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Cardinals Blades by Pierre Pevel
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Cardinals Blades (edition 2009)

by Pierre Pevel

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1931061,059 (3.55)33
Member:JR.Raluces
Title:Cardinals Blades
Authors:Pierre Pevel
Info:Gollancz (2009), Edition: First UK, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:Fantasy

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The Cardinal's Blades by Pierre Pevel

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» See also 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I ventured into this series after reading Pevel's fabulous 'The Knight - A tale from the High Kingdom'.

This is the first in an unrelated series, which makes a lot of sense, given that this one is essentially an introduction to Pevel’s world. That isn’t to say that the plot is left to one side, but the novel takes a lot of care to introduce us to the cast of characters, and it can all be a little overwhelming at times. There’s a lot to take in, and part of me hopes that future books take a little more time to focus on individuals, rather than get lost in a morass of conspiracies, back-stabbings and politics. It isn’t entirely fair to suggest that nothing else happens in this book – the political side of things mostly chunters away in the background, and will obviously build to a head in future volumes – but there is the occasional danger of the author becoming so wrapped up in his creation that the reader gets lost.

Having said that, as long as one is prepared to let the book carry you along, there’s an awful lot to enjoy here. Our eponymous heroes are a fun lot, old soldiers bought back together under mysterious circumstances and surrounded by enemies, both open and hidden. If there’s an element of cliché – grizzled teacher, arrogant drunk, feisty woman – it’s generally forgivable, mostly because of the obvious fun Pevel is having. Richelieu is scheming, the European powers are squabbling amongst themselves, an important visitor to Paris has gone missing, and, of course, there are dragons…

To be fair, the dragon thing is hardly the focus of the book, and I worry that people may be put off just by their presence. Pevel has thought things through, and the descendants of dragons are living amongst us, which makes the whole scheming/hiding thing much easier. There is a lot of fun to be had in guessing who is secretly scaly, and there’s one reveal right at the end which promises future trouble for the Blade’s, and made me impatient to read on (I’ll have to wait though…). I’ve always enjoyed Dumas’ books, and the brief cameo from Athos here was a nice touch. There’s a feel of the pulpiness of the Musketeer books, and although the prose isn’t on that level, it works perfectly well – a good writer, and a good translator, which is a good combination.
I've got the whole series - so I'm now onto book 2. ( )
  Jawin | Apr 3, 2017 |
In spite of the presence of dragons and such, this book is really an homage to Alexandre Dumas and his musketeers. The plot is full of intrigue and swashbuckling, with the dragon-types serving as off-the-screen villains. Substitute an evil secret society for the dragons and there you have a novel Dumas might have written.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. ( )
  barlow304 | Nov 3, 2016 |
Basically, this is The Three Muskeeters with dragons. The plot is done very well, the author has read his Dumas closely. There is political intrigue, as Richelieu tries to thwart a plot against France, swordfights, treason, courage, heroism, and everything else you need for a rousing swashbuckler. The writing style is less than perfect, with a curiously limited vocabulary for clothes and other physical things and a number of stock phrases (when people turn around, they always “tournent sur les talons”, no variations offered). There are disappointingly few dragons around, though.
Pevel started his career writing for role-playing games, and I think it shows in the way he assembles and describes his large cast of characters without letting you know how they relate to each other. He also needs a lot of time setting up the scene and putting events in motion. But things get gripping enough to continue with the next book. Oh, and there’s a surprise guest appearance from a “real” musketeer! ( )
1 vote MissWatson | Jul 24, 2015 |
While not a perfectly composed book, I had a ridiculous amount of fun reading it. Alternate history, a dash of Three Musketeers, dragons... daring swordfights, and an elite squad of fighters loyal to Cardinal Richelieu and the crown, out to roust a secret organization set to take over the world.

If you love silly swashbuckling and 7th Sea, this is a perfect book for you. It starts a bit slow as we are introduced to our cast of characters, but picks up and dives headlong into the fun before too long.

My biggest complaint is the single major female protagonist. There are a few female side characters, but there could have been more ladies. What are swashbuckling adventures without witty, pretty ladies to spy and swordfight and flirt with? ( )
  PaperCrystals | Feb 26, 2015 |
One way to sumarize this one is ‘Imagine the kind of story that The Three Musketeers could have been in an alternate universe where dragons exist.’

This is the first book of a trilogy. The beginning is slow-paced as we meet all the protagonists then the action is taking off in the second part of the story but oh boy, when it starts, it’s so worth it. I’m looking forward the next one. ( )
  electrice | Feb 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pierre Pevelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Clegg, TomTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cooke, Jacqueline NassoDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sullivan, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ce livre est dédié à Jean-Philippe, mon frère trop tôt enfui.
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Long and high-ceilinged, the room was lined with elegantly gilded and bound books which shone with a russet gleam in the half-light of the candle flames.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0575084383, Paperback)

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 Cardinal Richelieu governs the country. One of the most dangerous and most powerful men in Europe, Richelieu keeps a constant, sharp eye on the enemies of the Crown to avoid their assassination attempts, thwart their spies and avert their warmongering. But he's up against people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, even going so far as to forge alliances with France's oldest and deadliest enemies. Spain, and the Court of Dragons. The nobility keep tiny dragonnets as pets; royal couriers ride tame wyverns, and lethal man-shaped scaled dracs ropam the country. But the power rising from the Court of Dragons is anything but mundane; the Black Claw sect draws on dragons as they once were: ancient, terrible, utterly merciless ...and poised to move against France. Faced with the growing threat from Spain, Richelieu summons Captain la Fargue, an exceptional swordsman, devoted officer and brilliant leader. If he's to turn aside the Black Claw's schemes, La Fargue and his legenday company of swashbucklers and rogues must be persuaded to once again risk their lives, fortunes and reputations for Richelieu, and for France. It's the biggest challenge yet for The Cardinal's Blades - and they'll need to be sharp ...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

FANTASY. Paris, 1633. Louis XIII reigns over France ...and Cardinal Richelieu governs the country. One of the most dangerous and most powerful men in Europe, Richelieu keeps a constant, sharp eye on the enemies of the Crown to avoid their assassination attempts, thwart their spies and avert their warmongering. But he's up against people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, even going so far as to forge alliances with France's oldest and deadliest enemies. Spain, and the Court of Dragons. The nobility keep tiny dragonnets as pets; royal couriers ride tame wyverns, and lethal man-shaped scaled dracs ropam the country.The Black Claw sect draws on dragons as they once were: ancient, terrible, utterly merciless ...and poised to move against France. Faced with the growing threat from Spain, Richelieu summons Captain la Fargue, an exceptional swordsman, devoted officer and brilliant leader.… (more)

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