The King’s Sword: The First Novel of The Metzlingen Saga

Written by Rebekah Simmers
Review by J. Lynn Else

“Take their words, labels, expectations, and find a way to define them on your own terms.”

15th-century Germany. A man trying to bury his name. A princess trying to define hers. Both longing to stop being pawns in another man’s game. Matthias, known as The King’s Sword, is sent to barter for a princess’s hand. However, another man plots to take her title by force and seeks to kill Princess Avelina. On the run, Matthias and Avelina must traverse mountains in hopes of losing their pursuers on their journey to Ewigsburg. What they find along the way makes them question their purpose in life, and how far they’ll go and what they’ll sacrifice for love.

I’ve noticed an increase in women in historical fiction running away to escape their circumstances. However, they never plan further than the escape. Instead of lending a sense of independence and agency, the characters come across as naïve. Avelina gets this idea in her head twice, only to have a man rescue/stop her. Additionally, Avelina keeps injuring herself (spilling candle wax on her hand, stubbing her toes and needing her feet massaged, etc.). After so many injuries, it felt like an overused device to bring Matthias and Avelina together.

Alternating between Matthias and Avelina’s points of view, The King’s Sword is a sweeping adventure nestled within Renaissance Germany. From castles to farmland, the sights are breathtaking. Simmers has penned a spectacular landscape along with great characters. I thoroughly enjoyed their internal struggles and discoveries. Simmers makes the depth of her research appear effortless as her story comes to life. Despite some minor issues in Avelina’s early development, the story satisfies on many levels. Simmers’ prose is luscious and the character development enchanting. I look forward to what else Simmers has in store for readers.