Joseph Malik from Oxblood books.
Scratch beneath the surface of any hardcore LARPer/SCAdian/fantasy/dragon bookworm and you'll likely find someone who deep down really wants to believe that it's possible to hop worlds into a dragon/magic/fantasy realm. Frankly most of us would be up for being a peasant in one of those stories and I bet you most of us would allow ourselves a 5 minute freak out and then say 'I KNEW IT!!'
This book is a crossworld fantasy with a world class fencer/martial artist who's working off a bad load of karma after a duel leaves another competitor dead. He's been drifting from job to job, picking up consultant gigs in the movies, training other martial artists and trying to find his long lost self respect.
Written in 3rd person omniscient, it has such a classic vibe that the entire book almost resonates with pure epic fantasy. The background info and worldbuilding is unparalleled in my experience and I have never seen any novel (letalone a first novel) with such exquisite detail.
This book is intelligently written with complex and believable characters. The dialogue is smooth and the pacing and plotting are beautifully paced and well rendered. I honestly can't find one single quibble and in 472 pages there wasn't one negative note from me. That's not easy for an (almost) 500 page book. I was not yanked out of the story even once.
I really really loved this book and impatiently await the next book(s). Write like the wind, Mr. Malik!
5 stars. Classic fantasy, perfectly executed. A true delight to read!
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.
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