoil. Has a feudal Japan social system where poor are beast of burden & non existent and the rich are divine. Will the protector of the rich become the savior of the poor? (Action-Japanese Oni's & a fallen hero/anti hero)

  • Erik Johnson
    2018-11-04 13:41

    What a ride....Never expected the twist.

  • David
    2018-10-27 12:16

    Larry Correia is better known for his Grimnoire and Monster Hunter series, which feature superheroes or nearly-superheroes and lots and lots and lots of guns in violent, action packed, sometimes cheesy adventures reminiscent of the golden age of pulp fiction. Fairly intricate worldbuilding but not much depth in characters or dialog.With Son of the Black Sword, he's branching out into epic fantasy. And it's much like his other series - his heroes are pretty nearly superhuman, and always unambiguously good, and they spend most of the book chewing up bad guys in bloody battles involving massive firepower, except instead of guns, now we have magical black swords and a bit of sorcery.Ashok Vadal, the hero of our story, is a Protector in a medieval society that, while embellished with a bit of Asian flavor in the names and some of the customs, still resembles Europe more than any non-Western society. Yes, there is a rigid caste system, including an entire population of "Nameless" who are basically Untouchables who can be abused and killed at will, and much of the tension in the book comes from Ashok's realization that the law and justice are not the same thing, after events force him to question the unquestionable beliefs of his own caste. But aside from that, the setting is still basically a castle-and-tavern world of merchants, sages, warriors, assassins, sorcerers - nothing you wouldn't find in an 80s-era AD&D worldbook.Which is not to say it's not fun to read about, and the adventures of Ashok the unbeatable Protector move right along from one battle to another. I liked this book well enough and will probably read the next in the series. I just didn't find it all that original and I think I like Correia's Grimnoir series better. In Son of the Black Sword, even though Ashok is faced with many challenges, physical and moral, there is never any doubt about the outcome. The book starts with him single-handedly taking on two giant sea demons, supposedly a challenge rarely faced in history, and he makes short work of them, so when he fights the demonic Big Bad at the end of the book, the author's attempt to make this seem like a challenge and not a foregone conclusion fails.One twist in the setting is the absence of gods - in fact, religion has been basically outlawed. Until we learn that Ashok is a "chosen one" and there are some heavy hints that he's going to discover a monotheistic God and that Correia might be going for some sort of C.S. Lewis-style revelation later in the series.This was a 3.5 star book, perfectly fine if you are a fan of epic fantasy, or of Correia's work in general, but it had a lot of the "gamey-ness" of Brandon Sanderson's settings while Correia's writing isn't quite up to Sanderson's level.

  • Gillian Murrell
    2018-10-26 19:41

    This was my first Larry Coreia book and I must say I really enjoyed it. This would be an excellent book for some one starting to read epic fantasy as it such and easy book to read you don't have to deal with lots of complicated names that all sound very similar. Ashok Vadal is such a likeable character, he believes he is doing the right thing all the time, even when he finds out his whole life is a lie. There is obviously a lot more etc come in this saga. Larry has eased us into the world building just wetting our appetite to know more, not once was I left with the feeling of confusion and having to wait for more information before the fog to cleared. Every time the "castless" were referred to as no human I could feel my hackles rise. I look forward to reading the rest of the saga.

  • The Captain
    2018-10-14 15:24

    Ahoy there mateys! Thought I would take a break from the e-Arc extravaganza. Though the first mate and I have very different reading tastes, occasionally we do recommend books to each other. Books the first mate introduced to me included xom-b, holes, and the perks of being a wallflower. He and I both read this one.We were talking about the book and I enjoyed his viewpoint so I ordered him to write a review. So you get one from me and a bonus additional review from me crew. Please note that I write like I talk and the first mate writes like he thinks. Hope you enjoy!From the Captain:This was a recommendation by me first mate. A fun time was had reading this book. There is a sentient sword that I adore. Even if it has a funny name. Everyone wants to own this sword, but: beware making the choice to pick it up. The sword chooses who will wield it, and the consequences tend to be bloody and unfortunate for those not worthy.Ashok Vadal is the main character. He starts out as a seemingly simplistic character that embodies the Law. However, the Law is not as it seems and is more complicated than expected. Ashok is probably one of the weirdest characters I have read about in terms of his world view and motivations. This is part of what makes him awesome. His choices get harder and harder throughout the book and how and why he chooses what to do is some of the best parts of the book.Ashok has a complicated relationship with Devedas, his best friend. Devedas was another highlight of the book. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? Only time will tell. Devedas has a sad past, is ambitious, and is subject to envy. Reading his perspective is a fun counterpoint to Ashok.The bad guy priest is sort of stereotypical. I also found the assassins to be an annoying group with an interesting premise. However I still enjoyed this book. In particular, I liked the magic system. Oh and there is a cool librarian, so bonus for that. A fluff book with a little bit of depth. I will certainly read the next in the series.From the First Mate:Having greatly enjoyed Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series and mostly enjoyed his first foray into high fantasy (Into the Storm), I approached Son of the Black Sword with somewhat mixed feelings. On the one hand, I rather like his writing style and am always eager to read more of the writers whose work I enjoy. On the other, outside of the Monster Hunter series, Correia’s work hasn’t really grabbed me.Son of the Black Sword, much like Into the Storm before it, is an enjoyable tale that is somewhat hampered by the ever present desire on this reader’s part to ponder its endless influences. Like many a reader, I couldn’t quite stop seeing Ashok as a Judge Dredd knock-off almost to the point of expecting him to cry out “I am the LAW” at more than a few moments. The presence of the Swords and their possible origins reminded me so very much of Fred Saberhagen’s trilogy about world-changing swords. The Inquisitors have many parallels in fantasy, but it was the Mord-siths from Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule that seemed the most apt comparison, what with the special ceremonial attire and hyper specific and grotesque social role. And on and on.Regardless of from where Correia may have drawn various inspirations, the story and the characters are interesting and entertaining. Our good guys are quite likable and our villains are despicable. We even get a few shades-of-grey characters who are well drawn. Where the novel disappoints is only in comparison to Correia’s better work. Son of the Black Sword works through many standard high fantasy tropes but never quite deconstructs nor spins them in a way that would elevate the work to something other than a well-written run-of-the-mill high fantasy novel. Very enjoyable as long as you’re not expecting any new ground to be broken.After reading the novel, though, I knew I had to recommend it to the Captain. Why, you may ask? Well, any novel that uses “saltwater” as a curse surely will make the Captain smile.If ye liked this review, check out me others at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...

  • Gareth Otton
    2018-10-26 13:42

    I was incredibly interested in reading this book. I have been impressed with both the Monster Hunter books and the Grimnoir Chronicles so I was interested in seeing what Larry Correia could do when he was turned loose on epic fantasy. I am not disappointed... but that's not without caveats.Son of the Black Sword is the story of Ashok, a magical fighter who's sole purpose in life is to dispense justice. With his magical sword that has the memories of countless generations of warriors, he is a one man army. However, somewhere in his past is a secret that when revealed will set off a chain of events that could very well change the world. This book is everything I enjoy in a good epic fantasy. The stakes are high, the action plentiful and the story is well told. It is an enjoyable book from start to finish and a great start to this series. However, that being said it wasn't what I was expecting. Larry Correia has surprised me in the past with both of his series. MHI looks like a very familiar urban fantasy until you actually read it and find out that its not just a lot of fun but has a fascinating, overarching story as well. The Grimnoir chronicles was equally surprising as it was not what it seemed by the blurb but instead so much more. Therefore, when I started reading this book I was expecting the same. From reading the blurb I was expecting an epic fantasy and from my knowledge of Larry Correia I was expecting something to take it beyond that and make it his own... only that never happened. Don't get me wrong, this is excellent epic fantasy but there is nothing really new or different about it.Everything in this novel I have seen many times before. The story is well told and the familiar elements have been arranged to create a story that is new enough that I want to keep reading, but there isn't that hint of originality that would turn this into a 5 star book. I have been spoiled for epic fantasy in recent years by authors such as Brandon Sanderson who have proved that the genre still has a lot of originality to give. I'm therefore a little disappointed that this book was lacking such originality. Sentient swords, the chosen one and a post apocalyptic worlds have all been done before and that's a shame. However, this is not nearly enough to diminish my enjoyment of this book more than one star. It was fast paced with lots of action, an interesting story and good characters so there really isn't much to dislike. This is a familiar epic fantasy that is better than most so I highly recommend it.