Review: Sword of the Bright Lady by M.C. Planck

September 27, 2014 3.5 stars, Book Review 5 ★★★½

Review: Sword of the Bright Lady by M.C. PlanckSword of the Bright Lady by M.C. Planck
Series: World of Prime 31
Published by Pyr on September 9, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy
Pages: 429
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

Christopher Sinclair goes out for a walk on a mild Arizona evening and never comes back. He stumbles into a freezing winter under an impossible night sky, where magic is real -- but bought at a terrible price.

A misplaced act of decency lands him in a brawl with an arrogant nobleman and puts him under a death sentence. In desperation he agrees to be drafted into an eternal war, serving as a priest of the Bright Lady, Goddess of Healing. But when Marcius, god of war, offers the only hope of a way home to his wife, Christopher pledges to him instead, plunging the church into turmoil and setting him on a path of violence and notoriety.

To win enough power to open a path home, this mild-mannered mechanical engineer must survive duelists, assassins, and the never-ending threat of monsters, with only his makeshift technology to compete with swords and magic.

But the gods and demons have other plans. Christopher's fate will save the world... or destroy it.

three-half-stars

“A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court” + video game storytelling = Sword of the Bright Lady

Rated between 3.5 and 4 if there were fractional points were allowed (maybe a 3.875)

Level one:

You are a peasant in a Medieval village, you find a stick shaped like a sword Press “A” to pick up.  You picked up a stick shaped like a sword.  A village girl is being bullied by a knight.  She’s crying for help press A to help her or press B to run away.

BOSS FIGHT!

Level up!  +320 gold + 1 Tael + level 1 horse + Level 1 sword

Achievement Unlocked!  “Rescue the Damsel”

Sometimes The Sword of the Bright Lady reads like a script from a video game.

I think most of the world is catching up to the fact that today’s video games have rich storytelling and character development. M. C. Planck borrows freely from the video game genre in storytelling mechanisms and themes.  I’m choosing to believe that this is intentional from an author who shares a name with the father of quantum theory (quantum realities?)

There are hints of quantum reality in book one that may open up some really interesting stories in the rest of the books.  When I was discussing this book with Maggie, she thought it sounded a little like Piers Anthony’s “Blue Adept” series.

Anthony’s series was published beginning in the late 80’s when the modern video game era was in it’s awkward adolescence.  The first installment of the Zelda franchise had just hit the market (February 1986) when the prolific Anthony was probably cranking out the first book of the series.

Today’s games are immersive stories with cut-scenes, top-notch voice acting and rich plots and characters.

Enough about video games. What about the book?  It’s really good, you should read it.  There are good guys and bad guys and magic and swords and muskets and good dialogue.  The main character Christopher is noble and smart and gets his ass kicked just enough to be likable and realistic.  

Alan

Alan

Father of four, who spending most waking hours working as an executive at a health care company. He is often cranky and sometimes a know-it-all. He has a unique relationship with books. Alan cut his teeth reading science fiction (Niven, Pohl, Asimov, Clarke, Card) stolen from his father's bookshelf. In 7th grade he discovered Anne McCaffery and Piers Anthony which expanded his horizons into fantasy. At 16, a young lady suggested that Anne Rice writes some "hot" books. His beautiful bride Maggie introduced him to PNR (Laurell K. Hamilton). His guilty pleasure is "cotton candy" pulp fiction from the 50s and 60s (Edgar Rice Burroughs).
Alan

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