Raider and Wasp have spent five years at Ironhall studying to become Blades, expert swordsmen whose talents stand unmatched. Magic both enhances the Blades' fighting skills and binds them to lifelong duty. But when Raider and Wasp are selected to protect the king of Chivial himself, they refuse, an act unprecedented in the living history of the Blades. Now on the run for their "treasonous" act, the two gifted swordsmen must escape to the Fire Lands, where pirates, monsters, and mixed allegiances wait around every corner. As old hatreds and still-fresh tragedies come to light, these young swashbucklers must confront both harsh truths from the past and a present swarming with their would-be brothers at arms seeking vengeance and intending punishment. Dave Duncan's Lord of the Fire Lands serves as a splendid sequel and companion to his earlier book The Gilded Chain, and his later Tale of the King's Blades Sky of Swords. Engaging and complex, it may be enjoyed as a standalone novel or in combination with the rest of the trilogy. Either way, readers are in for a smart, thrilling adventure that cuts like a knife.