Swashbuckling Fantasy Books

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A publicly ranked list of swashbuckling fantasy books
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Phoenix Guard

by Steven Brust

Khaavren of the House of Tiassa is a son of landless nobility, possessor of a good sword and “tolerably well-acquainted with its use.” Along with three loyal friends, he enthusiastically seeks out danger and excitement. But in a realm renowned for repartee and betrayals, where power is as mutable as magic, a young man like Khaavren, newly come from the countryside, had best be wary. His life depends on it. And so does the future of Draegara.
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Prince Of Foxes

by Samuel Shellabarger

It is easy to see why Prince of Foxes is a favorite of many; Italy during the time of the Borgias was a place rife with danger, intrigue and betrayal, all elements that make for a great adventure novel. It is against this backdrop that we meet Andrea Orsini, a true Renaissance man (and literally, given the setting of the book) who is handsome, intelligent, and gifted in everything he sets his hand to be it art, soldiery, disguise, espionage, or romance. Driven by ambition to make a place and a name for himself in the world, he hides his peasant birth, adopts a false identity, attaches himself to Cesare Borgia and begins his rise in the world. However, in the course of carrying out his various assignments, he unexpectedly finds true honor, loyalty and goodness in some people he meets along the way; deeply impressed, the young man decides that this is the type of man he wants to follow, rather than the cold, scheming, ruthless Borgia. However, he soon realizes that once entangled in Cesare Borgia's web, it is not so easy for a man to untangle himself; in fact, it may not even be possible at all. And add to that the romance element -- Orsini is caught between his love for a woman who happens to be married to (an honorable and brave) someone else, and the passionate determination of a former flame (who happens to be a Borgia) for him -- and throw in a corrupt cardinal, a couple of hired assassins, mercenaries, a dwarf and a saint, and you have a tale that is full and rich.
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The Freeport Mutineers

by Kal Spriggs

4 avg rating
Young Midshipman Wachter is about to face the rope.

Troubled by the rumors spread throughout the Southern Fleet, the young officer turned to the Marines and Sailors under his command… yet he and they were betrayed, arrested, and convicted of mutiny, all under the orders of the ambitious Lord Admiral Hennings.

Faced with the prospect of not only his own death, but that of the men under his command, Wachter must somehow find a way to do the right thing. Yet there is little hope with he and his men jailed, weaponless, and condemned, while the town of Freeport lies under martial law and the threat of dark sorcery.

Only one course lays open to him, to break his oaths and to swear allegiance to the cause of another, to become exactly what his enemies have accused him of being: a mutineer.
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The Sword Of Albion/the Silver Skull

by Mark Chadbourn

Will Swyfte's exploits against the forces of Philip of Spain have made him a national hero, lauded from Carlisle to Kent. Yet his associates can barely disguise their incredulity - what is the point of a spy whose face and name is known across Europe? But Swyfte's public image is a carefully-crafted façade, which deflects attention from his real work - and the true reason why Walsingham's spy network was established.
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The Gilded Chain

by Dave Duncan

On the heels of his resoundingly praised fantasy series THE GREAT GAME, author Dave Duncan returns to the form with which he originally established his reputation: the epic sword-and-sorcery adventure. The breathtaking saga of THE KING'S BLADES begins with THE GILDED CHAIN, the relentlessly exciting story of an unparalleled swordsman trained from early childhood to take his place among the King's elite corps of warrior/bodyguards in a dangerously uncertain fantasy realm. Audaciously taking as his own name of Kingdom's most fabled champion of long ago, Durandel sees his lifelong dream of serving his liege dashed to bits when

he is bonded for life, not to his beloved king, but to an effete noble fop. But

Destiny has inscrutable plans for this able young knight in an ancient, isolated city

in a land far from the blood intrigues of the perilous court. On a mission that

promises glory and great treasures, grisly secrets of opulence and immortality will

be revealed--while countless betrayals and untold horrors combine to threaten a remarkable future prophesied for a warrior who could be the mightiest hero in the history of the monarchy.

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Traitors Blade

by Sebastien de Castell

With swashbuckling action that recalls Dumas's Three Musketeers, Sebastien de Castell has created a dynamic new fantasy series. In Traitor's Blade, a disgraced swordsman struggles to redeem himself by protecting a young girl caught in the web of a royal conspiracy.

The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that's exactly what's happening.

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they'll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor's blade.
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