By Dave Duncan

As undesirable and rebellious boys, they locate safe haven in Ironhall....Years later they turn out to be the best swordsmen within the realm—A magical ritual of a sword in the course of the center binds every one to his ward—if now not the king himself, then to whomever else the monarch designates—with absolute loyalty.And the best Blade of all of them was—and is—Sir Durendal. yet a lifelong dream of shielding his cherished liege from enemies, traitors, and monsters is dashed to bits while Durendal is bonded until eventually demise to an effete noble fop at his king's orders. but future has many unusual and inscrutable plans for the younger knight—for a venture, a competition, and, might be, a treasure anticipate him in a far off land. yet he quickly reveals himself enmeshed in treason and foul intrigues, forced to betray the king he had was hoping to serve. The Blades have how one can safeguard their very own, yet loss of life and insanity hang-out the trail to salvation—and few ever go back unscathed. As undesirable and rebellious boys, they locate safe haven in Ironhall....Years later they become the best swordsmen within the realm—A magical ritual of a sword in the course of the middle binds each one to his ward—if no longer the king himself, then to whomever else the monarch designates—with absolute loyalty. And the best Blade of all of them was—and is—Sir Durendal. yet a lifelong dream of protcting his loved liege from enemies, traitors, and monsters is dashed to bits while Durendal is bonded until eventually demise to an effete noble fop at his king's orders. but future has many unusual and inscrutable plans for the younger knight—for a project, a competition, and, might be, a treasure look forward to him in a far off land. yet he quickly unearths himself enmeshed in treasonand foul intrigues, forced to betray the king he had was hoping to serve. The Blades have how one can safeguard their very own, yet loss of life and insanity hang-out the trail to salvation—and few ever go back unscathed.

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Additional info for The Gilded Chain:: A Tale of the King's Blades

Sample text

Surely very few monarchs would shed their dignity so willingly just to play childish games with a band of guards. But it was with this kind of understanding that a great man inspired unquestioning loyalty among his followers. Stripped to the waist, the contestants raised foils in salute. Durendal scuffed his feet in the sawdust to test the footing. ” cried Ambrose IV, King of Chivial and Nostrimia, Prince of Nythia, Lord of the Three Seas, Fount of Justice, and so on, who was large and sweaty, with too much fat under his skin and a pelt of tawny hair outside it.

The conjurers blamed such failures on mistakes in the ritual, but Durendal had witnessed a hundred bindings now and was certain he would have noticed any 28 / DAVE DUNCAN deviation from standard procedure. He assumed the problem had been lack of will. Harvest had been reluctant to serve, Nutting skeptical and indifferent. Harvest had distrusted his own ability, while Nutting had wanted a Blade as a plume in his hat to flaunt around the court, not as a vital defender. Two unenthusiastic principals had combined to create disaster.

If it kept the children happy, Sir Durendal could smile tolerantly. It had been the sopranos who had hung that name on him and he had turned the tables on them by keeping it. Master of Rapiers was next to rise up on his hind legs. “…not true that he could beat me on his second day in Ironhall. Absolute nonsense! ” More howls of mirth. It had been two years, and three before Durendal had been able to do it consistently. He sipped his wine—and almost choked. ” he whispered. Master of Sabers chuckled as if he had been waiting for that.

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