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Title: Impossible Odds
Series: King's Blades
Author: Dave Duncan
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Grand Duke Rubin has been deposed. He seeks assistance from the King of Chivial who agrees to Bind some Blades to him. Only no Blades are available. So 2 young and unprepared men are bound to the Duke. Along with them is a damaged Blade who can never be bound due to defects in his eyes. They also drag along a former White Sister who seems to be very powerful.
All this time, someone is hounding the Duke across the continent. His bride is dead, his child and heir is dead and it appears that his martial Uncle is the one behind it all. Now the small group must return to the Duke's home and figure out a way to retake the kingdom.
Of course, nothing is as it seems and political intrigue twists EVERYTHING on its head.
It was good to get back into this series. I'd read the previous book, Paragon Lost, back in '14 and was wondering if I'd need a refresher, but thankfully, this was a standalone novel. It did make mention of previous books and events, but honestly, I couldn't remember who was who or did what. And it didn't matter a whit.
This was a great book for intrigue. The "Duke" who the Blades are bound to is actually the Duke's wife under a disguise spell. Their son is alive and the real Duke appears to be in captivity under his Uncle's control. Knowing Duncan from his previous writings, I knew that what I was presented with still wasn't how things actually were. So I just sat back and enjoyed the ride along with the characters.
Things work out pretty happily in the end. My only issue with this book was that the real Duke was a loli-con. That means he preferred young woman barely pubescent. It wasn't portrayed as good or gone into detail, but it IS part of the story and left me feeling slightly soiled.