The Desert and the Blade

The Desert and the Blade

A Novel of the Change

Book - 2015
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In his Novels of the Change, New York Times bestselling author S.M. Stirling presents "a devastated, mystical world that will appeal to fans of traditional fantasy as well as post-apocalyptic SF."* Continuing their quest that began in The Golden Princess , two future rulers of a world without technology risk their lives seeking a fabled blade...

Reiko, Empress of Japan, has allied herself with Princess #65533;rlaith, heir to the High Kingdom of Montival, to find the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi , the Grass-Cutting Sword, a legendary treasure of an ancient dynasty that confers valor and victory to its bearer. #65533;rlaith understands all too well the power it signifies. Her own inherited blade, the Sword of the Lady, was both a burden and a danger to her father, Rudi Mackenzie, as it failed to save the king from being assassinated.

But the fabled sword lies deep with the Valley of Death, and the search will be far from easy. And war is building, in Montival and far beyond.

As #65533;rlaith and Reiko encounter danger and wonder, #65533;rlaith's mother, Queen Matildha, believes her daughter's alliance and quest has endangered the entire realm. There are factions both within and without Montival whose loyalty died with the king, and whispers of treachery and war grow ever louder.

And the Malevolence that underlies the enemy will bend all its forces to destroy them.

* Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Publisher: New York, New York :, New American Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC,, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780451417350
Characteristics: viii, 612 pages : map ; 24 cm.


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Feb 17, 2017

Found this long-winded and sort of blathery, like someone with dementia trying to tell a story. Just gave up. Not even remotely gripping.

Sep 29, 2015

Previous titles in the series were adventurous. This one had way to much dialog (half of the book), short on action, and repeated comparisons of the factions making up the High Kingdom. Could have been done in 100 pages vs. the 600+ to plod through.

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