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Oath of Swords

(War God #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,398 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Whom the gods would recruit, they first tick off...

Our Hero: The unlikely Paladin, Bahzell Bahnakson of the Horse Stealer Hradani. He's no knight in shining armor. He's a hradani, a race known for their uncontrollable rages, bloodthirsty tendencies, and inability to maintain civilized conduct. None of the other Five Races of man like the hradani. Besides his ethnic burden,
Paperback, 576 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Baen (first published February 1995)
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Dave Rhoden Not this one.. but the rest of the series does. There are cool, competent women but this book is about the main hero and his sidekick (Who in some…moreNot this one.. but the rest of the series does. There are cool, competent women but this book is about the main hero and his sidekick (Who in some other series would be the main hero.)(less)

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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,398 ratings  ·  166 reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is an excellent read, excellent brain candy. I mean if you want to look you can find some actual content to this story to go along with the brain candy. There's a take on racism, a look at religious practice, lots of other small inserted points. But if that worries you don't let it. I f you just want some escapism this is an excellent, even a fun story.

We open up here meeting out hero, a reluctant hero at that and then there's the powers who want to make him a reluctant paladin.

Really embar
Snarktastic Sonja
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed
I unabashedly love this book *and* our hero, Bahzell Bahnakson. I suppose it has standard fantasy tropes – good gods/bad gods good guys/bad guys – but they are tropes for a reason. They work.

It is fascinating to go back and read the description after having finished the book – Bahzell doesn’t want to mess with the problems of others as he has enough of his own . . . Yet, the book begins as he gets himself into deep doodoo because he jumped in to help a young lady who was being ravaged by the roy
Sharon Michael
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent beginning to a swords and sorcery series I somehow missed reading before, by one of my favorite authors. Not necessarily a bad thing, as I'm making the assumption with four books written, it is a completed series now and they were written 4, 6 and 7 years apart respectively. I suspect that much of a gap between books in a series would have irritated me a lot.
First book in a great series, with wonderful characters. Bahzell Bahnakson is a hradani, a race that have terrible tempers, and generally are ostracized by the other races. Not exactly what one would consider a good candidate for a hero... 7/18/17 re-read, still superb. 2019 re-read: Free at Baen:
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I am a total sucker for traditional fantasy! I loved it, just as was expected. Also, love the protagonist's race - I can see those ears as they express every emotion... Love it:)
Nov 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy, fantasy
The world of Orfressa is a fascinating place. Our main character is Bahzell Bahnakson, a hridani, which is the most despised races of men. He is not who you would think a god would choose as their champion--he would tell you this himself.

That is one reason why this story is so compelling. Bahzell fights against what the god wants, and it really sets everything up for great character growth, and his companion is a good foil to him. The adventure is interesting and unpredictable, but not in an "ok
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As heroic fantasy's go, Oath of Swords just might be my favorite. I love it in a way that's a little sad, to be honest. It's fun, it's got lots of action, and it takes on moral questions in a way that adds to the story. It probably has flaws but I'm way to far gone to see them.
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy
David Weber is famous for his Honor Harrington science fiction/space opera series, and not every author can do fantasy and sci fi successfully.

David Weber, however, most certainly can.

If you are expecting something like Honor Harrington, but with more swords (OK, not that many more swords) but fewer spaceships, forget it. Oath of Swords is something else entirely. This is a funny, observant romp of a traditional swords-and-sorcery fantasy novel.

In Weber's fantasy world, there are five 'races of
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Quite a lovely fantasy title. I've been a fan of David Weber's Honor Harrington science fiction titles, and was rather curious to see how he'd show his hand at high fantasy.

Fortunately, I'm happy to say that the "Oath of Swords" series is very, very, good, and was even more enjoyable than 'Honor Harrington' titles. One thing I found interesting is that the "Oath of Swords" series is remarkably similar to the "Honor Harrington" series -- both have a central protagonist that must deal with xenoph
Kelly Flanagan
Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Most books I find i haven't alot to say about once their said and done. I read them they ere either above or below my original opinion, and that's that.
Once every, 10 books or so, which is about once every 1-2 months, so it's far less rare than I expected, but I find myself actually wanting to say something about the book.
This book, and therefore the series in general I believe- since starting the second in the series and finding it to be of similar writing style.
Anyways, to the point... The th
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: baen-free, fantasy
Hey, I didn't know Weber wrote D&D Novels! ;)

OK, not Quite D&D, but it may as well be. A traditional castles and swords tale, populated with all the usual suspects: humans, dwarves, elves, and halflings; an ancient and inscrutable wizard, a small population of "magi," and whole pantheon of gods both dark and light. The only unique bit are the "hradani," a race of near giants (our hero is 7 1/2 ft tall) with big fox-like ears, super-strength and endurance, and a tendency to go into a hom
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
As War Maid's Choice earc was published I reread the first 3 Bazhell books first and this one wore the worst reading today as a clumsy attempt to do fantasy that does not know what it wants to be - laugh out humor or take it serious stuff; very silly naming to boot and this is one of DW's weakest novels ever
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Made it about 150 pages in. It's pretty standard cliche' fantasy fiction that rambles on with long descriptions, but the author has no great skill at either the descriptions, dialog, or characters. I can't recommend it particularly. I can't say it's the worst thing ever either, just standard fantasy tropes stacked on more tropes with very little spice.
Ian Hall
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I got it free off of amazon, so I was not expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised. The book was well written, had a good main character and secondary characters, and a bad guy you could hate. The story was easy to follow from the beginning. I will be buying the second book and I look forward to reading it.
3.5 stars

A very enjoyable read and a very likeable main character but I won't be reading the following books of this series. Too much religious knick-knack religion for my taste (Gods' interference start late in this book though which is why it didn't bother me too much).
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A welcome fantasy change from Weber's science fiction, this fun novel has a likable antihero, a Horse Stealer Hradani known for uncontrollable rages, who ends up trying to thwart an evil plot by being chosen by the War God.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the War God series by David Weber. David Weber writes a wide range of genres but his best known work is the Honor Harrington Military Science Fiction series. Having read all of Weber's Honor Harrington books as well as most of his other Space Opera/Military Science Fiction books, I wasn't surprised by how good his fantasy turned out. David Weber's skill at military science fiction melds very well into this fantasy novel. I love David Weber in general, and this book was ...more
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Ok so this book, for me, was a little bit of a letdown. It was a slowish start and then it hit a stride that was going somewhere nice. It’s subjective, I know... but hen it slumped again. So the cool part was maybe a 4-Star for me, but the rest was 3-Star.

To be more specific:
I don’t mind a slow build at all. It was a little predictable but still solid.
When he started taking about the conflict between wizards and magi, the history of the blah-bidi-blah a millennia ago... that was cool. It felt li
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
I finally finished after a break of many months and many books. I'm glad I finished and I thought the story was worthwhile. There are several writing style things that really drove me nuts. The biggest is that the hradani's ears do a lot. It's not unusual to read more than 3 instances on a single page of ears twiching, flattening, pricking, drooping, etc. It's tedious and yet really irritating.
This was a really "busy" book that I would have liked better if it was simpler. There were do-gooders,
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
TITLE: Oath of Swords
WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: It was recommended by a colleague
REVIEW: Fantasy is one of my favorite genres second behind mystery. Like all genres there are staples which if overdone could make a story stale. I need either a unique angel or an emotional connection to the characters. This story provided neither. The main character, Bazhell, is a good man and an amazing fighter. I didn't want to see him killed but I did not care about him that much. He was kind of bland. The story is
Pye Josephus Joestar
pretty good book. I enjoyed a lot of world building in this book and the characters were pretty awesome and easily likeable but there definetly were a lot of part i just skimmed due to over description. the main character could be walking a long a road and having a conversation then suddenly the coversation is cut off with the characters thought and descriptions of how he was looking at the other person he was speaking to, by the time I was done reading the personal thoughts and descriptions i h ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was supposed to read the new C. J. Cherryh, but then I found David Weber (I knew about him in a round about 'Oh, I heard of him’ way, but never read stuff of his) and got hooked.

I have been reading this one for about three days now (in hourly doses, mind) and… I am officially in love with Bazhell. The world of Norfressa is so rich in detail, the characters are well formed and constantly evolving. And the gods in their meddling ways are hilarious. I can’t wait to read what’s next. And there are
Rob Wilensky
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I could not finish this book. There is something about the writing style that I just couldn't get over. I thought the characters and dialogue were forced, cliche and unlikable. I made it about 1/3 through the book before I decided it wasn't worth the effort. If others had a similar reaction, and the book does a 180 later in the story, then let me know...otherwise, Au revoir.
Adena Lee
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you read the blurb for this book? "Whom the gods would recruit, they first tick off . . ." I read that on the back of the paperback and immediately bought the book. I do not regret that impulse - this story is THAT good. Poor Bahzell - he is too heroic for his own good (no matter what he says he is).
Byron Smith
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I couldn’t finish it. I wish I could. I made it through about 50% of the book. The book has good character development but lack luster, unoriginal plot with grammatical errors. There are too many good books out there to read. I may pick it up again, but I doubt it.
Keziah Cannon
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious book. Enough politics and philosophy to prevent it being complete fluff and enough realistic situations to teach me a few things, but plenty of action and quips to keep things interesting. Definitely reading the next one.
michael hooper
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it

I love this series and have read it several times and still enjoy it. I hope that he writes more about the adventures. Fast paced page turner with interesting characters that you can instantly root for
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed because there are so many positive reviews. The main character was tedious (I get it - he's stubborn), there was a lot of gratuitous sexual violence or the threat of it, and I wasn't impressed with the world he created.
Elizabeth Rebecca Shaw
An okay fantasy book about a fantastic warrior, his friends, gods and his enemies. This book is nothing like his Honor Harrington books. Some good parts and characters but nothing I haven't really seen elsewhere.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love weber's space adventures more but this was a fun side diversion.
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David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name

Other books in the series

War God (5 books)
  • The War God's Own (War God, #2)
  • Wind Rider's Oath (War God, #3)
  • War Maid's Choice (War God, #4)
  • The Sword of the South (War God, #5)
“Other folk thought the Rage was simple bloodlust, a berserk savagery that neither knew nor cared what its target was, and so it was when it struck without warning. But when a hradani gave himself to it knowingly, it was as cold as it was hot, as rational as it was lethal. To embrace the Rage was to embrace a splendor, a glory, a denial of all restraint but not of reason. It was pure, elemental purpose, unencumbered by compassion or horror or pity, yet it was far more than mere frenzy.” 6 likes
“Shergahn and friend lay like poleaxed steers, and the Daranfelian's greasy hair was thick with potatoes, carrots, gravy, and chunks of beef. His companion had less stew in his hair, but an equally large lump was rising fast, and Brandark flipped his improvised club into the air, caught it in proper dipping position, and filled it once more from the pot without even glancing at them. He raised the ladle to his nose, inhaled deeply, and glanced at the cook with an impudent twitch of his ears.
"Smells delicious," he said while the laughter started up all around the fire. "I imagine a bellyful of this should help a hungry man sleep. Why, just look what a single ladle of it did for Shergahn!”
More quotes…