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.