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Book Review: The Fall of the Dagger by Glenda Larke

The Fall of the Dagger by Glenda Larke

Title: The Fall of Dagger

Author: Glenda Larke

Series: The Forsaken Lands #3

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: Sorcerers, pirates, and thieves collide in this thrilling conclusion to Glenda Larke’s epic fantasy adventure series, The Forsaken Lands. -Goodreads

I guess that sums it up.

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The Review:

There are a lot of reasons Glenda Larke is one of my favorite authors: 1. Her beautiful, seemingly effortless writing that lets me just sit back and immerse myself in the story, 2. Her exotic world-building that always takes me to the coolest places (all of you Sanderson fans clamoring for more in the Sixth of Dusk world should pick up a Glenda Lark series for the same encompassing atmospheres spread throughout her trilogies), 3. Her characters, who aren’t perfect, but are endearing in their humanity, and 4. Her infusion of nature (flora/fauna) into the stories. She’s one of my trusted guaranteed-good-read authors.

I can’t decide whether Fall of the Dagger or Dagger’s Path (book 2) is my favorite of the trilogy. Daggers Path had so many good moments (and my favorite setting of the trilogy), but Fall of the Dagger was a very satisfying trilogy-ender with more action. I especially like this series because of the characters. Each POV, while not terribly complex in motivation, always seemed earnest and realistic. I can’t quite put my finger on why I like them so much, suffice to say that I was always invested in their plight. The magic system in this series is also a selling point – there’s an avian-centric magic system that I’ve never come across before that appealed to me with its originality.

Compared to Glenda Larke’s other books, my favorite is still either the Isles of Glory Trilogy or the Watergivers Trilogy, but this one has definitely earned its keep among them. If I’m honest, it’s not a complete “knock-your-socks-off” fantasy read that will shred your soul (like Robin Hobb), but it’s still fun adventure to get absorbed in. I enjoyed them immensely.

Other books you might like:

 by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: The Dagger’s Path by Glenda Larke

The Dagger's PathTitle: The Dagger’s Path

Author: Glenda Larke

Series: The Forsaken Lands #2

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: January 13, 2015

The Overview: It should have been easy — return the stolen feather and restore Ardhi back to his rightful place. But when Saker, Ardhi, Sorrel, and Piper arrive to find the island in chaos, returning just the one feather will not help — not when the other three have mysteriously disappeared as well. As Saker and Ardhi work to mend the distrust caused by Ardhi’s betrayal and attempt to retrieve the other feathers, they slowly find a sort of peace with the islanders. That is, until Saker realizes they unintentionally led the Spice traders straight to the sacred island they were hoping to protect. Now Saker must fight with both the Va witchery and Chenderawasi magic to defend everything that Ardhi holds dear. But Saker’s powers are very new, and their enemies have them surrounded.

The Dagger's Path 2

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

 Glenda Larke is easily one of my all-time favorite fantasy authors. I’ve read every book she has published so far (including the Mirage trilogy which I had to pay big bucks to have shipped over from Australia), and have absolutely loved every last one. She always dazzles me with epic world-building, amazing characters, and well-woven plots, and her work in this latest trilogy is no exception – in fact, it has the potential to be my favorite yet. The Lascar’s Dagger (Book 1 in this series) was phenomenal and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves epic fantasy. I am so excited for this second book I can hardly stand it. And it gets even better – the release day also happens to be my birthday! :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke

lascar's daggerTitle: The Lascar’s Dagger

Author: Glenda Larke

Series: the Forsaken Lands #1

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: March 18, 2014

Rating: 5/5 stars

The Overview: Saker appears to be a simple priest, but in truth he’s a spy for the head of his faith. Wounded in the line of duty by a Lascar sailor’s blade, the weapon seems to follow him home. Unable to discard it, nor the sense of responsibility it brings, Saker can only follow its lead. The dagger puts Saker on a journey to distant shores, on a path that will reveal terrible secrets about the empire, about the people he serves, and destroy the life he knows. The Lascar’s dagger demands a price, and that price will be paid in blood.

lascar's dagger

The Review:

I want to start out by saying how much I love Glenda Larke. She has the best world building of any fantasy writer I’ve ever read and it only seems to get stronger with each book. She’s taken me from stone cities to tropical islands to port cities to desert oases – basically anywhere that sounds interesting and exotic. If that weren’t awesome enough, she also tells her stories beautifully, creates complex an interesting characters, and provides epic adventures. In short, she is amazing.

When I talk about the world building, I’m not just talking about the setting, but rather something that is more all-encompassing. Larke weaves together multiple nations with their different cultural and religious backgrounds so seamlessly you’d think she was pulling information straight out of a history book. It’s just so thorough… it blows my mind. The depth of her world creations is astounding, but even more so is the way the cultures in her novels evolve as they start interact with one another. And another thing, they’re always so darn original. There are elements that have certainly been done before, but never as vibrant and evoking as when Larke does them.

While the worlds alone are reason enough to pick up Larke’s books, her characterization is just as strong. It’s not just that they’re interesting and well rounded, but that they always seem to have compelling conflicts. The trials they face, whether internal or external, are always an integral part of the stories – and done so well that I become immediately invested. In The Lascar’s Dagger, several POVs contributed to the overall arc of the story, and I found myself hard-pressed to decide which perspective I enjoyed following more. They all had different motives driving their actions, but somehow managed to get me feeling their successes and failures as if they were my own. I think the character that I felt the biggest connection to was Sorrel. Without giving too much away, let’s suffice to say that I found her perseverance inspiring and am most excited to see where her her courage and resilience take her in the next novel – there is so much more to her than meets the eye.

In case you didn’t get the memo from my highly praising review, Larke is one of the best fantasy authors I’ve ever read. My only disappointment is that she dwells on a different continent, so I’ll probably never have the chance to meet her. She has a lifelong fan in me, and I vowed long ago to pick up anything she writes the day it comes out (imagine how tickled I was to get access to an early copy of this novel – thank you, Netgalley!).

Recommended Reading: if you are a fan of high fantasy and have not yet read any of Larke’s books, you are sorely missing out! I recommend The Last Stormlord the most, but my true love is The Isles of Glory trilogy.

Other books you might like:

 by Niki Hawkes

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Coming Soon: The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke

lascar's daggerTitle: The Lascar’s Dagger

Author: Glenda Larke

Series: The Forsaken Lands #1

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: March 18, 2014

The Overview: Saker appears to be a simple priest, but in truth he’s a spy for the head of his faith. Wounded in the line of duty by a Lascar sailor’s blade, the weapon seems to follow him home. Unable to discard it, nor the sense of responsibility it brings, Saker can only follow its lead. The dagger puts Saker on a journey to distant shores, on a path that will reveal terrible secrets about the empire, about the people he serves, and destroy the life he knows. The Lascar’s dagger demands a price, and that price will be paid in blood.

lascar's dagger

 Hosted by Breaking the Spine

 While there are many authors that I love, there are few that I’m more passionate about than Glenda Larke. I’ve read everything she’s ever had published including a series I had to pay top dollar to have shipped over from Australia. Everything she writes is golden and I am STOKED that she has another series in the making (The Lascar’s Dagger being the first book). If you like high fantasies like Goodkind, Sanderson, and even Hobb, this author should definitely be added to your list!

What book are you waiting on?

by Niki Hawkes

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Book Review: The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke

Title: The Last Stormlord

Author: Glenda Larke

Series: Stormlord #1

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The OverviewShale is the lowest of the low-an outcast from a poor village in the heart of the desert. In the desert water is life, and currency, and Shale has none. But he has a secret. It’s the one thing that keeps him alive and may save all the cities of the Quartern in the days to come. If it doesn’t get him killed first…

Terelle is a slave fleeing a life as a courtesan. She finds shelter in the home of an elderly painter but as she learns the strange and powerful secrets of his art she fears she may have traded a life of servitude for something far more perilous…

The Stormlord is dying in his tower and there is no one, by accident or design, to take his place. He brings the rain from the distant seas to his people. Without a Stormlord, the cities of the Quartern will wither and die. 

Their civilization is at the brink of disaster. If Shale and Terelle can find a way to save themselves, they may just save them all. Water is life and the wells are running dry..

 The Review:

I’ve read everything Glenda Larke has published (even the stuff I had to get overseas), and I love her. This particular series is probably the best so far. Her strength has always been world-building, and in the “Stormlord” books, she really takes it to the next level. Between the vivid landscape, unique creatures, and the cultures of the people, she really succeeds in bringing the story to life!

I also thought the plot was excellent: The people who live in the desert cities of Quartern are completely dependent on the stormlords to fill their wells with precious water. The trouble comes when the last stormlord powerful enough to bring rain falls ill. As if the story and cool magic system wasn’t good enough, there is also a character who’s heritage allows her to turn her paintings into reality. I found the whole thing enthralling – it was definitely an “up ‘til 3 a.m. to finish it” novel. What’s more, the story bounces around between different characters, and while sometimes that can bore a reader, I thought each character was well-developed and interesting, with every perspective enriching the overall plot. There wasn’t a single character that I wasn’t eager to read more about.

Overall, I think Larke is a seriously under-appreciated author, between the excellent, unique world, the interesting magic systems, a great plot, and amazing characters, her stories easily rival some of the best fantasy books out there. A well-rounded book, I think it’s a must-read for fantasy fans looking for something new!

Recommendations: If you liked Larke, give “The Isles of Glory” and “Mirage Makers” a try! You’ll be blown away by this woman’s creative range.

Other books you might like:

  • “The Way of Shadows” by Brent Weeks
  • “A Shadow in Summer” by Daniel Abraham
  • “The Thief’s Gamble” by Juliet E. Mckenna
  • “Heart of Myrial” by Maggie Furey   <– arguably my favorite book of all-time!
  • “Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson

by Niki Hawkes