The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth by Tristan Gregory tells a simple story of a boy growing up in a remote village, when a man who left the village long ago returns from war with tales of his life as a soldier – enough to inspire the young William. It is a short and simple story looking at how the protagonist’ s life is changed by the swordsman’ s arrival.
While there is little space to delve into characterisation, the personalities of the key players are distinct and consistent. In particular Gregory has captured the curiosity of a child, and a child’ s main concerns in life, in the personality of narrator William.
Enough is revealed and enough held back to make the story compelling, to keep me reading; a good measure of pacing can also be credited for this. Gregory knows when to use telling to move things forward, and when not to.
The only thing that I can criticise is two incidents in which the wrong homophone is used, and this a lesser known one most readers won’t notice.
I thus have no qualms in giving The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth a 8/10.