The Lascar’s Dagger: Not bad, but nothing special

Readers’ average rating:

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Lascar's Dagger by Glenda LarkeThe Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke

The Lascar’s Dagger is an interesting blend of political intrigue, religious debate and illustrations of how stereotyping is seldom a good idea. Glenda Larke writes at a fairly easy to consume level, neither demanding that the reader track complex plot elements nor boring the reader with nothing interesting to say. For the first book in a new series, it’s not bad, but I’m not dying to read the next book in the series either.

Saker is a rogue. By the classic definition, he lies, he cheats, he seduces women and he is a spy for a powerful religious order. He is also incredibly naive, almost to the point that I was left wondering how he had survived as long as he has doing the job he does. Maybe it’s his incredible good looks??

The Lascar’s Dagger follows the misadventures of Saker as he is seduced by the King’s daughter, gets caught spying on a powerful merchant and generally is a bumbling fool who is likable and annoying in equal measures. He’s not one of the greatest main characters I’ve ever read.

The Lascar’s Dagger is really a strange combination because it feels like it was written for a young adult audience, but the sex scenes really make it an adult book. Had the sex scenes not been included I really might have thought it was intended for the 12-16 year old demographic because it felt kind of like early Eddings. The Lascar’s Dagger is not a bad book, but there are many other stories that deserve attention first.

Publication Date: March 18, 2014. Faith will not save him. Saker appears to be a simple priest, but in truth he’s a spy for the head of his faith. Wounded in the line of duty by a Lascar sailor’s blade, the weapon seems to follow him home. Unable to discard it, nor the sense of responsibility it brings, Saker can only follow its lead. The dagger puts Saker on a journey to distant shores, on a path that will reveal terrible secrets about the empire, about the people he serves, and destroy the life he knows. The Lascar’s dagger demands a price, and that price will be paid in blood.

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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years.

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  1. This is one I’m looking forward to making the time for. I haven’t read anything else by Larke yet, but I’ve heard her works get generally positive reviews, so I was curious enough to accept a review copy of The Lascar’s Dagger. Sucks to hear that it didn’t live up to expectations for you, though.

  2. I had tried to read the Stormlord series of hers as well and didn’t make it through the first book. So, maybe I just don’t connect with her writing style.

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