Redemption: King of Swords

TITLE: Redemption: The King of Swords
AUTHOR: A.J. Wilde
ISBN: 978-1-60370-502-8
PUBLISHER: Torquere Press



In this sequel to Shadow Road: The Page of Swords, Bailey is now training under Lord Charles, and he’s working hard toward his goal of taking over as The Shadow, just as Charles took the position over from his late lover, Robert. Things are not easy for either of them, though. Bailey yearns for Charles’ approval, but Charles refuses to let Bailey become the Shadow until he has experienced defeat at least once.

Things come to a head when a late night encounter between a coach, a pair of highwaymen and the Shadow himself results in chaos, and the lord is injured. Will the events from that night change Charles and Bailey forever?

I know one should not judge a book by its cover, but this one looks like something your kid brings home to hang on the fridge door! Fortunately, AJ Wilde has written a stirring swashbuckler of a story that makes you forget the crayon strokes that I guess are meant to represent one of the characters.

Set in 18th century England, a time when masked highwaymen lurked under cover of shadowy tree-lined country roads, Redemption tells the tale of Lord Charles whose lover Robert was The Shadow, a Robin Hood style of highway man. Robert was killed, and Lord Charles has taken his place while schooling his young lover, Bailey Smith, in the skill of swordsmanship.

Bailey wants to take Lord Charles’ place as The Shadow but Lord Charles is hesitant in passing on the mask, fearing his lover is not quite ready for the task. Tension and estrangement between them follow his refusal to give Bailey The Shadow’s role, while intrigue and treachery dog the lovers’ paths with Lord Charles brought almost to the point of death.

This is a great read, though I think it would have benefited from being a tad longer. It seemed a bit rushed in places, and I would like to have read more in the development of Lord Charles and Bailey’s relationship.

A rousing read nevertheless.

Review by Jim


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