Creiton’s Sword is an enjoyable novel illustrating a slice of one man’s life as medieval military man. Baird does an excellent job of putting the reader in the drudging life of Bryant, the protagonist of this satisfying first novel. There is little in the way of magic, but the sprinkling that is there is handled well. While not an integral part of the story, the magic did not seem contrived either. If I had to compare the novel to anything I’ve read, I would say this novel most closely has the feel of Glen Cook’s Black Company books.
The novel’s strengths included Bryant’s character development throughout the novel, the character of Duke Creiton and the intensely drawn battle scenes. Baird did an excellent job of putting the reader on the field of battle every time Bryant and his compatriots were embroiled in the various battles and fights that took place throughout the story. Duke Creiton was an admirable character, a noble who stood with his troops on the field of battle. Creiton was the father figure Bryant needed in his life since his real father was nothing to look up to. I enjoyed reading Bryant’s growth from a quiet member of Benbrook’s group to Creiton’s trusted Sword.
Even before he was a soldier, Bryant led a difficult life with an abusive alcoholic father and a brother who died far too young. Creiton was the father figure Bryant needed in his life since his real father was nothing to look up to and his only other male role model was his deceased brother Michael. Bryant’s father drove him away from his domineering house to the harsh, yet more structured life of a soldier. From Bryant’s days as a member of Captain Benbrook’s retinue until he was taken as one of Creiton’s Swords, Bryant grew through the hardships he endured, losing friends and constantly being uprooted as well as the responsibilities thrust upon him.
The novel ended with a sense of closure, but Baird can easily return to Bryant’s world and tell of further adventures. I for one would readily pick up the books.Reviewed by Rob H. Bedford