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Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers' Favorite
Of Daggers and Deception by A. L. Sowards is a fantastic historical novel. In medieval times, near the Iberian Peninsular, when young Rasheed frolicked with a betrothed woman and converted to Christianity, he was disowned and exiled by his family. Rasheed became a renowned mercenary, retired, and built a bathhouse in Thebes with his friends, Gil and Eudocia. A beautiful day brought in some Venetians named Cecilia, Querini, and Bertaldo. They needed mercenaries to help extract a prisoner with links to Greek lands they wanted. Rasheed and his friends were not interested in helping them but had little choice when an unknown group kidnapped Eudocia. The quest to find her caused them to work with the Venetians, and Rasheed fell for Cecilia. But when layers of a plot come to light, he doesn't know who he can trust.
Of Daggers and Deception by A. L. Sowards is a tale of survival, deception, battles, scheming, love, faith, sacrifice, and betrayal. It had a very realistic plot and beautiful character development. Rasheed was the perfect main protagonist, and I loved his many facets. He was strong yet vulnerable, wise and yet seemingly foolish at times. His character was imperfect and relatable. I also fell in love with Gil for his outstanding personality. Aban brought another flavor to the storyline as the two faiths were opposed and someone had to grow up. I wish everyone could worship God the way they choose with no need for religious supremacy. Sowards wrote a gripping historical novel, infusing it with much-needed humor. I hope little Sebastie gets his wish in another ten years. Of Daggers and Deception would do well on the big screen.