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Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare
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Sword Catcher (edition 2023)

by Cassandra Clare (Author)

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8311026,756 (3.99)3
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:Two outcasts find themselves caught in a web of forbidden love, dangerous magic, and dark secrets that could change the world forever in the start of a riveting epic fantasy series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Shadowhunter Chronicles.
“Everything I look for in fantasy.”—George R. R. Martin
In the vibrant city-state of Castellane, the richest of nobles and the most debauched of criminals have one thing in common: the constant search for wealth, power, and the next hedonistic thrill.
Kel is an orphan, stolen from the life he knew to become the Sword Catcher—the body double of a royal heir, Prince Conor Aurelian. He has been raised alongside the prince, trained in every aspect of combat and statecraft. He and Conor are as close as brothers, but Kel knows that his destiny is to die for Conor. No other future is possible.
Lin Caster is one of the Ashkar, a small community whose members still possess magical abilities. By law, they must live behind walls within the city, but Lin, a physician, ventures out to tend to the sick and dying of Castellane. Despite her skills, she cannot heal her best friend without access to forbidden knowledge.
After a failed assassination attempt brings Lin and Kel together, they are drawn into the web of the mysterious Ragpicker King, the criminal ruler of Castellane’s underworld. He offers them each what they want most; but as they descend into his world of intrigue and shadow, they discover a conspiracy of corruption that reaches from the darkest gutters of Castellane to the highest tower of its palaces. As long-kept secrets begin to unravel, they must ask themselves: Is knowledge worth the price of betrayal? Can forbidden love bring down a kingdom? And will their discoveries plunge their nation into war—and the world into chaos?
… (more)
Member:JordanPhair
Title:Sword Catcher
Authors:Cassandra Clare (Author)
Info:Pan Macmillan (2023), 480 pages
Collections:Your library
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Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Representation: Asian characters
Trigger warnings: Blood depiction, attempted suicide, fire, shipwreck, physical assault and injury, military violence and war themes
Score: Five out of ten.
Find this review on The StoryGraph.

What a massive disappointment.

I wanted to read Sword Catcher to give Cassandra Clare another chance after City of Bones underwhelmed me, and City of Ashes was slightly unnerving. I saw it at a library and decided to pick it up, but not before glancing at the blurb, making it seem intriguing. However, when I closed the final page, I didn't want to reread it.

It starts with the first person I see, Kel, plucked from his poor neighbourhood in Castellane to act as Prince Conor's body double, aka, Sword Catcher. Meanwhile, Lin lives in Ashkari as one of the Ashkar, one of the few remaining people who still use magic. It's a low form, but it's magic nonetheless because after a certain event, all forms of high magic are gone. I liked that before each chapter begins, there's a story within the story, but it felt like a forced info-dump that doesn't flow naturally into the central plot--it's more shoehorned in. The writing style didn't capture my attention since it waffles sometimes with filler words that the author could've removed during the editing process. The pacing is tedious, with the narrative spanning more than 600 pages, but it could easily be much shorter if there weren't any writing blunders. Even the characters failed to capture my attention as I couldn't connect or relate to any of them. The worldbuilding is overambitious but leaves behind plot holes as I couldn't keep up with all the intricacies. There were deities. Different countries. Magic systems. Backstories. Cultures. You get the idea. According to the map, Castellane is on a world different from this one, but some of the settings look like Asian countries like China, India and Korea. That may be a sign of cultural appropriation. Make up your mind, author! Do you want to set Sword Catcher in an alternate world based on this one or create a new one? Nothing happens for the first 550 pages, then some action occurs during the last 50, concluding Sword Catcher on a cliffhanger. I'm not interested in the next part, The Ragpicker King. ( )
  Law_Books600 | Apr 7, 2024 |
Brilliant, has a few hiccups, but overall new storyline ( )
  ChrisGreenDog | Feb 11, 2024 |
Kel is a 10 year old boy living in an orphanage in the city-state of Castellane when he is plucked out to be the Sword Catcher, the body double of the royal heir, due to his resemblance to the young Prince Conor Aurelian. He and the prince become friends and inseparable. As the prince becomes a young man, he gets into some trouble which Kel must clean up. The twelve families who own the 12 charters for silk, dyes, etc. are very political and ruthless.
Lin Caster is a member of the Ashkar, a community shunned due to their use of magic. She is a healer although cannot access some of the books used by the non-Askar medical community. She desperately wants access in order to try to heal her best friend, Mariam. Then there is the Rag Picker King, head of the criminal element in Castellane. Both end up going to him for help. Prosper Beck, a criminal who controls the MAZE, is another character. The book ends in two cliff-hangers setting up the next volume in this series. There is way too much description in this book. ( )
  baughga | Jan 24, 2024 |
This book is the first in an epic fantasy series described as two outcasts (Kel and Lin) who find themselves "caught in a web of forbidden love, dangerous magic and dark secrets". The world-building and political system is fantastic (it takes a while to get the myriad of kingdoms and nobles and whatnot straight in your head) and the cast of characters is interesting. I’m particularly intrigued by the Ragpicker King. This was my first Cassandra Clare read - and I will definitely be picking up the next book in this series to see what happens next ( )
  Jawin | Jan 4, 2024 |
I really loved this book. I think i suffered a bit from taking so long to read. I loved seeing this author explore a new world and just new dynamics and new world overall. I really loved both characters and tohught this was such a well crafted read. I also think this is a great starter fantsay read!! I am def excitd to read more books in this series ( )
  lmauro123 | Dec 28, 2023 |
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Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:Two outcasts find themselves caught in a web of forbidden love, dangerous magic, and dark secrets that could change the world forever in the start of a riveting epic fantasy series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Shadowhunter Chronicles.
“Everything I look for in fantasy.”—George R. R. Martin
In the vibrant city-state of Castellane, the richest of nobles and the most debauched of criminals have one thing in common: the constant search for wealth, power, and the next hedonistic thrill.
Kel is an orphan, stolen from the life he knew to become the Sword Catcher—the body double of a royal heir, Prince Conor Aurelian. He has been raised alongside the prince, trained in every aspect of combat and statecraft. He and Conor are as close as brothers, but Kel knows that his destiny is to die for Conor. No other future is possible.
Lin Caster is one of the Ashkar, a small community whose members still possess magical abilities. By law, they must live behind walls within the city, but Lin, a physician, ventures out to tend to the sick and dying of Castellane. Despite her skills, she cannot heal her best friend without access to forbidden knowledge.
After a failed assassination attempt brings Lin and Kel together, they are drawn into the web of the mysterious Ragpicker King, the criminal ruler of Castellane’s underworld. He offers them each what they want most; but as they descend into his world of intrigue and shadow, they discover a conspiracy of corruption that reaches from the darkest gutters of Castellane to the highest tower of its palaces. As long-kept secrets begin to unravel, they must ask themselves: Is knowledge worth the price of betrayal? Can forbidden love bring down a kingdom? And will their discoveries plunge their nation into war—and the world into chaos?

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