Book Review: The Tattered Banner

The Tattered Banner CoverTitle: The Tattered Banner

Author: Duncan M. Hamilton

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon, B&N

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Unique talent always attracts attention…

In a world where magic is outlawed, ability with a sword is prized above all else. For Soren this means the chance to live out his dreams.
Plucked from a life of privation, he is given a coveted place at Ostenheim’s Academy of Swordsmanship, an opportunity beyond belief.
Opportunity is not always what it seems however, and gifts rarely come without conditions. Soren becomes an unwitting pawn in a game of intrigue and treachery that could cost him not just his dreams, but also his life.

Soren loves swordfighting. He grows up on the streets as a regular kid, always watching the sword fights and wishing he’d become a famous swordman himself. After his sword skills are witnessed by a nobleman, who plucks him off the streets, Soren gets to go to Ostenheim’s Academy of Swordmanship, one of the most prestigious academies to learn sword fighting. The reader watches Soren grow from a boy into a man, honing his skills, and finding himself in sometimes impossible situations.

Soren is an intriguing character. To say he goes through character development, would be an understatement. The first part of this book is definitely a coming-of-age story. We witness the growth from Soren from boy into man, and it’s very well done. His personality changes, his traits alter based on whatever life throws at him, and as a reader, we get to enjoy all that.

Another side effect of the novel spanning so many years, is that the pace is relentlessly high. Sometimes we’re thrown smack in the middle of events. It doesn’t happen often that a novel makes me wish for a small break, time to take a sigh of relief, but it’s definitely the case here.

The world grows along with the character, which was a good thing. Instead of overwhelming the reader with information about this fantasy world and its worldbuilding, we learn about Soren’s city first, then about the neighboring cities, then about the kingdom, etc. The more Soren grows, the more his world grows. Almost like in real life – for young kids, the world can be quite small, and the older you get, the larger the world becomes.

The writing was very decent, and I enjoyed most, if not everything, about this book, from Soren’s journey to his personality development, to the world building. An excellent read if you’re in the mood for some fast-paced fantasy!


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