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The Cardinal's Blades

(Les Lames du Cardinal #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  818 ratings  ·  138 reviews
The Cardinal's Blades is part historical novel, part old-fashioned swashbuckling high-action adventure, and part classic fantasy. Pierre Pevel has woven some of the best-loved fantasy tropes - musketeer-style adventuring, daring swordsmen, political intrigue, non-stop action and dragons - into a stunning new fantasy series. Paris, 1633. Louis XIII reigns over France ...and ...more
Paperback, 373 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Gollancz (first published 2007)
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Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans who like Dumas and don't care about style
Recommended to Manny by: C.
The young man entered the tavern, glad to have finally reached a place of relative safety, and warily looked around him. A few of the habitués gave him a quick glance, then returned to their wine or their game of dice. Indeed, there was little in Pierre de Pevel's outward appearance that would attract idle curiosity. His plainly cut doublet and travel-stained boots had clearly seen better days, as had his wide-brimmed hat, ornamented with a single osprey feather. But a closer inspection would ha ...more
Sep 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Although I did like reading this book, I did not think it was up to the back-cover hype. My opinion of the book is complex. It appears that the author did a decent job of researching the period and physical state of Paris. I can't fact-check him, but whether he relied on primary sources or other popular literature for his knowledge may not matter. It was convincing enough that I accepted the milieu and the non-fantasy aspects of his world. In fact, I enjoyed the historical content of the novel q ...more
Ranting Dragon
Jul 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: michelle

The Cardinal’s Blades is a work of alternative history set in a vividly realized reimagining of seventeenth century Paris. While many elements of the story and setting stay true to the period, this version of France is no stranger to dark magics and various fantastic, often draconic, beasts. The Cardinal’s Blades is the first book in an ongoing series, also titled The Cardinal’s Blades, by French author Pierre Pével, and was originally published in France
We bought a new blender recently. The manual for it was more interesting than this book. I mean: it has recipes! For 'Cuban Milk' among other things. That's just banana-milk with lemon if you're wondering. And no I have no idea what's Cuban about that either.

Can you tell that I really don't want to talk about this book? I'm just not sure what I can say about it. It's not bad in an entertaining way and (at least) also not in and offensive way, just in a very, very, very, very boring way.

The chara
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoris-2018
Quelle histoire !! Digne d’Alexandre Dumas et les allusions, y sont nombreuses.

J’avais adoré les Trois Mousquetaires et j’ai retrouvé tout ce que j’avais aimé dans cette épopée, Pierre Pevel frôle le maître.

On reconnaît le style de Pevel, il connaît le sujet et retranscrit bien l’époque.
Le bémol vient du nombre très important de personnages au départ et il a été parfois un peu difficile de s’y retrouver. Il faudra être attentif pour suivre les différents enchevêtrements des histoires.
Cela peut p
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
C'était très chouette ! Ça faisait un moment que j'avais pas lu un roman de capes et d'épées et j'aime toujours autant ce genre. Surtout que là, en plus, y'a des dragons !
Le début du livre est un peu confus, on passe d'un personnage à l'autre (et y'en a beaucoup) rapidement. C'est pour la présentation mais j'avais un peu du mal à voir qui était qui.
Mais y'a pas mal d'action, on ne s'ennuie pas et ça se lit très bien.
La fin donne envie de vite se mettre à la suite.
Olga Godim
Mar 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
I started reading this book because of my childish nostalgia for Alexandre Dumas and his famous The Three Musketeers. But Pevel disappointed me. I didn’t like his book at all.
Caveat: as I can’t read the original in French, I can only talk about the English translation of the novel, and it’s lousy, as if the translator has only a passing acquaintance with English grammar. Dangling participles litter every page, and pronouns referring to the wrong nouns mar almost every paragraph. I’m a grammar f
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Чудесна книга! Действена, с характерни за епохата персонажи, мръсни улици, без бъркащи в здравето политически машинации. Точна, ясна, бърза като... Острие.
Всичко в Париж си е такова, каквото си е през далечния XVII-ти век. Ришельо властва над Франция. Единствената подробност е, че властва в свят, където живеят и... дракончета!
За разлика от типичната френска литература, с която аз лично ама никак не се разбирам, тази книга е по-близка до моя вкус. Уникално добри и талантливи мъже (+ жена), изпълн
Il faut s'accrocher tout au long de la 1ere partie, 90 pages de présentation des très nombreux personnages, avec force descriptions: leurs physiques, leur lieux de vie, les gens qu'ils croisent, leurs habitudes, tout est détaillé à l'extrême. A côté de ça il ne se passe pas grand chose.

Une fois cette lourde 1ere partie vaincue, enfin l'histoire démarre réellement et les descriptions se font plus légères et moins fréquentes. Néanmoins on retrouve des tranches de vie et/ou d'Histoire qui coupent l
Lysda Smythe
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Les trois mousquetaires, mais avec des dragons! C'est génial, vraiment bien écrit, trépidant...
Lloyd Black
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
The Cardinal's Blades should be an interesting novel: Musketeers meets dragons? How could that fail to appeal?

And in many ways it does. The setting is beautifully done, there is an excellent attention to detail, and there is a political plot that should enthral.

So where does it go wrong?

Simply put, the absence of character.

This is a book full of names, and all of them are meaningless. No one is described by anything other than a habit, mannerism, or even geography.

We meet seven musketeers, The
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un livre un peu déroutant dans son rythme de narration mais qui pourtant se révèle intéressant.
J’ai eu beaucoup de mal à entrer dans l’histoire, la majeure partie du livre présentant les différents personnages, je me suis retrouvée perdue plus d’une fois. Ils y a beaucoup de personnages importants et donc beaucoup de descriptions. Le petit souci est que l’on passe trop vite de l’un à l’autre, d’un endroit à un autre et cela amène une sacrée confusion sachant qu’on ne connait pas les protagoniste
Michael Aaron
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
(Remember that two stars means 'OK', not 'bad'!)

Like a few other reviewers, I'm in two minds about this one. The good stuff first: It's a readable romp through the France of The Three Musketeers, with a little fantasy-style magic to add flavour. There's plenty of action and the author slips in lots of details to give a great sense of historical accuracy.

Now the less good. The story and characters are phoned in. All of the 'Blades' - Cardinal Richelieu's elite covert fighting unit - are from cen
Kristina Andreeva
Първото ми впечатление от книгата беше, че всяко едно описание е кратко, стегнато, но съвсем описателно и изчерпателно. Толкова е лесно да си представиш всичко, което се случва! Описанията на стаи, на бойни сцени и на герои толкова лесно и ярко изникваха в съзнанието ми, съвсем по естествен начин. Освен това книгата е толкова динамична - със заплетени загадки, които се поднасят и разкриват постепенно, така че да не се струпват на куп.
Още тук:
Aug 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unashamed swashbuckling adventure with a great group of misfits and miscreants as the protagonists... The characters are defined in broad strokes by their actions. Pierre has depth to his writing even with this rollicking kind of adventure tale. I found I really liked the characters and like them even for their faults. They would be the crew if the Firefly had this been a space western.... but it's a musketeer era novel and it's a great read.
Ich bin mir nicht sicher ob dieses Buch schon schlimm genug für the-poop-shelf ist, denn da verfrachte ich normalerweise nur Bücher hin, von denen ich mich persönlich beleidigt fühle. Dabei ist die größte Last, die sich Drachenklingen zu schulden kommen lässt, dass es furchtbar langweilig ist. Gut, es ist auch noch furchtbar geschrieben, aber der Inhalt ist wenigstens lediglich öde und nicht derart frei von Verstand, dass es mich gegraust hätte, das Buch in die Hand zu nehmen.

Also Hut ab, Buch,
Darth Miky
Avvincente. Dopo i primi trequarti di libro, fatti di personaggi buttati nel calderone tramite capitoletti di mezza pagina che mi hanno solo confuso le idee senza farmi affezionare a nessuno di questi fantocci.
Poi però ha anche dei pregi. :P
Apr 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A fun read,but be wary the story jumps around a bunch.
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Firstly, a point for clarity: in my role as part of the Gemmell Legend Awards Committee I’ve met and talked through email to Pierre a couple of times. He’s a lovely chap, very unassuming and a genuine fan of the genre. He’s also the author of two award winning novels (2002 Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire and 2005 Prix Imaginales) for Best Novel, although The Cardinal’s Blades is Pierre’s first novel to be translated into English. It was a winner of the Gemmell Morningstar Award in 2009.

And therein li
Si la fantasy anglo-saxonne se nourrit de mecs en armures et de grosses épées, la fantasy francophone, elle, préfère l'époque des mousquetaires, le siècle de les lumières. C'est vrai des oeuvres de Laurent Kloetzer par exemple, mais aussi de celles de Pierre Pevel. Par exemple, le chevalier de Wieldstadt doit se passer dans le même contexte temporel : les armes à feux existent, et permettent aux combattants d'abandonner les armures lourdes pour un style plus aérien.
Un style plus aérien qu'on ret
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
The Cardinal’s Blades mixes fantasy and historical fiction by adding dragons into 17th century France.

Action and intrigue dominate this book from start to finish. Unfortunately plot and characters must take a backseat, leaving the end result as slightly confusing and not all that emotionally engaging.

I liked this book, despite its flaws. It’s the first book of a series, though I only learned this after reading it so I didn’t know to expect a sequel. In a way knowing it’s the first book makes sen
Matti Karjalainen
Ranskalaisen Pierre Pevelin "Kardinaalin miekat" (Gummerus, 2010) on perusidealtaan niin posketon, että siitä on vaikea olla innostumatta. Lisäksi kirja alkaa kohtauksella, jossa paha velhotar kylpee verellä täytetyssä ammeessa pentagrammin keskellä, mustien kynttilöiden palaessa vieressä. Jehnaa! Lukija on tässä vaiheessa täysin myyty.

Lupaavan alun jälkeen luvassa onkin alamäki, joka osoittautuu valitettavan pitkäksi ja jyrkäksi. Pevelin fantasiaromaani on juoneltaan sotkuinen ja täynnä melko m
Michael Burnam-Fink
May 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, fantasy
The back of this book promises "breathless swashbuckling, intrigue, spying, and sword fights" in the vein of The Three Musketeers plus dragons. On that account, the book delivers. On the other hand, if you want things like a plot that make sense and relatable (or even distinguishable) characters, this is not the book for you.

Yes, works in translation are always a little chancy, but I think the problems with The Cardinal's Blades are structural. The average chapter length is about four pages. Fas
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, fantasy
C'est un livre qui se laisse lire, une lecture d'été qui ne fatigue pas le cerveau.
Le problème c'est que je l'ai lu en septembre.
Tous les personnages sont mystérieux mais aucun n'est vraiment original. Je ne me suis attachée à aucun. Laincourt est celui qui s'en est le plus approché, mais c'était probablement parce que (view spoiler)
Le scénario est creux. Pendant 37% du livre (les p
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
(2009) This was more a very fast read through to see if there is anything that would make me read it carefully and I cannot say I found that; average Dumas pastiche with magic and dragons; no plans to pick up next volumes

After the wonderful Knight I decided to give another try to this one and its sequels and this time I liked it more, though it still has the above mentioned flaws - suspension of disbelief required big time to combine real history and personages like Richelieu with stuff like Dra
Kari Sperring
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite recent series and one of the best homages to Alexandre Dumas I have read. Verve, panache, charm, wit and wonderful sword-fights draw you into Pevel's textured, detailed alternate Paris, where scheming human dragons plot, and only the Cardinal's Blades -- elite warriors and spies -- stand between France and chaos. A glimpse into European fantasy as European writers write it: smart, sharp, wonderful.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Une excellente histoire de cape et d'épée, avec des dragons en bonus ! Et très bien écrit également. Le rythme est un peu lent au début, je me suis perdue entre tous les personnages, mais ça devient de plus en plus captivant au fur et à mesure qu'on avance. Et la fin m'a absolument scotchée !
Ана Хелс
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Някои от вас несъмнено са израснали, водейки измислени битки с метли вместо шпаги в междуетажните пространства, отстоявайки гордо справедливата позиция на доблестните мускетари срещу гадовете на онзи с алената мантия и гърбавия нос, кардинал Ришельо. Но много така и не са си направили труда да разберат кои са тези хорица Атос, Портос, Арамис и особено Д’Артанян, или просто са се родили във времето, когато приключенските романи вече отдавна не бяха на мода, изместени от класическите фентъзи поред ...more
Adam Whitehead
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
France, 1633. Cardinal Richelieu is the most powerful and feared man in France, overseeing the affairs of the kingdom from Paris. His current priority is to prevent war from breaking out between France and Spain whilst France is militarily distracted in the Low Countries. To this end, at the request of the Spanish crown he reforms an elite band of men and women known as the Cardinal's Blades and gives them a delicate mission that will strengthen the ties between the two countries. For Captain La ...more
Babette Brown
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Fernanda Romani)
Chi non ricorda I tre moschettieri, il romanzo di cappa e spada per antonomasia? É sufficiente nominare la Parigi di Luigi XIII, il cardinale Richelieu, la rivalità tra i moschettieri del re e le guardie del cardinale, e subito la nostra mente evoca duelli, intrighi di corte e missioni segrete. Bisogna riconoscere a Pierre Pevel, autore di questo libro, il merito di aver attinto a piene mani dalle atmosfere di Dumas e averne ricavato un buon fantasy sword & sorcery.

La Franci
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Pierre Pevel est l’un des fleurons de la Fantasy française. Il a obtenu le Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire en 2002 et le prix Imaginales 2005. Avec une verve romanesque digne des grandes heures du feuilleton populaire, il signe là tout à la fois un hommage aux romans de cape et d’épée, un récit historique admirablement documenté et une Fantasy épique à grand spectacle. La trilogie des Lames du Cardinal ...more

Other books in the series

Les Lames du Cardinal (4 books)
  • The Alchemist in the Shadows (The Cardinal's Blades #2)
  • The Dragon Arcana (The Cardinal's Blades #3)
  • La Louve de Cendre (Les Lames du Cardinal)