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Swordheart

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,458 ratings  ·  419 reviews
Halla is a housekeeper who has suddenly inherited her great-uncle's estate... and, unfortunately, his relatives. Sarkis is an immortal swordsman trapped in a prison of enchanted steel. When Halla draws the sword that imprisons him, Sarkis finds himself attempting to defend his new wielder against everything from bandits and roving inquisitors to her own in-laws... and the ...more
Hardcover, 426 pages
Published November 27th 2018 by Argyll Productions
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Mikhail Soooooome. The main plot isn't touched upon except in a very offhand fashion, but a few of the setting-based surprises will be a little less surprisin…moreSoooooome. The main plot isn't touched upon except in a very offhand fashion, but a few of the setting-based surprises will be a little less surprising.(less)

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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  2,458 ratings  ·  419 reviews


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K.J. Charles
Second read. I was saving this one for time of need and by God this is one. As comforting, wise, funny and sharp-edged as I recall. I could really use a new T Kingfisher right now.

__________

An absolute joy. Set in the Clockwork Boys world but with ostensibly far lower stakes--we're not saving the world from demons, here, just saving a widow from being forced to marry a cousin. Except that what we're actually saving is a woman's self-respect and a man's humanity, which actually is stakes high eno
...more
Lois Bujold
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who like fantasy adventure romance humor
Recommended to Lois by: random internet review apprised me of its existence; prior books by the author primed me to grab it

Well, that exactly suited my reading mood rainy yesterday. Fantasy-romance-adventure-humor. A beleaguered widow finds herself the inheritor of a magic sword, after which nothing goes as either of them expects.

Set in the world of the previous duology The Clocktaur War. Reading that first would inform the world-building in this smaller-scale tale, but I don't think is required. The romance has something of the same Kingfisher flavor as the one from that story (and some others), which, if you like
...more
jade
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who can appreciate a funny romcom in a fantasy setting
Recommended to jade by: a friend who's a loving fan of the romance genre and well aware of my personal hangups with it
“yay!” said halla, when sarkis handed her the jar.
“no one,” said sarkis wearily, “in my entire life, has ever said, ‘yay’, when i handed them a jar of piss.”
“well, there’s a first time for everything.”

when someone says, ‘fantasy romance’, i think of historical romance and fairy tale retellings. y’know, the stuff with either yearning and longing glances or surprisingly explicit erotica. might also come with a free dose of Rippling Abs and/or Hot Inexperienced Girl.

this book, however, turned
...more
Lindsay
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, humor
Halla is a respectable widow who was housekeeper to an artifact collector and scholar until his recent death. After the entire estate of the collector was willed to Halla, she is imprisoned by her husband's family until she agrees to marry her brother-in-law so that the family can get their hands on the inheritance. Halla resolves to kill herself rather than be married and unsheathes an old sword on a wall to do it. But when she unsheathes it a magical warrior, Sarkis, appears with a mission to ...more
Alissa
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
3.5 stars. This is a stand-alone, but I’m looking forward to Angharad’s book :) you don’t need to read the Clocktaur War’s duology to appreciate this, anyway you should because it’s lots of fun too.

In the songs, men always say they’d die for you. I suppose there’s something to be said for the fact that you found one who actually did.
Veronique
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5*

Kingfisher’s new novel takes us back to the world of the Clockwork Boys, but apart from the same brilliant ‘setting’, the story is quite different. Namely, this is not a tale about saving the world. No, this is much more mundane, and I absolutely loved it!

The author’s mastery is in creating amazing characters, complex, flawed, and so believable! The interaction between Halla, a quirky 36-year old widow in danger from her in-laws, and Sarkis, a sullen soldier imprisoned in a magic sword, is
...more
Emily
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
This is the first time this year I've really loved a book I read. This was fantastic. It was funny and romantic and kept me turning pages. I appreciate that the main character is a mid-30s woman. I get so tired of women in fantasy books being 16 year old Mary Sues.

Anyway - It's defintely a book I would recommend and happily re-read.
Emma
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
There’s always a really good vibe to this author’s books.
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
I can’t remember the last time I laughed this much while reading a book. Swordheart is a romantic fantasy novel that’s brimming with humor. Everything Ursula Vernon writes is delightful, and I will continue to eagerly rush to read anything by her. However, my enjoyment of Swordheart is tampered by displeasure at some issues with asexual representation.

Halla is a respectably widowed housekeeper who spent more than a decade looking after an old man… who just died and left everything to her. Unfort
...more
Lis Carey
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, fiction
This book is set in the world of the Clockwork Boys, about five years later. Halla is a widow who has been acting as housekeeper to her late husband's uncle, Silas. Silas has now died, and the reading of the will reveals the new, as shocking to Halla as to Silas's own relatives, that he has left her his entire estate.

Her husband's cousin Alver, and his mother, Malva, are not prepared to accept this. The only acceptable resolution, at least in their minds, is that Halla marry Alver. Aside from th
...more
Lata
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
T. Kingfisher returns to her world of the Clocktaur War, and instead of another story with large ramifications to this world, she's crafted a little story about a housekeeper, Halla, inheritances and disgruntled relatives, and a weary warrior, Sarkis, magicked into a sword centuries earlier.
Though unconnected to the events of the Clocktaur books, there are elements already introduced in those books that are mentioned here (gnoles, paladins, etc.). It's not critical to have read those books to en
...more
Kristen
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Review is also on superstardrifter.com

This may well be, in one day, a new favorite book. I can’t recall a book that has been so perfect for me, to be really honest.

Halla is a widowed woman who is the housekeeper for her rather well-off uncle by marriage. When that uncle dies, Halla finds out that she has inherited the entire estate. Unfortunately, other relatives have shown up to try and force her to marry back into the family so that they can take advantage of the inheritance. So, of course the
...more
Iona Sharma
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I loved this book SO MUCH. I did not know I needed a hysterically funny roadtrip comedy about a sensible widow who asks too many questions, a nonbinary lawyer-priest and a man who lives in a sword, but I did and believe me so do you. The characters are wonderful and the worldbuillding is fascinating and the whole thing is just so warm and satisfying. Zale, the put-upon property adjudicator, is my favourite, but they're all my favourite. I am going to reread this one in times of trouble.
Fares
May 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNFed @ 53%
This had potential to be really good but it was wasted :(
If I had to choose a book similar to this I'd have to say one of those Riyria books. Those tho were my favorites probably bc it was about friendship and this one is a romance.
I really wanted more banter and I wouldn't have even minded if the characters had some hate to love thing going on (that's not my favorite thing but it's better than nothing)
I can see this getting a higher rating from me if it has a good ending but it just
...more
Shruthi
THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN and filled a void in my heart for adult fantasy romcoms, a subgenre that seems otherwise inexplicably barren???? I loved the banter, the gallows humor, the fun world/culturebuilding, and, of course, the sweet mutual pining romance. It was such a fun reading experience that involved just nonstop cackling on my end. I'm so glad that this is the first novel in a swordfucker series because I need more of this in my life.
Mikhail
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I may have annoyed people on the subway by laughing too much. They kept giving me dirty looks and I'd try to stifle it, then two pages later I'd be chortling and this elder Chinese man next to me was clearly thinking that the foreigner was utterly daft.
Robyn
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I love the main characters, the humour, the world, everything. Never want her books to end!
wanderer (Para)
This book was so much fun.

Halla wanted to be the sort of person who yelled at her cousin and forced him to acknowledge that she had a choice in the matter. Unfortunately, it seemed that she was the sort of person who ran up the stairs to her bedchamber, grateful for the reprieve.

This was a depressing discovery.

Halla is a housekeeper. When her uncle dies and she inherits his estate, his relatives are not happy and lock her in her room, planning to marry her off to her cousin (with clammy hand
...more
Denise
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
3.5 stars rounded up.
Emma (howlsmovinglibrary)
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Swordheart was such a lovely, light-hearted and completely unputdownable read. I started it on the last day of 2019 (hoping to get a sneaky head start on my 2020 goodreads challenge) and ended up loving it so much that I finished it before the arrival of the New Year. It reads like a more adult version of Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle, complete with bickering love interests and found family feels.

Humorous fantasy is such a difficult thing to get right, and Swordheart pitches it perfect
...more
Stephanie
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun romantic fantasy adventure - set in a different part of the same world as her Clocktaur Wars series but much less dark and with different characters. Like all Ursula Vernon/T Kingfisher novels, it was incredibly charming and full of moments that made me snort-laugh as I read - and I absolutely loved the characters. The chemistry between the growly hero, Sarkos (who's spent 500 years trapped in a sword), and the loquacious and easily-distracted (but MUCH smarter than she appea ...more
Michael Gates
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was halfway through this, laughing so hard I couldn't sit up straight, and one of the kids asked me what the book was about. "It's a romance novel, with some overtones of horror." It took a minute to get the sentence out through all the giggling.

Because, well, it *is*. It's all about Halla and Sarkis, falling in love and coming together. And how Sarkis is trapped in a magic sword forever and gets horribly killed now and then, and they explore how that works. (It's not good! Don't get yourself
...more
Skye Kilaen
Overall, lovely and wonderful in the same ways that have made me a T. Kingfisher / Ursula Vernon fangirl. Adventure, humor, strong female character, etc.

However I am still sorting through my feelings about multiple instances of language that struck me as denying the existence of asexual people.

UPDATE 12/31/18: I'm not the only one who noticed, #ownvoices review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... And I haven't been able to get past it. All of that content just felt so *mean*. : (
...more
Lucille
While this was a very funny (sometimes maybe trying too hard?) romance fantasy novel which I might have rated a solid 4, it was very much acephobic so... meh

Great review that I agree with here
...more
Olga Godim
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
4.5 stars
A fun romp of a quasi-medieval fantasy by a wonderful writer. I read many of her previous books and liked most of them. The only ones I didn’t like, her Clockwork Boys duology, had characters forced into their adventures, and I dislike this plot twist intensely.
In this book, Halla chooses what she does. Granted, her choices don’t always lead where she wants them to go, but that’s life for most of us, so no surprise there.
Halla is a delightful heroine, a middle-aged widow with an unsuc
...more
Jerome Comeau
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how to say what I want to say without saying it wrong.

I don't think I have been this excited for a new author's work since I was in the rapid process of discovering and then chewing through the back catalog of C.J. Cherryh, who at that point had just published Foreigner and grabbed me by my whiskers and screamed (metaphorically) "Look! Here is an author whose style of prose and choice of character speaks directly and entirely to you!" Or that moment in my high school years when I st
...more
Suzanne
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The conversations between Halla and Sarkis were priceless - I loved this book!
Sidsel Pedersen
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right now I do not need stories with great scope or huge stakes. I want quieter stories about people.
Swordheart is one of these. The characters are wonderful to watch and are strange enough that it feels save to love them.
I love seeing female characters who do not want children and that the story let them have made that choice - that it lets them know their own mind enough to know that children are not for them. I like that it don't feel the need to justify this choice by being down on people
...more
Victoria Rose
As with most T. Kingfisher books, this was an easy read and I enjoyed the humour very much. However, I thought that Swordheart, though lighthearted and fun, didn't have the sharpness or snap of her short stories or novellas, wasn't quite as funny as The Clockwork Boys, and didn't have the sense of jeopardy as The Wonder Engine.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, especially aspects of it - I thought Halla was absolutely hilarious, and I loved reading about her befuddling people with her incessa
...more
Katie Montgomery
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Can't wait for the next one. Write faster T!
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T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon. In another life, she writes children's books and weird comics, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups.

When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies
...more

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“I am the servant of the sword,” he said. “I obey the will of the—great god, woman, put on some clothes!” 3 likes
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