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The Tattered Banner (Society of the Sword Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Duncan M. Hamilton
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

-Society of the Sword Trilogy Book 1-

-The Tattered Banner placed 8th on Buzzfeed's 12 Greatest Fantasy Books of 2013-

Unique talent always attracts attention…

In a world where magic is outlawed, ability with a sword is prized above all else. For Soren this means the chance to live out his dreams.

Plucked from a life of privation, he is given a coveted place at Ostenheim’s Academy of Swordsmanship, an opportunity beyond belief.

Opportunity is not always what it seems however, and gifts rarely come without conditions. Soren becomes an unwitting pawn in a game of intrigue and treachery that could cost him not just his dreams, but also his life.

The Tattered Banner is the first book of the swashbuckling fantasy trilogy 'Society of the Sword'.

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series

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    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 3163 KB
    • Print Length: 374 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00C2S2K4C
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,951 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    More About the Author

    Duncan is a writer of fantasy fiction novels and short stories that are set in a world influenced by Renaissance Europe. He has a Master's Degree in History, and is particularly interested in the Medieval and Renaissance periods.

    He doesn't live anywhere particularly exotic, and when not writing he enjoys cycling, skiing and windsurfing.

    Duncan's debut novel, The Tattered Banner, placed 8th on BuzzFeed's 12 Greatest Fantasy Books Of The Year, 2013.

    You can get in touch with him through his website,

    You can sign up to be notified of Duncan's new releases at

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable swordfighting fantasy 13 April 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Soren is eighteen, trying to survive on the streets, when a theft gone wrong results in a street fight and a passing swordsman recognises some talent in him. He is taken to the Academy to learn to wield a rapier and be a gentleman. The early chapters are the usual street-boy-goes-to-posh-school affair, but fortunately Soren has the intelligence to keep his nose clean, so he's not constantly getting into trouble. He also turns out to be something of a fighting phenomenon, not an unusual theme in fantasy, but nicely intriguing here. Is his ability a natural talent, or some kind of magic?

    Fortunately, the author avoids getting too entrenched in schoolroom dramas and Soren is soon out and about wielding his rapier and discovering the extent of his extraordinary gift. These early battles are beautifully described, the highpoint of the book for me, and I loved every moment of each one (especially the belek). The romantic entanglement is slightly more clunky, but that fits with Soren's rather self-effacing nature. The background scenery is lightly sketched, with more emphasis on architecture than geography, but it works fine, and the deep history - of empires and mage wars and other intriguing events - is no more than hints. I found it interesting that Ostia (Soren's country) has outlawed magic, but still makes use of mage lights, while the barbarians still practice magic.

    Soren is a likeable protagonist, making (mostly) sensible decisions. I liked his response to a trick played on him by a fellow student. His friends tell him his honour has been impugned and he must challenge the trickster to a duel, but Soren is reluctant; he is far more concerned with trying not to break the rules of the Academy and thereby get himself thrown out.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Decent enough, but it has a few problems. 19 July 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Before I dive into a relatively detailed review I'd just like to mention one thing that I've noticed a few authors doing and which irritates me somewhat. That being writing a story set in a world loosely based on the Renaissance and yet failing to account for the monumental changes that caused and were caused by the Renaissance in our own world. In the case of the Tattered Banner the most glaring example of these is military in nature. Specifically the fact that barring the leather wearing barbarians there are no descriptions of any soldiers or duelists wearing any armour at all. Indeed towards the end when an army is moving off he refers purely to their uniform tunics, meaning for the reader there is nothing to imagine but an army more in common with a later Early Modern force (1650-1700) than one from the Renaissance itself. Why is this a problem? Because there is no gunpowder. Gunpowder was what started to make armour obsolete due to its ability to punch through chainmail with ease and even pierce plate at a close enough distance. Even with gunpowder, more specifically muskets, it still took hundreds of years for armour to disappear almost completely, and in a world without gunpowder there is little to no practical reason for the soldiers described in the book not to be wearing armour of varying sorts, from heavy cavalry decked in plate and chain to infantry with breastplates and brigantine. Indeed even if this was a world with gunpowder you would still have a fair amount of armour present, from the helmets and breastplates of the first few ranks of the pikemen to the armour of the heavy cavalry who would still be providing the shock of the charge for a few decades before the caracole came into fashion. Read more ›
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars A likeable protagonist 7 Jan. 2014
    By Morhib
    Format:Kindle Edition
    After reading the blurb you're probably thinking this is your standard fantasy book in which the hero goes through the usual dramas of school, and you wouldn't necessarily be wrong with this one, as there are the usual cliches, but not as expansive as you might think.

    The story is based on a young man called Soren. At the start of the book he's a homeless street urchin, who relies on stealing to live. Soren is quick, agile and has a natural affinity to sword fighting. His raw talent with a sword is spotted by an influential nobleman and sponsors him to go to a special academy, which trains young men to become capable swordsmen.

    As main characters go, I liked Soren. He wasn't your typical hero in that he had indomitable sense of justice, and he wasn't an anti-hero either. He was just himself and made good and bad decisions.

    The story moved from arc to arc at a quick pace. Perhaps, a little too fast for my preference, as I felt that there wasn't enough depth in the storyline for me to digest. The author introduced some heavy topics into the book, but due to the blistering pace of the book it didn't really evoke any critical emotions in me and it felt like just words on a page.

    The book is told throughout in Soren POV and whilst it did help in developing his character, it left the other characters sitting on the fence. The result was that the secondary characters felt... well, secondary and I felt indifferent to whether or not they lived.

    One last positive...

    I liked the fact that the author didn't spend the whole book on the monotonous day to day routines of school and drama associated with it.

    One last negative...

    The beginning of the book felt a bit stilted.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 14 hours ago by mrs june queen
    1.0 out of 5 stars awful
    Prose zero. Even for fantasy this was prosaically written. Character development sub decimal - and plots so basic they could have been written in your sleep
    Published 4 months ago by Alex miles
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Really good
    Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
    I may be late to the party in regards to this trilogy of books and to the writings of Duncan M. Hamilton but i am so glad I have stumbled across them now. Read more
    Published 7 months ago by Matthew Halligan
    1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
    Utter dreck, on a level with high school 'Creative Writing' class....
    Published 7 months ago by RHJ Truter
    1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
    Just very poor in every respect.
    Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
    1.0 out of 5 stars rubbish.
    Terrible. Really really badly written. Also, really dull plot, inconsistent and poor character writing.
    Published 9 months ago by stephanie winquist
    3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable story but the auther has a habbit of rambling abit.
    I enjoyed the story. Street Urchin Soren succeeds through rich patronage to exploit his "gift" for swordplay. He is ruthless and kills with no apparent remorse. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by Clive Butterfield
    3.0 out of 5 stars Swords, schoolboys and... more of the same
    I don't know about you but every now and then I crave a slab of enjoyable fantasy romp, and The Tattered Banner fits neatly into that particular niche. Read more
    Published 11 months ago by Richard Jansen
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Very well defined start of a trilogy. Abercrombie in PG
    Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
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