The Burnished Blade

It’s the oldest book in my personal collection. Stolen from a library on board a converted troop ship when my family was on our way back from Guam in the Marianna’s. As I look at the book now I still remember the wonder I felt as I read the first sentences. “To travelers destined to die at the hands of bandits, death came silently in fifteenth century France. The weapons of the period did not make a sound.”

Well actually that’s not true. What I felt then and what I feel now as I begin to reread this wonderful book is probably still the same. I read like I eat – fast, devouring each page almost without chewing the images created there. But this writer, Lawrence Schnoonover, knew what he was about. For there in the first page and a half are the elements to drag any young boy’s attention into the moment. Bandits arrows fly, a nobleman and his lady die, and scared young boy like the reader is truly left to wonder why?

As a boy, I loved two kinds of stories, historical adventures and sports. And like most readers, liked best to use what I read to escape into my imagination.

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