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"Swordpoint is based on the adventurous life of Eugene Francois Vidocq, who many Europeans consider the forerunner of modern science of criminology."
--- ForemostPress.com

Swordpoint by David Crane is a historical novel set against the backdrop of a turbulent period in French history, the 18th century; a story that follows the path of an unusually skilled character, Eugene Francois Vidocq, a thief and a hunted man in search of redemption. He is a skilled swordsman and one who negotiates his path with wit. No wonder that he quickly gets himself under the covers of women's beds. The agents of the French Revolution want his head on a platter and Napoleonís allies hold him in great disdain. Everywhere he turns, he meets with enemies. Now he has to negotiate his way out—not in his customary way, but with the sword—by becoming the fugitive who hunts other fugitives for justice. Follow this character on a slippery path as he seeks redemption, but can he succeed against the obstacles facing him?

David Crane transports the reader to an exciting historical period and introduces them to characters that are equally exciting and compelling. From the very beginning of the story, the reader is introduced to the protagonist and some of the memorable characters in a scene where the dialogue is great and well-crafted. The reader follows the story as it moves from one intense and action-packed scene to another, featuring passionate love affairs, duels, stabbings-in-the-back, and narrow escapes that only the likes of Vidocq can orchestrate. The writing is awesome and the characters are well-developed. One feels as though they were reliving a part of French history, thanks to the authorís gift for setting. Swordpoint is a roller coaster ride packed with more surprises than readers might expect to find in an ordinary book. You wonít be able to put this one down.

5 Stars

Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite


Not many authors have the skill of making history come alive, but David Crane certainly has in Swordpoint. Not only did he pick a troubled time in European history to weave his tale of intrigue, but he also chose an interesting character as a vehicle to do so.

I have no idea whether Francois Vidocq lived a life similar to the one Crane so skillfully portrays in his novel, but this I do know. The author manages to fictionalize him in such a way as to draw my attention not only to him, but to the troublesome revolutionary period he lived in. Crane portrays Vidocq wearing many hats: a runaway, a thief, a smuggler, a liar and an opportunist. Yet throughout the novel I sincerely hoped that he would be able to avoid being captured. He most certainly was a rogue, a rascal whose reputation usually preceded him wherever he went, but I kept rooting for him nonetheless, probably because he had a number of redeeming qualities. There was an integrity about him that as a reader I just couldn't overlook.

Not many writers could have been as skillful in depicting the barbaric cruelty the French displayed during the Revolution. Life must have been quite turbulent in those days. It's obvious Mr. Crane has done a thorough job of research. He seamlessly describes the Napoleonic era by bringing it to life in such a way as to make that particular moment in history appear not only real, but horrific as well.

Michael Cole, author of Alien Strain, the Star Walkers Trilogy, and others


Swordpoint is a well-crafted tale that teems with colorful villains and charming rakes. David Crane provides a vibrant, Three-Musketeers-like setting inside Napoleonic France. I was especially enthralled with his portion of the narrative describing his protagonist joining a smugglers' crew. An author myself, I admire his skill in weaving in historical research to ensure that his characters and plots grip the reader.

Nik Edge


Swordpoint: a tale doesn't get any better than during the era of Louis XVI and Maximillian Robespierre.

Boris Spivak


David Crane's historical novel, Swordpoint, transports the reader to late 18th-century France, a country gripped with the chaos, blood, and terror of the French Revolution. The novel will entertain you with its realistic settings, interesting historical references, passionate love affairs, duels, battles, betrayals, and narrow escapes.

The protagonist is a young Frenchman, Eugene Francois Vidocq. Known as a troublemaker in his native town of Arras, Eugene Vidocq seeks fortune and glory by trying to reach distant America. He plans to return as a man of wealth and respect and marry the young woman he loves. Vidocq fails in his mission and returns to his native town penniless but unbroken.

After barely escaping the guillotine for assaulting a military officer trying to court his sweetheart, Vidocq is marked for death after he saves three young female aristocrats from humiliation and murder at the hands of revolutionary soldiers. Assisted by a sympathetic priest, he manages to find refuge in the army. Surviving the carnage of battle, he ends up as a prisoner of the Austrians, pretending to be a Belgian forced into the French Army under the threat of death.

But in serving his new masters, Vidocq refuses to spill the blood of his fellow Frenchmen for the Austrian crown. Escaping again into France, he ends up as a companion to a traveling charlatan and a smuggler, who recognizes his talents and asks him to join a successful smuggler crew. In need of money and new skills, Vidocq accepts the proposal. Hardening his body and sharpening his mind in sea adventures and a near fatal encounter with pirates, he finds himself a target of the revolutionary police agents and zealous gendarmes. Betrayed and imprisoned, Vidocq escapes and soon becomes one of the most dangerous fugitives in France. When Napoleon comes to power, Vidocq sees his chance at redemption—he becomes an outlaw hunting the outlaws in the name of justice.

For anyone interested in the past, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era will present a fascinating tapestry of political and cultural events that shaped our modern society.



"Swordpoint is a story of adventure, love, passion, and thrills."
--- ForemostPress.com

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