Young and filled with idealistic fervor, Arturo packs his blade and travels to the fabled City of Swords in the hopes of joining the dashing Bravadori. Yet upon arriving he discovers these masked vigilantes have more in common with brutal thugs than noble monster slayers. Disillusioned and mocked, he stubbornly refuses to give up his dreams.
When an impending bandit attack threatens untold depravities upon a distant village, and no others will heed the call for help, Arturo joins forces with a worthless outcast and a walking legend to attempt the impossible, to traverse the demon-haunted wilderness and prove that in the City of Swords, true heroes can rise from the unlikeliest of places.
Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords is a gritty, action-packed standalone novel set in Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld, a land where folktales and fantasy mix, where the monsters from stories are real.
|Author||ebook||286||indie||Fantasy / Folklore||October 17th, 2017|
*I am eternally grateful to Benedict Patrick for supplying me with these mesmerizing stories in the Yarnsworld series. I received a copy of Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords directly from author in exchange for an honest review*
Let’s face it, any good story has a good dose of corrupted cream of the crop, high ambitions by the already successful and the shunned, and easily discernible character development. TBFSftCoS has all of that PLUS the wonderful addition of folktale element which adds so much richness to the already wonderful fantasy story being told.
Flowers of ash were falling from the dark indents that were the creature’s eyes. The flowers fell every time the creature sobbed. For – and the farmer had known this as soon as his wife had crumbled to dust – it was the Black Shepherdess who had come to visit him that night.
TBFSftCoS is a novel that holds many qualities- a fantastic storytelling (and Patrick has been solid in his writing from book 1 through to book 3 in the Yarnsworld series), great cast of characters and worldbuilding, inspired by the many unique corners of our world to rival the many loved fantasy titles across the globe. Eloquent swordfight/action scenes, eerie moments worthy and demanding of a campfire and characters entirely too human in the ways they err.
This book explores the world of Bravadori in the city of Espadapan and the wild folk in the surrounding Wildlands. The background for both is entirely too rich to be able to give you a brief summary without ruining your future reading experience. The only thing I would say is that there is a clash of the ‘old ways’ with the ‘new’ causing a shift in religion, culture and ways of life.
Our tale begins in the early days, when the Muridae had first come to the Wilds. Those brave travellers has stepped off their boats, amazed at the vastness of the new lands they had discovered for their Queen. Imagine their surprise when they discovered a people already living in these lands, claiming it as their own.
The Bravadori, I would say, are like Musketeers. Except the Musketeers are actually, you know, nice, whereas Bravadori all seem to be equally and altogether too arrogant to deserve their high standings in the society. But as I said in the beginning- every good story has it’s fair share of corruption and egotistical goals. The Bravadori were not always thugs, though… Those living further away from Espadapan have heard great tales about some Bravadori legends like El Elephante, Silent Sparrow or Roaming Iguana…
*yep, there are a lot of funky names in this story!*
Arturo, having discovered his knack for swordfighting, has travelled to Espadapan to join the Bravadori and prove himself to his family. His innocence and naivety is met with a different world than what he expected. Especially when he fails to provoke any stable of various Bravadori to offer aid to a village out in the wild being attacked by bandits.
*fyi, if you have not yet heard or read of the Yarnsworld series, then knacks are one of the underlying themes. A knack is something that any character develops during their lifetime, be it fighting, cooking, smithing, singing, etc. Finding one’s knack is like finding a reason to live.*
Arturo’s path crosses with Yizel who is a Shaven (a shunned Bravador) and Crazy Raccoon (one of the most feared Bravador’s out there). Through unexpected circumstances, the three characters end up clashing and brought together on a risky journey. A journey which tests everyone’s steely nerves, a journey for which each of the characters envisions a self-serving outcome, a journey which takes a more deadlier turn that any of them ever expected.
It is not often Crazy Raccoon got to see something like that, to see hope die so clearly on someone’s face. It wasn’t dissimilar to the moment when someone’s soul left their body after being impaled on the end of a sword.
Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords is not only a standalone novel in the Yarnsworld series, it completely stands apart from Patrick’s previous novels (even though each of the 3 books this far are equally epic in their own right!) with the grittier, more foulmouthed tone. It’s not overdone by any means… Instead, it’s a treat for any fantasy lover who enjoys a good curse and a slightly more grim, morbid reading experience.
It only takes dedication and a pure heart to achieve something amazing.
I can easily, without any hesitation recommend all and any of the books in the Yarnsworld series by Benedict Patrick. I promise you, you will be swept away by the engaging storytelling and the arresting folktales that pepper each and every book and … ‘Queen’s tits‘, I cannot wait to see where Patrick will take me next with his stories…