My Review of Sword of Betrayal by Robert Evert

Blurb:

Edris’s lay-about life of privilege ends abruptly when his father, Lord Elros, announces that his
adolescent son will enter the military in the spring. Edris has only six months to ready himself to serve a king who despises his family and will undoubtedly make his life beyond miserable.

To prepare him, Lord Elros puts Edris through a brutal training regime. Not only does he demand
Edris beat every man with whom he spars, but he also insists his son knock them unconscious—even if that means fighting dirty.

About to crack under the relentless pressure, the sensitive Edris seeks a way to get out from under his father’s heavy thumb. A solution presents itself when an announcement for the latest Kings’ Quest arrives. According to the royal proclamation, the adventurer who finds the fabled Sword of
Betrayal will win one thousand gold pieces, money Edris could use to start his own life with the woman he loves.

Edris proposes to undertake the quest in order to get in better shape; however, Lord Elros has another idea—Edris will undertake the quest so he can get close to, and kill, the king’s son.

Author Bio (from Robert’s site)

By day, Robert Evert is an ordinary university professor bent on stamping out ignorance and apathy wherever they may rear their ugly heads. By night, and during various faculty meetings, he is an aspiring fantasy writer. Living in northeast Ohio with his wife, two sons, dog, four cats, and a host of imaginary friends, Robert enjoys teaching, yoga, hiking, and writing.

My Review:

Thank you to Shannon for providing me an ARC for this novel, which I enjoyed.

This is a solid novel in an epic fantasy series. It has swords, knights, fighting, the usual good ol’ English Medieval setting, and not enough dragons oddly. Normally I didn’t read much Medieval fantasy, I used too a couple of years back, but there was something about this story that made me read on. It was one character’s struggle. I sympathised with Edris and although I read grim-dark to an extent, this had a more heroic feeling to it. But it showed that the heroics of what the knights profess doesn’t matter. In the same way, the Samurai were exactly the same as Medieval Knights. A code of honour and all that malarkey while they kept tight of their privileges of power, or if we look at it from their point of view, why give it to a bunch of commoners that would demand more rights?

Edris’s father was a character I did not like yet I did not understand his motivation behind his relationship with his son. I wanted to see how his father was establishing his own form of power throughout the novel. I also needed to see a more deeper reason as to why he does his actions. Without going too much into spolier mode, I think the relationship between Edris and his father could have been strengthened, in that sense we could have seen a more powerful dynamic.

But I was with Edris every step of the way. I hope he grows out of his naivety and the ending is shocking. In this world where Kings are ruling, could Edris rise to become Emperor? I have a feeling he might become one day. But then it is a good indication that a massive civil war may erupt. I was disappointed that there was no map, and had hoped there was a dramatis personae. I liked the concept of quests, but sometimes thought it could get a bit tiring. I would request Robert to add in Romans, Samurai or Vikings in this fantasy world, heck add the Persian Empire etc. The reason for this is because so the concept of going on quests doesn’t become so tiring. I mean sure, everyone’s on a quest, but won’t that change at one point? There was a good connection to a culture that once came into Europe. For that, I will let you discover in the novel. I also wanted to see a little more humor if need be. I’d love to see how Edris grows out of his shell in the sequel.

I loved this, and give it a 4.5/5. I cannot wait to see what happens in the sequel.

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