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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 17 March 2013
Having just read this tale of high fantasy, adventure, sorcery and dragons, I felt as if I'd completed an epic journey. David Graham's characters are three dimensional, making it easy for the reader to emphasise with them.
Yes, there're the usual ingredients of high fantasy, such as wizards, witches and dragons, but Mr Graham manages to depict them in a different and unique way. The touches of comedy he employs throughout the narrative, amuse without detracting from the overall story.
The description of the backdrops to the story are excellent, enabling the reader to immerse themselves in the story with ease.
On the whole, the plot and characterisation are well crafted, only slightly married by some repetition in the narrative and dialogue, which given the excellence of the story overall, can be forgiven.
My advice? This book is well worth purchasing and adding to any fantasy buff's library.
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on 9 March 2012
The only reason this book gets 4 stars from me rather than five is because it does take a little while to get going. Indeed, were it not written so well it would have taken me a long time to get into. That said, it's the first in a series so there has to be a little scene setting.

When I started reading, I slightly baulked at the idea of having an elderly wizard protaganist because it immediately put me in mind of Rincewind and to me that didn't fit with the way this story was being set up. Rincewind is about total comedy. This is about humorous (sometimes inept, even) characters but the situation is straighter than your average Pratchett.

Luckily, Amvaar and Rincewind's only common characteristic is their age. Unlike Rincewind, Amvaar not a coward. However, he is an accurately drawn academic in that, in many ways, he hasn't really grown up. Sent on a quest that he hasn't asked for and doesn't want, he ends up embarking on a voyage of self descovery at the same time and comes out of it a more confident and whole person. His lack of youth adds a whole new dimension to the rights of passage feel to his journey and makes for very interesting reading.

Once the quest starts in earnest, the action zips along at a much faster pace. The world in which the action is set is solid and real with proper rules that hold up. And I particularly liked that the woman, every man jack of 'em, were a lot more pragmatic and sensible than the men, who, in most cases, were supposed to be running things. The story is tied up nicely but at the same time there are plenty of loose ends to be dealt with in the sequel.

All in all good stuff and thoroughly recommended. I'll definitely be reading the sequel.
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on 27 April 2012
A bit slow to start off with but fairly speeds up once the adventuring starts. Sniggeringly funny in places, DG has created a believable world of magic and mayhem with a variety of interesting, unique characters that develop as the story and the `quest' evolves.

What starts with one old wizard's search for an important though apparently innocuous stolen cloak soon develops into a mission to save the world. Shielded from most of the outside world for most of his life though, the wizard Amvaar quickly realises that he needs help in his quest and those friends he meets along the way.

Three further eclectic individuals later - they are not your typical heroes - one human, one half human and one not so human! Enveloped in their own personal issues, accustomed to working alone in their own disparate worlds, they have to band together to try and save the day.

DG has created a new team of adventurers to fight the good battles. There is plenty of scope to expand the series too with brief glimpses into the rest of the Silent Blade world. I'm looking forward to the next one!
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on 6 January 2016
having read all the "game of thrones" books I found it to be very underwhelming, the characters were somewhat week and predictable. It would have been easy to not finish the book. So I probably won't read any more in the series.
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on 26 April 2013
This book was a light hearted fantasy full of adventure and brilliant character portrayal although a bit slow at the start. If you want a book that keeps you captivated and makes you chuckle at the same time then this is the book for you.
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on 18 November 2015
A great book in which the story flows nicely. A rather reluctant, timid and naïve wizard is sent on a quest to retrieve an artefact stolen from the citadel. He, and the characters who join him are quirky, lovable and at times amusing. Some have commented that it takes a while for the story to get going, but I didn't feel this at all. I liked the way the author built the tale and introduced the characters, and feel that this is the first book of some great reading to come. I am really looking forward to the next book now.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 May 2012
This story takes the form of a fantasy quest to recover a stolen magical artefact which has been taken from the Wizards' Council. There are some lovely characters here; an elderly teaching wizard who discovers his inner depths, a slightly thick but handsome fighter, a beautiful but wild shape-changer and the most annoying but fiesty and cute sprite. There is a lot of gentle humour in the interaction between these characters.

The writing was accessible and the story bounced along nicely for me. However, the author occasionally used words which were incorrect in the context and had a strangely cavalier attitude to the apostrophe - another wild and feral creature in his hands! If this does not deter you though, you will enjoy this fantasy adventure which has a tense and exciting episode just before the end. A nice read.
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on 12 February 2012
Rincewind (Discworld) meets Sam (Samwise Gamgee - hobbit).

Mix together wizards, witches, sprite, shape changer, demons and dragons, then add humour and you get 'A Sword for Hire'.

Healing Wizard Amvaar sets off on a quest he didn't volunteer to do and meets unlikely companions on the way. The companions bicker and tease each other - as friends do - whist undertaking the quest. This added dimension of humour lifts the book apart from the run of the mill fantasy novels.

I found myself immersed in the story and wanting to find out what happens next. The characters are well rounded and there is a good storyline which holds your attention.

If you like Tolkien, Terry Pratchett or similar, then I thoroughly recommend A Sword for Hire.
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on 17 February 2012
The only reason for not getting five stars is i found it slow to get going.
Once it does,however,it becomes more than just a Quest-with-wizards fantasy.
Highly entertaining and amusing,with somebody's tongue stuck firmly in a cheek,this turned into a real treat.more please
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on 20 August 2015
This book is a little slow to start and aimed more at teenage readers but I really enjoyed the characters, humour and story. Enough to buy the second book which I am reading now and the pace is better so far. The author has a very good sense of humour all the way through the book.
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