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Oath of Swords by David Weber
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Oath of Swords (1995)

by David Weber

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: War God (1)

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English (10)  Dutch (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I think David Weber is (even) better at SF (See Honor Harrington series, starting with [b:On Basilisk Station|35921|On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington, #1)|David Weber|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1390456253s/35921.jpg|965345], if there's anyone out there who doesn't know about it yet!), but this is a very good fun fantasy with a bit of depth to it and which gets steadily better the further one reads. The main reason I won't give this five stars is the pace, which is steady but drags just a bit here and there. I found it a little slow to get into, and a little slow to really take off. But it's still a very good fantasy read, able to stand alone. I'll be looking for the rest of the series. ( )
  DavidR1958 | Jul 4, 2017 |
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 man' - humans, dwarves, elves, halflings and hradani. The hradani are a kind of orc-equivalent - large and violent - and Our Hero, Bahzell, is one of them. This immediately marks the book off from other fantasy novels as the hero is not straight vanilla human, and he's from a race that's traditionally the Bad Guys in fantasy. In fact, since Bahzell's world is several hundred years after a fairly apocalyptic mage war in which the hradani fought on the wrong side, hradani are seen as the Bad Guys by everyone who isn't a hradani in this book too. The lingering prejudice against hradani is a running theme in the book.

Bahzell, being the son of the ruler of one of the hradani city-states, is a sort of envoy crossed with hostage at the court of another hradani prince. He interferes in some local nastiness which results in him having to flee (with the female victim) for his life. His local friend, Brandark, goes with him 'to keep him out of trouble'.

The rest of the book is the chronicle of Bahzell and Brandark's amusingly ill-fated journey across the continent, dealing with evildoers, rescuing maidens in distress, and confronting unwanted gods. Unwanted by Bahzell, anyway.

Although this is quite definitely 'light fantasy', it has enough depth to be interesting and Weber has written characters that you like (or like to hate) so you want to read on in order to find out what happens to them, and what scrape Bahzell (and Brandark) is going to get into next. It's good clean fun, and I've read it more times than I like to admit. ( )
  T_K_Elliott | Mar 12, 2017 |
I am irrationally fond of this book, and this series. Irrationally, because it's about the pulpiest pulp I have on my shelves - it reads like an extended D&D campaign, where every new sequence happens because that's what the dungeonmaster happened to think up that week, the characters are charming but not particularly original, the theology is trying to be profound and utterly failing, and the running "gag" where the main character keeps "having" to rescue women from rape against his better judgement is kind of appalling if you examine it too closely.

Nevertheless, it's glib, witty, and a great deal of fun. Even if it doesn't so much have a plot arc as a plot series-of-tangents, I was still left wanting to know what happened next. ( )
1 vote JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
Prince Bahzell Bahnakson may be a Horse Stealer Hradni and a political hostage, but stomaching rape is beyond him. Of course, beating the Crown Prince of your host country within an inch of his life probably isn't the best way to go on being a live hostage.... Now Bahzell's on the run with an armed hunt behind him, mysterious voices plaguing his dreams, and only a heckling Bloody Sword Hradnai for company. Good thing he has long legs, a strong back, a sharp sword, a thick skull and a solid sense of honor - he's going to need them.

Epic fantasy with a sense of humor and lots of action. ( )
1 vote SunnySD | Feb 20, 2012 |
Fantasy from Weber is unexpected, but surprisingly interesting and with a good sense of fun even with the somewhat heavy themes. ( )
  Guide2 | Oct 3, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Weberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Elmore, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kostyck, EleanorMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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hradani (hrä--ne) n. (1) One of the original Five Races of Man, noted for foxlike ears, great stature and physical strength, and violence of temperment. (2) A barbarian or berserker. (3) Scum, brigand. adj. (1) Of or pertaining to the hradani race. (2) Dangerous, bloodthirsty or cruel. (3) Treacherous, not to be trusted. (4) Incapable of civilized conduct. [Old Kontovaran: from hra, calm danahi, fox.]
Rage, the (rag) n. Hradani term for the uncontrollable berserk bloodlust afflicting their people. Held by some scholars to be the result of black sorcery dating from the Fall of Kontovar (q.v.).
Strictures of Ottovar (strik-chrez uv äh-to-vär) n. Ancient code of white wizardy enforced by Council of Ottovar in pre-Fall Kontovar. The Strictures are said to have prohibited blood magic or the use of sorcery against non-wizards, and violation of its provisions was a capital offense. It is said that the wild wizard (q.v.) Wencit of Rum, last Lord of the Council of Ottovar prior to the Fall, still lives and attempts to enforce them with the aid of the Order of Semkirk.

--New Manhome Encylopedic Dictionary of Norfressan Languages,
Royal and Imperial Press: King Kormak College, Manhome
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He shouldn't have taken the shortcut.
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Book description
Whom the Gods would recruit, they first tick off!

Our Hero: The Unlikely Paladin

Bahzell Bahnakson of the Horse Stealer Hradani is no knight in shining armour. He's a hradani, a race known for thir uncontrollable rages, bloodthirsty tendencies, and inability to maintain civilized conduct. None of the other Five Races of man like the hradani. Besides his own ethnic burden, Bahzell has problems of his own to deal with: a violated hostage bond, a vengeful prince, a price on his head. He doesn't want to mess with anybody else's problems, let alone a god's. Let alone the War God's.

So how does he end up a thousand leagues from home, neckdeep in political intrigue, assassins, demons, psionicists, evil sorcery, white sorcery, dark gods, good gods, bad poets, greedy landlords and most of Bortalik Bay?

Well, it's all the War God's fault....
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The popular author of the Honor Harrington series tells the tale of Bahzell, a hsradani who has violated a hostage bond and now must deal with a vengeful prince and a price on his head. He doesn't want to mess with anyone else's problems, let alone the War God's. So how does he end up a thousand leagues from home? It's all the War God's fault.… (more)

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