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Lord of the Fire Lands

(The King's Blades #2)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,986 ratings  ·  54 reviews

As unwanted, rebellious boys, they found refuge in Ironhall. . .Years later they emerged as the finest swordsmen in the realm—

The Kings Blades

Once bound, a Blade's life is no longer his own. Only death can break the gilded chain of enchantment that binds the bodyguard to the man he is sworn to defend. And never in living memory has a candidate refused the honor of servin

Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Published July 12th 2005 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1999)
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3.88  · 
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 ·  1,986 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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The way this book began didn't do it any favors. It promised a different book, one in a similar vein to the first, where the King comes and claims a Blade, and then that Blade serves through danger and adventure, etc. This is not that story.

It wasn't long before events veered off, but once that familiar beginning built my expectations, it felt to me like the story was going off-course. For a long time, I couldn't figure out what the point of this long flashback was, and I was anxious to get bac
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of High Fantasy
Shelves: novels, fiction, fantasy
I enjoyed this quite a bit. This is the second in the "Tales of the King's Blades," a series I'd seen recommended. I couldn't find the first, The Gilded Chain in stores but took a chance on this one, and fortunately as Duncan tells you upfront, this is a stand-alone. I find the premise intriguing: the king's blades of Chivial are superbly trained swordsmen who are bound to their wards. For the time bound, in some cases for life, almost their entire personality is subsumed in protecting their war ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So, the ending of this book is completely mystifying, based on what happened in the *first* book of the series. From what I've read, you need to have the 3rd book handy so you can start on it immediately (sadly I do not). But besides that, it's a great book. If you haven't read anything by Duncan yet, you need to pick up something by him. I've enjoyed all of his works that I've read so far.
Adrion Saenz
Much different from the first book. So much so, that I actually thought to abandon it 1/3 of the way through. Finally I saw what Duncan was intending with this tale and was rewarded with a tale steeped in much more intrigue and politics than its predecessor. Thoroughly enjoyable, but slightly less rewarding than I'd hoped for, but still worthy of the series so far. On to A Sky of Swords!
Nov 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost as good as the first King's Blades book. A quality fantasy story. But the ending is so bizarre and unexpected (based on what you read in the first book), you have no choice but to want to read the next installment.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one was every bit as good as the previous book in the series. It has an equally intriguing main character, and a plot that moves very quickly. There's an excellent mix of action, politics, revenge, and magic that should satisfy pretty much anyone. Really good stuff.
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, but it doesn't align with the first. This may fix itself in book three, but it still bugs me that I didn't know it wasn't going to align.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Good, solid fantasy. Would recommendthe series to anyone who enjoys the genre.
Nick Forret (what_a_novel_idea)
The first book in the series set a good pace for understanding the world and really gathering what a Blade is. Though this book, the second in the series, mostly involves a country that’s at war with them, was so good! The Baels are a dynamic, honourable, and brutal people. I’m blown away by how much I enjoyed their society more than the Chivics. Except for the the Blades. Blades are pretty much like Jedi, without the Force. Badass swordsmen that are the best around. Even the weakest Blade is be ...more
Scott Marlowe
May 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


*** This review originally appeared on Out of this World Reviews. ***

Lord of the Fire Lands by Dave Duncan is the second in the King's Blades novels. While it largely stands on its own, it is still intertwined with events that take place in the first novel, The Gilded Chain. In fact, Duncan drops a bomb at the end of Lord of the Fire Lands which directly contradicts events that take place in The Gilded Chain. At first, I had to wonder if I was remembering things wrong (I'd just finis
Sean Randall
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hero-pov, fantasy
Going over my list for good reads, I was a little appalled that I had given the first book such a rave review and score, but never continued the series. I rectified that by rereading the first novel, and today have finished the second...

And whoa, what a journey. I had no idea the second novel would take me to Bael, which was sometimes mentioned in the first novel but never really expounded upon. During the first books tales of Durendal I had better things to occupy my mind in any case.

In this b
Jul 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, but I didn't like it as much as "The Gilded Chain." As usual, Duncan writes with a breezy, fun flair and introduces interesting takes on magic and how it affects different cultures. There's also more literary in-jokes...this book's theme is "Hamlet."

Unfortunately, there are events in this book that directly contradict what took place in "Gilded Chain." These contradictions are only explained in "Sky of Swords." Though Duncan says he tried to write each book so that one can read the
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the first book of the King's Blades, this second one, not so much. I didn't care for the setting, which is different, and it just never quite clicked for me. It wasn't nearly as complex or nuanced a book as the first.

I did appreciate how the forced marriage was dealt with, though. Duncan makes it clear that it is really like rape, because the woman isn't really given a choice. Technically, she is, but she actually is only given the choice between saying she freely chooses to marr
Aditya /
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Kings Daggers trilogy before reading the original series of the King's blade and I recommend people do things that way. this particular one started good and then plateaued so it was not as good as other books by Dave Duncan, but the ending was pretty good after the epilogue. if it was not for the epilogue, I would have given it 3 stars. even the epilogue what is not as good as I would like
Sep 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spec-fic
Not as engrossing as the first book of the series (The Gilded Chain) but (if you read the series in order) ends with a whopping cliffhanger. Largely told in flashbacks, which can make the pacing feel clunky at times. Probably the lightest of the King's Blades books, featuring a pseudo Anglo-Saxon culture, lots of humor, and a lovely friendship between the two main characters.

(The Harlequin romance-esque cover is quite unfortunate and rather misleading.)
Éric Kasprak
Good book but it was not what I wanted to read (base on my expectations coming from The Gilded Chain). I was expecting the same type of knightly adventure story weave with a little magic, but I got a Viking infuse political intrigue. I is a very good story, just not in the same vein as the Gilded Chain, even do in the end both stories intertwine quite nicely and make you want to read the third book.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sort of retelling of Hamlet the way I'd like it - Hamlet killing lots of people instead of vacillating the entire time.

OK, I joke, but it's an excellent book. I was stuck in a hospital with it, years ago, with nothing else to read (except People) for days and it held up even when I reread it three times in a row.
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A second book of near-perfection in the King's Blades series, full of vivid characters and political intrigue. I really, really love Dave Duncan's storytelling. I was completely captivated the whole way through, and I'm still reeling from the twists. I've been reading fantasy since I was a kid, and it's hard to surprise me, but Duncan does, and I love him for it!
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The 2nd book in the triology! I loved it! If you like vikings, plundering, pillaging, revenge, magic, kingdoms, politics, royalty, loyalty, and it helps if you're 1/2 Viking like me - - this book is AWESOME!!! I'm still confused but they say they 3rd book ties everything together. Let's see what happens :)
Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot was not quite as compelling as Gilded Chain, but I loved his look at an ancient Norse culture, complete with a plot lifted from Hamlet. Duncan's fascination with the culture sometimes got in the way of the story, but I didn't mind - I also found it fascinating. Sequel to A Gilded Chain, this also can be read on its own.
Jul 21, 2006 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second or third time I read this, and I remember this being my favorite of the series. It is interesting reading it as an older wiser person. The ending is quite a bummer, but I love how these books don't pit good versus evil, just flawed humans versus flawed humans. Now I have to go read the last one in the series, because I forget exactly how the brilliance is executed.
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First I had forgotten about the TIMEY WIMEY bullshit that Duncan tries to sell you in this book. Second, I found parts INCREDIBLY boring and the whole "everything is a flashback wah hey!!" Is more bs.

I did like AElred tho, and I liked the call backs re: unwilling queens. Also, Duncan walks the "NO HOMO BRO" line waaaaay too closely.
Mike Malony
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My second read through. This is probably my favorite of the original Trio of books of the Kings Blades. It's been years since my first read, and I'd forgotten a lot of the details, which made it a fun re-read even though I knew the rough framework. Now I really want to re-read The Sky of Swords again.
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't even begin to say how much I loved this book. Romance, swords, politics, puns, and just doesn't get any better than that!

You don't have to have read the other King's Blades books to read this one btw.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f
This one didn't hold my attention as well as the first one, but it was still interesting. And the final chapter - wtf!? Now I have to read the last book, just to figure out how they reconcile this itty bitty enormous "discrepancy."
Mar 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't quite at the level of the first, but it was still a good story, with engaging main characters. Don't plan to read this one if you don't think you'll read the third, because once you've finished this you've got to complete the group to understand the whole story.
While the first book was a splash of scenes made to make the reader be impressed with Durendal, the second book is an interesting book about the viking like -Baels. The book produces an alternative perspective very nicely and immerses the reader in the world of Eurania.
Mar 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
clean sword ans sorcery. simplistic and fun. sticks in my brain
David Korinetz
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The King's Blade series is this authors best work and well worth reading, but I strongly suggest reading the previous books first.
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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

The King's Blades (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Gilded Chain (The King's Blades, #1)
  • Sky of Swords
  • Paragon Lost
  • Impossible Odds (The King's Blades, #5)
  • The Jaguar Knights
  • Sir Stalwart
  • The Crooked House (The King's Daggers, #2)
  • Silvercloak
  • One Velvet Glove (The King's Blades, #10)
  • The Ethical Swordsman: A Tale of the King's Blades (Tales of the King's Blades Book 8)