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Title: The Reluctant Swordsman
Series: The Seventh Sword #1
Author: Dave Duncan
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
Wallie dies. The End.
Ok, not really. In fact, he wakes up in the body of a magnificent warrior who is a Seventh Sword, the highest rank possible. He also wakes up into the middle of a power struggle between corrupt warriors, priests and some “gods”. Specifically, Wallie has been chose by a goddess to be the divine instrument of her will in the current game.
Forced to recognize that he is in a different world, in a different body and that the gods are real, Wallie must play along or die.
This had the same fingerprints as Duncan’s The Great Game trilogy. As such, there is a lot of mocking of religion in general and very not-subtle jabs at Christianity. This type of thing might not bother you at all, so your mileage is definitely going to vary from mine.
The story was great, the setup very good, the action was fast and furious and overall I really enjoyed my read.
But just like going on a picnic in a beautiful field with my wife, if I place the blanket over an ants’ nest, those little buggers are going to bite me and cause some annoyance and that’s what I’ll remember instead of the good time I had. Duncan’s jabs were like little pin pricks and it made it very hard to just sit there and enjoy my time. I’ve read enough of Duncan’s various works to know that he doesn’t always take potshots at religion and I’ve truly enjoyed those books. Therefore, it’s deliberate on his part and that just makes it all the more unpleasant.
I’m going to give the second book a chance when I cycle around to it, but if it has the same smug dismissive attitude as this one, I’ll be stopping there.