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The Lascar's Dagger: Book 1 of The Forsaken Lands by [Larke, Glenda]
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The Lascar's Dagger: Book 1 of The Forsaken Lands Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 497 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description


Saker looks like a simple priest, but in truth he's a spy for the head of his faith. It's a dangerous job, and more lives than merely his own depend on his secrecy.

When Saker is wounded by a Lascar sailor's blade the weapon seems to follow him home. Unable to discard it, nor the sense of responsibility that comes with it, Saker can only follow its lead.

It will put him on a journey to strange shores, on a path that will reveal terrible secrets about the empire, about the people he serves, and likely lead to his own destruction. The Lascar's dagger demands a price, and that price will be paid in blood.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3024 KB
  • Print Length: 497 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0356502724
  • Publisher: Orbit (18 March 2014)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DI7HMM6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,627 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
The world-building is complex, distinctive and believable, while the characters’ strengths and (intentional) flaws are both admirable and pleasingly infuriating. The protagonist, Saker, is a priest, scholar and spy. Handsome and quick thinking, he is courageous and driven by a strong sense of morality which, in matters of the heart, lead him along paths that a hard-hearted or perhaps wiser man would leave untrodden. The novel’s conflicts and outcomes are logical developments of the rich social tapestry woven around them. At the same time they are full of surprises and add up to a book that is difficult to put down.

I eagerly await Book Two
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book! The characters are consistent and believable, the plot is solid and the action is constant. And, as usual, you are left hanging at the end. I can't wait for the next instalment!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars, great read 29 March 2014
By Yoojin Kwak - Published on
Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the stormlord trilogy and so when I found this book, I bought it without hesitation despite the lack of reviews. I enjoyed this book even more and am eagerly going to wait for the next. It was easy, well written, enjoyable, fast paced with characters you care about, and with enough twists and surprises to keep you interested. The good guys are good, the evil guys are evil, which while a little trite, is a formula that is proven to work, makes for great fiction, and at times i wish more authors would stick to.

I had to mark off a star because I felt like some of the characters behaved unbelievably (really? It took you that long to see the Prime was no good? A trusted friend told you as much before you even met the unpleasant guy), some of the characters were not as fully fleshed out as I would have liked, and things got a little too deus ex machina for me near the end. Still, I was frequently checking to see how much I had left, dreading the time when the book would run to an end (and this book is satisfyingly lengthy). Whining was kept to a minimum, as were the typos.

The world where the story is placed has a religion that feels based on how I imagine religion in the middle ages would be. People worship the God, Va, with a devil counterpart A'Va, and this religion plays a large, mostly benevolent role in the book. There are two other precepts called the Way of the Oak and the Way of the Flow, that worships the forest and water respectively that seems to be loosely tied to the religion. Saker, the main character, is a priest of the Way of the Oak, and as such has a love of nature, etc. The world has a limited form of magic called witchery - kind of like a knack. Fishermen might attract fish, healers can mend bones, etc. Only the pure of heart gets witchery, and if it is used badly, it goes away. Witchery is granted to you when you enter a Oak shrine after some kind of trauma, if you are worthy. The author does a great job explaining this religion and weaving it into the story instead of explaining everything up front.

The story switches to follow a couple different characters, but the main protagonist is Saker, a handsome noble brave smart priest/spy/expert swordsman/object of swoon by the female characters (yes, I know, but it actually isn't too bad in context). If he does seem a little flat at times, I think it made sense in context, and I appreciated the lack of angst I see in the supposedly more conflicted, tortured characters in some books these days. Sorrel on the other hand, is all that a strong female character should be (see, you don't need to give a girl a sword to make them strong!) and I felt she was believable and interesting.

Without any spoilers, I thought that the ending was mildly satisfying in that enough plotlines got closed out while enough were left open. No cliffhangers, which I appreciated. I was a little surprised when I reached the end however, as I felt more like I was ending at the start of a book. I think this book should probably have ended much sooner, perhaps right before everyone went to Lowmeer since that felt like another book, but I appreciated the extra pages. It felt a little awkward however, as if the author was continuing to write, and just chose a random place to finish off. It gives me hope however that the next book will be coming soon.

I won't go into a plot description since you can find that elsewhere, but if you are looking for entertainment in a book with villains, heroes, princesses, evil advisers, look no further and purchase this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, especially if you like fantasy with a bit of mystery/intrigue rather than just gore/sex/magic fireballs etc... 4 July 2016
By JC - Published on
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Nicely written and enjoyable for fantasy fans! This one is clearly worth purchasing.

No spoilers, but here are a few comments.

If you want heavy duty fighting with gore and seiges, this is not your book.

If you want lots of sex, this is not your book.

If you want super complex world building and politics and such, this likely won't be your favorite.

If you want high flow heros who are never wrong or bad or selfish, this is not for you.

If you want magic fireballs and ghouls and dragons every few pages, then this is not for you.

The characters in the book are more or less realistic characters who have flaws and doubt but ultimately are mostly good people fighting against political greed and what will soon be seen to be a conspiracy against one of the religious sects.

The story unfolds slowly with some drama, some action, a bit of romance, a bit of a mystery and generally likeable characters. This is not a GAME OF THRONES or WHEEL OF TIME type fantasy, but is should find its niche and gather a lot of loyal fans. The writing is good and the plot is complex and enjoyable without ten thousand oddball names to remember.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her best yet! 27 June 2014
By Katharine (ventureadlaxre) - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
‘The Lascar’s Dagger’ by Glenda Larke is the first in The Forsaken Lands trilogy, a book I’ve been excited for ever since I heard of it, as Glenda Larke is one of my favourite authors.

Saker seems to attract trouble, which makes life interesting when you are a spy, acting under cover as though he’s simply a priest of the Va-Faith (as compared to that of The Way of the Oak and Flow, the competing religion in their lands). He acts directly for the Pontifect of the Va-Faith, carrying out orders and travelling the lands as so may be required. It is on these travels when he is wounded by a lascar’s blade by a sailor youth when they bump into each other in hiding… and from then on, the blade seems to leave the youth, and instead follow Saker around, wherever he may travel.

The youth is known as Ardhi, who seeks revenge for something disastrous that happened to his people. This also takes him across the world, and his path crosses Saker’s more than once.

We also have Sorrel Redwing, who is on the run after finally setting herself free from her violent husband, but now also leaves her at the mercy of spoilt Princess Mathilda, whom she turns to as a servant. Sorrel is probably the most complicated and interesting character of the novel, and also acts as the turning point for the novel in many areas of the plot.

Throughout this novel we have a complicated blend of politics, religion, magic and allegiances, with sharp and deep worldbuilding that takes care to show the differences between lands. This gives the novel depth, as some other fantasy novels either show you only the one land, or all the lands seem rather similar. In this novel you see what is allowable in one region, and not allowed in anther. Glenda Larke’s travels show in this work – she lived in Malaysia for several decades, which is evident in this series especially.

What I loved especially was the slight ways Larke subverted tropes within this work – like how within her society, there was more gender equality seen within the religious order, than throughout the rest of the world. We see this most with Sorrel especially, and the unfairness she faced, which drove her to what she did at the start of the novel.

The pacing throughout this novel is comfortable. It eases you into where the full story begins, and throughout keeps the same speed, showing all characters right when needed, so you’re never left wishing you saw most of a certain character or feeling bored or like it’s dragging when it changes to follow another character.

Overall this is one of Glenda Larke’s best books – though her Watergivers series is damn excellent also. I highly recommend both series.

The next book is the series is currently titled The Dagger’s Path, and is due out in 2015.
5.0 out of 5 stars Start of a New Series 25 April 2014
By D. G. Hulan - Published on
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This appears to be the start of a new trilogy from Larke, who’s one of my favorite fantasy authors. It’s set on a world that’s even more watery than ours, with a single continent that’s entirely north of 20° north latitude, and most of it north of 35°. There are is-lands in the southern hemisphere, but no large land masses. The part of the continent on one side of the north pole (where almost all of this book takes place) is divided into a number of realms—two large and five small—that all worship the god Va, and who call their hemisphere the “Va-cherished lands”; the rest of the continent and most of the islands lying in the other hemisphere they call the “Va-forsaken lands.” The part of the continent in the Va-forsaken hemisphere is all ruled by the Pashalin Empire. Spices are grown in the tropical islands south of that empire, and are available in the Va-cherished lands only by caravans that the empire sends across the polar regions using animals that are only found in the empire; consequently, they are very expensive. The two large countries in the Va-cherished lands are the Kingdom of Ardrone and the Regality of Lowmeer, which together include most of the fertile land on that side of the continent. Saker, who is the male lead in this book, is a priest of Va who is, however, primarily a spy for the Pontifect—the head of the church of Va, who at this time happens to be a woman who had found Saker in a village in Ardrone and sponsored his education and training. The Regal of Lowmeer has encouraged some of the merchants of Lowmeer to build ships capable of voyaging all the way to the spice islands, and in a prologue a ship from Lowmeer does succeed in reaching one of the spice islands and picking up a load of spices for far less money than they would have cost from the Pashalin caravans. But they also kill the Raja of the island and steal some of his regalia; a 19-year-old youth, Ardhi, who had been complicit in the ship’s finding the island, is commissioned to recover the regalia, and given a magical kris to guide him. He gets a berth on the ship (they’d lost a fair number of their crew to accident and disease along the way, and needed additional crew). He and Saker meet in a warehouse in the Lowmeer capital city and amid some fast action Saker ends up with the kris—Ardhi being the “lascar” of the title (it’s one I’ve heard applied, mostly pejoratively, to natives of southeast Asia and the Pacific islands and possibly elsewhere; I’m not sure of the actual extent, e.g. whether it’s also applied to, say, Sri Lankans). The other principal character is Sorrel Redwing, also from Ardrone, who in her introductory chapter learns that her deaf three-year-old daughter had not died from accidentally falling downstairs in their castle, but had been thrown down them by her husband. In reaction, she pushes her drunken husband down the same stairs, killing him and forcing her to flee, where the daughter of the king of Ardrone rescues her and makes her a lady’s maid to herself. And from there there’s a lot of action and intrigue, as Saker finds that he can’t get rid of the kris but is somewhat blessed, not so much by Va as by the nature spirits of the land. I really liked the book and look forward to reading the rest of the story, which apparently may take Saker and Sorrel to the spice islands.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star Plus 16 October 2014
By adeline hindley - Published on
Verified Purchase
Great Book. Now how do I get the remainder of the : The Forsaken Lands.?: I do not know why it is so difficult to books to find books by Glenda Larke. I have never been disappointed in her great stories. I look forward to more.
Adeline Hindley