The Sword to Unite

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The Sword to UniteThe Sword to Unite by Peter Hopkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cedric is the young Lord of Orford, a minor noble who inherited rule of a small village in the land of Lorine. Untested in battle, Cedric is restless, unsure of his path through life and of the legacy he might leave for the future. Recently, to add to his unease, Cedric has been subject to bouts of prescience although he believes these to only be troubling nightmares.

During a village festival, an old friend, Edward returns after a long journey bearing among his possessions an ancient and obscure book. When the village comes under attack Edward is killed and only the strange book is taken. In that instant, Cedric finds his nightmares are made real and feet are set on a path of revenge and discovery.

The Sword to Unite follows the standard for Epic Fantasy. While one can easily see the influences of the Arthurian Legend, this is not simply an alternative or derivative vision. Instead, it might best be categorized as a basis or source for the legend. It has the feel of an earlier local tale of which parts would later influence or find their way into the legend of The Sword in the Stone.

The story itself is a simple one, interesting and entertaining but there are sections which are very difficult to read due to the occasional awkward sentence and paragraph structure. These serve to take the reader “out of the story” for a while. One such construct occurs in the first chapter. “Cedric’s family, the house Thorne, on their tapestry a weaving of legend dating back to his great-grandfather, Edric the Marksman.” Later you find “A servant of the king, adorned in the traditional garb of the north, a long tan cloak covering a purple tunic, the color of nobility.” You find yourself re-reading the passage in order to make sense of it. Other than these ‘partial sentences’, which are sprinkled throughout the book, this is an enjoyable read and a laudable first effort. I look forward to subsequent works from this author.

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