The Lascar’s Dagger is the tale of a Saker Rampion, a spy of the Va faith who, coerced by an enchanted dagger, is unwittingly drawn into a stranger’s quest.
The Bad Stuff: In my opinion there are two major logic flaws within this story. The main character, Saker Rampion, is a veteran spy and I quote “the pontifect’s best; the hunter after truth, the clever spy, the sharp witted investigator.” For a man who is all this, I found him likeable, but incredibly stupid. Saker makes rash assumptions when there is evidence to the contrary. And then there is ‘the thing’ that princess Mathilda hides from the world. I won’t tell you what it is, that would spoil your read if you do take a gander at this tale, but honestly, I have my doubts that she could hide something like this, in this world, under the conditions imposed upon her. I also found some info dumping in the text and some ‘telling’, both of which could have easily been dealt with through different writing techniques.
The Good Stuff: Aside from the flaws I have mentioned above, I really enjoyed this book. The characters are interesting and apart from Saker, they all have strong, clear traits and they stay ‘in character’ throughout the book. The author, Glenda Larke, builds a believable world with a diverse ensemble of characters. She has some creative ideas and weaves some interesting plot lines.
As a reader it is easy for me to criticise Glenda Larke’s writing. As a writer, I know how easy it is to make these sort of mistakes and still not notice them after reading the story a hundred times. On the whole, Glenda has created an original story with some great characters, set in a believable world. Her prose makes for an enjoyable read and I will certainly read more of her works. I’m giving this one 4 out of 5 Golden bookmarks.