Title: The Tattered Banner
Author: Duncan M Hamilton
Number of Pages : 372
Published : 2nd March 2013
******************************This Review contains Spoilers *******************************
This is not your typical peasant to grand hero Arch, you know “orphan beggar with mysterious powers plucked from squalor and soon a noble hero” ATLEAST at first. Hamilton avoids a lot of the issues that normally come alongside it. Nobody tells the main protagonist to let fate decide, or that he should follow or use someone to greatness, this makes the characters choices a lot more real.
The Hero, Soren, is taken from the streets by an opportunity that he can’t afford to pass up. An opportunity to attend Ostia’s prestigious Academy of Swordsmanship. Magic is outlawed in Ostia, so the Duchy’s best and brightest become master swordsmen in order to move up in society. But this opportunity comes with a catch, if he were to fail, he is out, out of the academy and back onto the streets where he came from. this is something his Rich and Noble classmates, find quite amusing and don’t have to contend with themselves.
As Soren learns swordsmanship at the academy, it becomes evident that something isn’t quite right with him, and that he has some kind of “talent” with a blade, which allows him to beat almost anyone with minimal training and effort.
This is where the story changes from the typical arch, as the gift proves to be magical. This is a complete game changer for Soren leaving him royally in hot water. Instead of the story having him rise through the ranks of the academy, and an amazing speed with a major goal of riches, fame, or to be the hero that save the world It has now changed to be a fast paced survival story.
My main gripe with this story is the lack of explanation of the magic and the kingdom’s history. That and Soren’s complete lack of intrigue about his seemingly magical ability. This and the complete lack of overall plot goal to the story, other than the survival of the main character makes it’s very difficult to see which direction Hamilton plans to take this novel series. I hope this may be addressed in the second novel of the series, as I feel there is a lot potential within this story.
In conclusion, it’s a ambitious and somewhat entertaining debut novel, it has a lot of good and bad points in equal measure. It has definitely done the key job of a debut novel in that it has set the scene and tempo for the series, however what type of scene I feel, is yet to be revealed.
Until next time, read more books!….