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on Oct. 18, 2013 :
Bladesong is book 2 of the Troubadour series, of which book 1, Song at Dawn with its mix of historical romance, intrigue, and adventure completely captured my heart and imagination. Dragonetz and Estela were characters I could not forget. Overtime, my appreciation for Song at Dawn actually deepened as I remembered the brilliant characters and settings that author Jean Gill had so masterfully created from the fabric of history. So of course, I was very excited to pick up book 2!
Bladesong begins soon after the end of Song at Dawn. Dragonetz has begun his journey to the Holy Land, returning a sacred Torah in an effort to restore his wealth and reputation. But Dragonetz has already been ensnared by politics and factions seeking the book. In fact, the story begins with Dragonetz caught in a trap I felt had no solution. Estela also is facing repercussions from her love of Dragonetz and the feisty though slightly naive woman who graced Song at Dawn is absent in the first few chapters. I really was worried about there Ms. Gill was taking book 2.
BUT, the plot quickly unfolds with many twists. The trouble plaguing Dragonetz that I was certain was unescapable twines through the book until the final resolution in the last chapter. Estela emerges again with her hopes and wits, naive enough to be a pawn but true enough to herself and love to find her way forward, perhaps not unscathed which only deepens her. The ending is everything the romantic in me wanted yet leaves me longing for a final resolution hopefully coming in book 3?
I found this book more solid in following the main plot of the sacred book, Dragonetz, and Estela compared to book 1, which had a few subplots revolving around secondary characters, such as some political maneuvering that only vaguely touched on Dragonetz and Estela. The plot is trim and engrossing. Ms. Gil's writing is beautiful, crafting a historic setting with enough detail to give you a feel for the time without overwhelming the characters. Could my only complaint be Dragonetz is just a little too well known and wanted? But that fits a knight troubadour and though his fame is great, his character is human with fitting flaws.
This is an excellent book with a great story. If you love historical romance and adventure, you must pick up this series!
(reviewed long after purchase)