The Tattered Banner by Duncan M. Hamilton
A well written, entertaining read with enough unexpected twists and turns to make it very hard to put the book down. Mr. Hamilton has done a fine job creating a believable world with interesting characters and relatable emotions. ‘The Tattered Banner’ is an exciting book which keeps the reader on their toes and is filled with adventure and excitement.
Soren, saved from a life on the street by a rich and famous swordsman, finds himself having to learn new skills in the Academy of Swordsmanship as well as making new friends and enemies. The book follows Soren as he grows from gangly teenager into a strong, masterful warrior with unparalleled skills. He also realizes that he has a powerful gift that allows him the upper hand in any fight, but that has also cost him opportunities and Soren doesn’t know if it is more of a blessing or a curse. Although life seems too good to be true for a while, Soren soon finds out that things are not always as they seem. He is unwittingly drawn into a series of events that see him fall in with the wrong crowd, wrongly accused and almost killed. Soren finds out that love is never easy and that many who he thought were friends are doing no more than use him for their own profit.
I found the character of Soren to be well developed. He has emotions and concerns and thoughts that make him relatable and also authentic. There might be small sections that are almost tedious in explanations and following the story in close proximity, but overall it added to the interest you invest in the character. You get a niggling suspicion when a character that you thought was good turns out to be unpleasant, but Mr. Hamilton brings it about in such a way that you actually feel Soren’s emotional turmoil. Soren is not perfect, actually far from it, but that is the wonder of a well-written character, his humanity and sincerity redeems him and you very soon find yourself rooting for him. Mr. Hamilton has obviously put a lot of time and energy into ‘The Tattered Banner’ and I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.
**** four stars