The Burnished Blade Author:Lawrence Schoonover A tale of love, intrigue, and high adventure — The flaming martyrdom of Joan of Arc opens this historical romance in France at the dawn of the Renaissance. Among the onlookers at that terrible spectacle was Pierre, a frightened boy whom Hugh, the armourer, had rescued that morning on the road outside Rouen. — Under Hugh's tutelage, Pierre learns ... more »the closely guarded secrets of the armourer's trade. But he is destined not to use them, for his adventures begin while he is still young. Involved in a student brawl, he is unjustly charged with murder and must leave Rouen. Soon he is apprenticed to the richest merchant in France.
Pierre's employer, learning that jewels and opium are being smuggled into France, sends the young man to Trebizond to discover and unmask the smugglers. Leaving behind the beautiful Claire de la Tour-Claremont, Pierre exchanges the glamour of feudal France for the remote, forbidding Trapezuntian empire on the border of the Balck Sea in Asia Minor. Here, for the first time in fiction, is a magnificent picture of the barbaric splendor of Trebizond--sophisticated and polished, but seething with intrigue and amorality.
Im this rich, fabulous empire, Pierre's struggle against the black-hearted Prince Baltha Ogli reaches its savage climax in a bloody impalement, a scene of horror and fascination described with unsparing accuracy.
The Burnished Blade is a finely balanced work; its melodic prose, set down with a sure, skilled hand, bespeaks a poetic love of words. Here is a book that is engrossing simply as a tale of love, intrigue, and high adventure. But in addition, it will come to the thoughful reader as a reassurance that pure narrative style still persists in the modern novel.« less