Saints of the Sword, The by John Marco

John Marco should be very proud of himself. The concluding volume of his Tyrants and Kings trilogy was a wonderful read and satisfying conclusion to one of the finest sequences in recent fantasy literature. The Saints of the Sword maintained the high quality of the previous two novels in the series.

The action of the battles and interactions of the characters were superbly drawn. One of the themes that came up in this concluding volume was the notion that people can change; redeem themselves. The Emperor Biagio was cast as one of the main villains in the previous two novels, but throughout The Saints of the Sword, Biaigio constantly tried to prove that he was a changed man. He made apologies for his previous dastardly acts and was truthful in Saints, something he was not in previous volumes. Biaigo is a reformed drug user, something that touches upon one of the problems of society today. Herein, Mr. Marco has tied a notion in the fantastic setting with a real world issue, lending credence and believability to his characters and their story.

The character or Richius Vantran, who was the primary character in the previous books takes a step back as a secondary, yet very important character. The series began with Richius’s tale, and while not as primary a character in this novel, the story ends with the resolution of his initial struggle. The perspective change of Richius as primary character from the earlier volumes and almost a living legend in this volume was enjoyable.

The battle of Aramoor, was written as if John Marco was cribbing notes from the field of battle. I could hear in my mind the swords and axes clashing, the hooves of the horses and the latapi and the shouts and screams of men in battle. My adrenaline was pumping, I did not want this book to end.

The cast of characters was sizeable, but not overwhelming, there were new characters playing big parts such as Alazarian and returning characters such as Jelena. Mr. Marco balance everything expertly, the drama, the passion and the war. Occasional bits of humor helped to highlight Mr. Marco’s deftness at showing the humanity in a fantastic story of magic, war and fantasy.

In conclusion, both the book and the entire series are satisfyingly well worth the read. Can’t wait for Mr. Marco’s next book The Eyes of God.

Reviewed by Rob H. Bedford

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