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The Cutting Edge (A Handful of Men, #1)
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The Cutting Edge

(A Handful of Men #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,062 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Beautiful Queen Inos married the loyal stableboy Rap and made him her king. They were very much in love, and they lived happily ever after.

Fifteen years went by Rap and Inos were comfortable, secure, and truly happy, raising their family in the little backwater kingdom of Krasnegar, well removed from the hurly-burly of great affairs...

But in far-off Hub, the old Imperor's
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published February 22nd 1993 by Del Rey (first published 1992)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,062 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017

First review of 2017 and a return for me to my comfort zone : traditional fantasy with elves, dwarves, pixies, fauns, jhotuns (vikings), orcs, dragons, warlocks and emperors. Adventure, humour, danger, romance, friendship, quests, a whole world to explore, terrible magic to be brought under control, prophecies of doom and stable boys in love with king's daughters. Dave Duncan is rising up through the ranks of my favorite writers with his engaging characters, his wit, his superb worldbuilding and
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
3.75 stars for this book. This fantasy series picks up 15 years after the forerunner series A Man of His Word, which ended happily enough for all the good guys with Emperor and Clown.

The new Millenium is looming large when all hell breaks loose in Pandemia, partly because of some decisions Rap made when he was a 5-word sorcerer. This follow-up series is richer and darker, and some known characters behave differently than I grew to expect in the first series. Granted, people change, and the worl
Leon Aldrich
Book #1 in a "Handful of Men"

This four book continues after "A Man of His Word."

The great adventure had ended happily. The good folk of Krasnegar discovered that a beautiful princess could, indeed, succeed her royal father and rule in her own right, and rule very well, too. And when Queen Inos married Rap, the former stableboy, he turned out to be a very good king. He never admitted that he was a sorcerer, and everyone knew that Rap was a Man of His Word, so that was all right. The years passed.
Preston DuBose
The good: Memorable, interesting characters and (to a lesser extent) plot.

The meh: Too many characters for my taste, spread across the setting and not interacting with one another in the least. The plot bounced from one group to the next. Presumably they'll all get together at some point, but not in this book.

The bad: The vast majority of the book is setup with very little payoff. I know the trend in fantasy these days is for epic series but writers seem to have lost the ability, or at least the
Sean Helms
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story caught me up from the very beginning with Ylo, a young man of influential family set to have a wonderful entitled life. His fall and rise were my favorite parts of the book, but there are other remarkable characters involved to push the story ahead as the empire is poised on the brink of destruction. I look forward to reading the other books of this series.
Jun 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Genre: High Fantasy

This is the first in the _A Handful of Men_ series, which is a sequel series to the _A Man of His Word_ series. It's set 15 years later, and while many of the cast of characters is familiar, they are now the "older" generation, while their kids are the teenagers full of daring-do. Unfortunately, as time would have it, the "older" characters from the first series are too old to actively participate or have already passed on.

The premise is that during Rap's justice-for-all and h
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, fantasy
So I read the first series, A Man of his Word, many, many years ago, but never did get around to reading the second series, for the simple reason that I was unable to get hold of three of the five books! That has finally been rectified (with the exception of the final book, but if it comes to it, it's available in Kindle format in an emergency, lol), so after first re-reading the original series, I finally got to start on A Handful of Men, with The Cutting Edge being book one.

Initially it was a
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, fantasy
Had tot dus ver niets eerder gelezen van deze schrijver, dus nieuwsgierig naar hoe de boeken zouden zijn. Pas laat in het boek kwam ik er achter dat dit deze trilogie een vervolg was op een eerdere , dus van een aantal dingen werd je geacht op de hoogte te zijn. Niet dus.

Een van de mooiste momenten was hoe de kinderen Gath en Kadie door kapitein Efflio werden opgepikt uit zee.

Het uitgangspunt van dit boek is dat Rap een grote fout heeft gemaakt dat het machtsevenwicht in de wereld omgooide. Pas
Pawel Olas
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is actually not a bad book. It starts however in a very crude way and reads more like a bunch of notes for a book than the actual thing. Either I got used to it or it got better later.
The biggest flaw of it is that it assumes I still remember the previous trilogy. I didn't know it was a continuation and had only a vague memory of the other series. There are a lot of places in the book that feel like I should get some underlying meaning or a joke and I assume they refer to prior knowledge of
Sean Randall
Nov 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
though this book takes place a solid decade and a half after the climactic events of Emperor and Clown, there's no slackening of the pace. Because it's been so long (I finished it in June) it took me a little while to get back in the saddle.

But when mounted up and flipping the pages like a good 'un, as it were - the characters spring to life once more and deadly consequences arise from previously positive-seeming actions. Though The Blades are Duncan's masters in my mind, this world is trotting
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding novel of the world of Pandemia. After a fifteen year interlude, the story picks up with the aftershocks of Rap's "defeat" of Zinixo.

Best scene: the introduction of Kadie and Gath picked up asea by Captain Efflio.

His continuing use of apt poetry at the conclusion of chapters is right on the money.

Duncan's characterizations continue to be very well done. Being the 5th book in the Pandemia world, he moves the story along like a music conductor.

Very good. Read it. Helps if you have r
Stephen Graham
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
First part of the sequel series to A Man of His Word. Done with Duncan's usual solid world-building but with the usual flaws of the first of a multi-volume work. Things are set up to go to hell in the next few books. New characters are established, most particularly the pixies, though their narrative threads do not necessarily go anywhere within the confines of the novel. Ideally, the first novel in a series should be stand-alone. This is more the first part of a long novel, though well done and ...more
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deel 1. van een reeks van 3. Ik heb alleen deel 1 en deel 2 gelezen. Ik heb het toentertijd 4 sterren gegeven, maar wat ik me er nog van herinner is dat er veel oorlogen in voorkwamen, de trollen tegen de mensen en andere wezens, dat is niet echt mijn ding. Maar ik weet dat er nog een personage in voorkwam die mij deed besluiten om verder te lezen. Tja alleen tot deel 2. Deel 3. heb ik nog wel liggen, maar dan maar weer eerst deel 1 en deel 2 lezen.
Jeanine Launay
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even better than the first series

Rap is back, Shandie is grown and the world is in peril. If you liked the first series this one is better. It expands on the world, which I feel makes it easier to follow. The first time around I was still trying to wrap my head around who was where and controlled what, now the tale is much easier to follow. More pixies, more hub and Rap is a happy man, what's there not to love.
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Adventures galore in this series by Dave Duncan but even more, the characters are so fleshed out as to seem like people you know. You fall in love or hate with them and can't wait to see what will happen next to them. You also miss them terribly when they're gone. There are some favorites from previous series, like Rap & Queen Insolan. Follow them as they attempt to save the Impire while safeguarding their own kingdom and family.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I think my big problem with this book is that I haven't previously read Duncan's "A Man of His Word" series. The book picks up with a lot of those characters and all I had was references to their previous adventures. Plus, overall, not much seems to happen in the book. It's all basic setup for the future books.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Certainly a good book and a good continuation of the story in that particular world. Ended more like a chapter and left me expecting more on the next page. Good thing it's the first of three in the series.
Maddy S
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ron Judenberg
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2015 added it
Didn't finish it. lost the book. lol.
Oct 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Weak. I skimmed a lot.
Brian Earnest
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Originally from Scotland, Dave Duncan lived all his adult life in Western Canada, having enjoyed a long career as a petroleum geologist before taking up writing. Since discovering that imaginary worlds were more satisfying than the real one, he published more than 60 novels, mostly in the fantasy genre, but also young adult, science fiction, and historical.

He wrote at times under the pseudonym Sa

Other books in the series

A Handful of Men (4 books)
  • Upland Outlaws (A Handful of Men, #2)
  • The Stricken Field (A Handful of Men, #3)
  • The Living God (A Handful of Men, #4)
“And as for recreation, variety was a large part of it. Why sing the same song every night when there were so many beautiful melodies around to try? Of” 1 likes
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