Thursday, April 24, 2008

"The Hand that Holds the Crown" by Nathan Meyer from Return of the Sword

This is the story of a battle to the death between two armored warriors for the right to rule their land. More than just a duel or some sort noble spectacle out of Ivanhoe, the setup is clever and the point of view twists with the story, until the brutal clash of arms.

Meyer has written an awesome fight scene, pulling off the neat literary feat of giving us the fight from both men's perspectives in a battle that crackles with visceral force. HIs ease with the details of armor and sensory descriptions really bring the scene to life.

There's not a great deal of characterization or backstory here, but there were some tantalizing details that spelled out interesting motivations and history between the two combatants. "The Hand that Holds the Crown" is a rocking tale with much more to it than I can give away here. Check it out.

There were a couple of printing errors. One part seemed like it needed a section break, but it may be I was just catching on to the way the PoV would shift. It was hardly a distraction at all from the action, though. This is a story I will read again, and one of the best in an excellent volume of action stories. I hesitate to call this one fantasy, because it could very easily be historical fiction. The only magic is at the end, but it is of an entirely human nature. ;)

Buy the book! The Return of the Sword: An Anthology of Heroic Adventure
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