Vocho and Kacha are champion duellists: a brother and sister known for the finest swordplay in the city of Reyes. Or at least they used to be – until they were thrown out of the Duellist’s Guild.
Now all that’s left to them is to become reluctant highwaymen. But when they pick the wrong carriage to rob, their simple plans to win back fame and fortune go south fast.
After barely besting a powerful magician, Vocho and Kacha make off with an immense locked chest. But the contents will bring them more than they’ve bargained for, when they soon find themselves embroiled in a dangerous plot to return an angry king to power . .
Swords and Scoundrels is the first book in the Duellists Trilogy – a tale of death, magic, and the perils of family loyalty.
The cover initially grabbed me with this book, I loved the hard, swashbuckling look of the characters then the description clinched it for me.
Vocho and Kacha are brother and sister, recently ejected from the Duellists Guild after Vocho was accused of murdering an important charge they’ve turned to a life as highwaymen. When they steal a chest from a magician they get themselves wrapped up in a plot to return a king to power in a world without kings.
Julia Knight has built a truly interesting world here with the Clockwork God, and a city, Reyes, built on clockwork which moves and changes as the day changes. This is perfectly described and is the basis for the story and the treachery within the story. A lot of time is spent on the world building which helps paint the picture perfectly.
Vocho and Kacha are great characters with deep held resentments, competitiveness, and deep love, all characteristics which sit naturally within their brother/sister relationship. They are strong willed characters who have been brought up with honour and to fight for the duellists guild, but neither of them is above cheating and cutting corners to achieve their goals.
This brother sister relationship is the pivot the book is written on, whilst there is much going on within the book the relationship between Vocho and Kacha is what everything relies on. The need they both have to be the best, and their protective instinct for each other.
This is a light-hearted fantasy which weaves through the world with lots of sword play, and witty characters.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Title: Swords and Scoundrels
Series: The Duellists Trilogy #1
Author: Julia Knight
Genre: Fantasy | Steampunk | Magic
Publication Date: 6 October 2015
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook
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