Thursday, February 4, 2021

Of Sword and Shadow by A.L. Sowards


Greece, 1379

She is known by many names, none of them her own. In truth, she is an unnamed slave, nothing more than a weapon in the hands of her owner in his attempts to provoke political mayhem. When she encounters a handsome young man while on an assignment, she thinks little of him—until he attempts to take what she has stolen. But in her line of work, failure is not an option.

Gillen is intrigued by the mysterious woman who thwarts his mission. But when his path crosses hers again, his intrigue turns to gratitude as the thief he comes to call Eudocia saves his life. The two form a bond of friendship and join forces to wrest control from a group of ruthless rulers. But as their camaraderie blossoms into something more, Gillen and Eudocia must fight for love even as they wage war for a better future.

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This was just the sort of book I have been craving.  Something different.  The setting, the plot and the time period all felt fresh to me.  I really loved it.

The girl has no name.  How sad is that?  Names hold so much identity for us.  Sold into slavery at a very young age and forced into situations that brought pain and misery, the girl knows much about the harder things in life but not so much about the good.  Kindness, love and honesty are all foreign concepts to her.  Then comes Gillen, who takes to calling her Eudocia and gives her a glimpse of what kindness and friendship look like.  

There was adventure, political intrigue, hold your breath moments and times where I didn't think I could stand the horrors anymore.  The story moves along steadily, but not quickly.  There is plenty of time to digest what is happening and understand the characters and what is developing between them and in the plot.  This story is more of the other things and less of the romance. 

This author does such a good job with research and history.  I can feel it all throughout the book.  The attention to detail really helps set the stage in my mind so I can imagine it all.  It was so good.  I was excited to read that the author will be doing another book along these lines set some years down the road with some characters from this book making an appearance.  Yay!

Content:  violence, peril.  War time violence.  Beatings, torture, some detail given but nothing prolonged or too detailed.  References to using women in sexual ways but only generally and not specifically.  One kiss.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

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