by Mark Gelineau,
ebook: 70 pages
Publisher: Gelineau and King
Released: Feb. 15, 2016
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
As a King’s Reaper, Elinor--and the engineers with her--pull down the unneeded stone keeps in the Marches. They also transfer power to a new lord when an old line dies.
Elinor has been ordered to take her engineers to join the Ninety-Fifth Pioneers at Height's Ward Keep. She expects to find power transferred and the keep demolished when she arrives, but instead she finds soldiers slaughtered and left unburied. The keep still stands and is held by the disinherited son of the old line along with a large band of fighters.
She has no soldiers in her command, but she can't leave the remaining soldiers of the Ninety-Fifth Pioneers as hostages. They will surely be killed if she leaves for no one else will be sent to challenge the new lord...
Broken Banners is a heroic fantasy novella. It's the second story in a series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. It referred to several events in the first story, but it didn't spoil the details. I'd still recommend reading "A Reaper of Stone" before this one, though, because knowing what happened adds depth to this story.
Elinor is idealistic and courageous, and her friend Con fully believes in her ability to pull off her crazy, heroic schemes. Another old friend shows up in this story, and he's more complicated. Aldis' plans don't tend to turn out so well, and he's more interested in his own advancement than noble causes. He added a bit of uncertainty and intrigue to the story. The action was mainly a fight against impossible odds using cleverness, courage, and a bit of humor. Very satisfying.
There was a fair amount of bad language (cursing words). There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this story of courage to fans of heroic fantasy.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.