Review: Father Mine a BDB Novella by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood 6.5
Format: Digital
Release Date: October 7, 2008
Purchase Link: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Readers met and fell in love with Zsadist and Bella in J. R. Ward-s third New York Times bestselling novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover Awakened. As a former blood slave, Zsadist bore the scars from a past filled with suffering and degradation until Bella came along and helped heal his emotional wounds. Now, though, with the birth of their child, the demons of his past have been resurrected, called forth by the innocent eyes of his beloved daughter, Nalla. Unless Bella and Nalla can bring him back with their love, he may be lost to them forever.

Zsadist, in my opinion, has the most tragic but endearing tale not just amongst the Brothers but probably across all the males the urban fantasy genre. I cannot expound any further how much his story has touched me and how much I want to be Bella. Usually physical deformity is not something you’d welcome but in Z’s case, it’s sort of like a beauty mark. It’s a reminder of his vulnerability and I think it just makes him even more interesting. We all know how Bella’s love and devotion changed this socially awkward Brother from a scarred warrior to a loving hellren.

In this novella we follow the couple’s travails as a new couple and parents to their adorable baby, Nalla.

The story opens with Z and Doc Jane, the latter under the guise of catching up when in fact she’s concerned about Z and Bella’s welfare, aware that the couple is going through some rough patches. Apparently our beloved scarred warrior is having a hard time grappling fatherhood. His past is still after him and continues to threaten his relationship not just with Bella but with Nalla as well.

Since Bella gave birth Z still haven’t officially met their daughter. In his mind he still feels unworthy of them, thinking how he’ll explain to Nalla his tats, imagining her coming out party and their father and daughter dance, his slave marks marring his handsome profile.

Bella on her part thinks that Z doesn’t find her attractive anymore and can’t put her finger on what’s bothering him. She misses him and his touch but she’s aware that things have changed and her priority is Nalla. So she calls Rehv and tells him that she’s leaving Z. Although Rhev is reluctant and doesn’t want to meddle with their affairs, his loyalty is still to his sister and lends her one of his houses.

Meanwhile Z is out hunting lessers when he got injured and almost died when he realized that he has a lot of things to live for, Bella and Nalla’s images playing a nice slideshow in his head. He decided to text Bella and tell her I’M SO SORRY. I LOVE YOU. PLEASE FORGIVE ME-CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU.

Bella unaware of the situation texted him back saying I’M SORRY. I LOVE YOU, BUT SHE AND I HAVE TO GO. I’LL GIVE YOU THE ADDRESS WHEN WE’RE SETTLED IN TONIGHT.

Now we all know how deep the bond between a hellren and a shellan is so imagine Zsadist’s heart breaking when he got this message. His physical pain pales in comparison to going home in an empty flat. Good thing Mary was around to update Bella.

Sure enough Bella stayed and waited for her man. This part confirmed that Wrath is indeed swoon worthy, he stayed with Bella while waiting for Zsadist to come in and gave her comfort. Seriously, J.R. Ward did well in creating Wrath, that man is noble to the last cell of his body. Beth is another lucky lady landing that man of worth!

So finally Z was wheeled in that’s when the waterworks starts.

Zsadist, under the influence of painkillers, heartache and Bella and Nalla’s desertion looming over his head, started talking about Bella’s birth. Here we see how much Zsadist truly loves Bella and for such a strong and fierce warrior he was at a loss on how to ease Bella’s pain. The contrast of strength and helplessness was so beautifully written. I was getting misty eyed on this part because I was so touched by Z, it’s almost impossible for me to picture him as this crazy looking, humongous guy that exudes nothing but death. He’s all mushy as a marshmallow when it comes to Bella. If only I could reach out through the page and hug him I would.

So the walls broke down and they started conversating about their marital woes. Eventually they kissed and made up. With Doc Jane’s help they decided to check if Zsadist’s slave marks can be lasered off. Unfortunately it didn’t work and left Z disappointed. But it wasn’t all bad, this helped the couple exorcise their demons from Bella’s abduction and Zsadist finally decided to meet Nalla.

Oh my god! When Nalla held her daddy’s finger and tugged at it was really magical. I can feel Zsadist’s awe and pride in his daughter. This prodded Z to reach out to Mary again and worked with her, anticipating the time when Nalla will ask him about his scars, tattoos and past. With Mary’s help and Bella’s encouragement, Zsadist slowly worked out his issues, practice his responses until the day when Nalla is old enough to understand her father’s past.

The story speaks for itself. Zsadist and Bella’s love story is nothing short of magical. A love so pure and true only the two of them understand the extent of their devotion to each other and we are lucky to be witnesses to this unforgettable and extraordinary couple. Who would’ve thought Vampires have messed up problems like us humans right?

This is a good filler story for the series and a must-read for those of you following the Brothers. In behalf of your fans, we’d like to thank the Scribe Virgin herself, J.R. Ward, for indulging your fans and writing more about Zsadist.

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Supernatural & Grimm TV

As Summer ends and True Blood’s latest season draws to a close with only 2 episodes left, fans of the supernatural genre will have a fall break before another much anticipated show goes back on air.
Supernatural, the TV series with a loyal cult following returns for their seventh season on September 23. There was news of the show getting cancelled but I guess their fans clamored for more Dean and Sam, good thing we’re spoiled and CW’s TV Execs didn’t disappoint.

From www.cwtv.com

Season seven finds Dean and Sam reeling from the loss of their friend. Sam’s violent memories of Hell threaten to overtake him, threatening not just his life, but his brother’s as well. Meanwhile, Dean struggles under the weight of a secret that threatens to tear them apart. And even as the brothers traverse the backroads of America, hunting things that go bump in the night, something is coming for them. They are about to face an enemy more canny and adaptable than any they’ve ever fought. As the landscape around them becomes increasingly treacherous, the tools they’ve come to rely upon will be stripped away. Our heroes, like so many outlaws before them, will find themselves utterly outmatched and outgunned, with no one to rely on but each other.

Meanwhile another supernatural/fairy-tale themed series, Grimm, is hitting the small screen starting October 21, Friday at 9pm, same time and slot as Supernatural. Produced by the people behind Buffy and Angel and Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes.

David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt & Russel Hornsby as Hank Griffin
Grimm is a story about a detective, Nick Burkhardt, in Portland, Oregon, who after the death of his aunt learns that he’s a descendant of a group of hunters named “Grimm” and he is the last of their kind. He discovers that all those scary creatures that he used to read growing up are walking amongst us and it is his mission to save us poor humans from falling prey to them.
Looks like my DVR will be busy on Friday nights.

Supernatural & Grimm TV

As Summer ends and True Blood’s latest season draws to a close with only 2 episodes left, fans of the supernatural genre will have a fall break before another much anticipated show goes back on air.
Supernatural, the TV series with a loyal cult following returns for their seventh season on September 23. There was news of the show getting cancelled but I guess their fans clamored for more Dean and Sam, good thing we’re spoiled and CW’s TV Execs didn’t disappoint.

From www.cwtv.com

Season seven finds Dean and Sam reeling from the loss of their friend. Sam’s violent memories of Hell threaten to overtake him, threatening not just his life, but his brother’s as well. Meanwhile, Dean struggles under the weight of a secret that threatens to tear them apart. And even as the brothers traverse the backroads of America, hunting things that go bump in the night, something is coming for them. They are about to face an enemy more canny and adaptable than any they’ve ever fought. As the landscape around them becomes increasingly treacherous, the tools they’ve come to rely upon will be stripped away. Our heroes, like so many outlaws before them, will find themselves utterly outmatched and outgunned, with no one to rely on but each other.

Meanwhile another supernatural/fairy-tale themed series, Grimm, is hitting the small screen starting October 21, Friday at 9pm, same time and slot as Supernatural. Produced by the people behind Buffy and Angel and Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes.

David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt & Russel Hornsby as Hank Griffin
Grimm is a story about a detective, Nick Burkhardt, in Portland, Oregon, who after the death of his aunt learns that he’s a descendant of a group of hunters named “Grimm” and he is the last of their kind. He discovers that all those scary creatures that he used to read growing up are walking amongst us and it is his mission to save us poor humans from falling prey to them.
Looks like my DVR will be busy on Friday nights.

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

summary here

Series: Blue Bloods 1
Format: Hardback
Release Date: April 25, 2006
Purchase Link: Amazon

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner…and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead… drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

As the name of the series and the first book suggests, Blue Bloods is about Manhattan’s Vampire royalty.

The backdrop is present day NY Upper East Side and we’ll play voyeur to these Mayflower children with their lavish lifestyles, catty dispositions and drama-filled lives.

The heroine, Schuyler Van Alen, just recently found out that she’s part of this elite group called the Blue Bloods. They were Fallen Angels cursed to live again and again as Vam-pyres. preying on human blood. Their transition begins around their 15th birthday and old memories slowly start to permeate their current ones easing them slowly to who and what they really are.

Of late, there is an alarming number of deaths in their community and the victims are drained of blood. This puts all of them in danger because the Committee and Wardens continue to cover up the murders and refuses to warn the younger Blue Bloods. Behind it all are the Silver Bloods, Lucifer’s posse of Fallen Angels who are after their fellow Angels to make themselves practically invincible. Only Schuyler with the help of her grandmother Cordelia, can help them uncover the mystery behind the Silver Bloods and how to stop them.

The previous reviews that I’ve read didn’t exaggerate when they said that the label dropping and the zealous flaunting of wealth is a little off putting at first. But they were also right in saying that once you get past that part you’ll be intrigued by it all as well. I agree with the first observation because there were moments where it could’ve been foregone. We get it, these kids don’t shop in Forever21 and even vintage for them doesn’t equate to Goodwill or the Swap Meet.

BUT plot is interesting though there are a couple of YA cliche’s like The Golden Boy, the Queen Bee and her court, The Rebel, The Sidekick, The Loyal Bestie and the inconspicuous Heroine. However the conflict is intricately woven I don’t know where to start. But the points below are what whetted my appetite.

  • As reincarnated souls, Schuyler is a new one and she’s an outsider because she’s a half-human and her mother is more than who she appears to be.
  • The Golden Boy, Jack Force, is drawn to Schuyler because his soul remembers her mother and in the past I’m assuming that they’ve been intimate at one point.
  • The Queen Bee, Mimi Force and Jack’s twin, has also been the latter’s spouse on several of his previous incarnations so there’s also a certain intimacy between them that is a little bit weird considering they’re currently siblings.

By the end of the book I’m actually quite impressed by the story. De la Cruz set a lot of rules and I’m curious on how she’ll keep everyone and everything inside the lines. On top of that her vampire myth is a combination of other things, not just Fallen Angels, but other myths as well. I guess the series got too much flack from all the branding mentioned but if you can at least finish the first book I guarantee that she’ll make you pick up the next one, Masquerade.

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

summary here

Series: Blue Bloods 1
Format: Hardback
Release Date: April 25, 2006
Purchase Link: Amazon

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner…and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead… drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

As the name of the series and the first book suggests, Blue Bloods is about Manhattan’s Vampire royalty.

The backdrop is present day NY Upper East Side and we’ll play voyeur to these Mayflower children with their lavish lifestyles, catty dispositions and drama-filled lives.

The heroine, Schuyler Van Alen, just recently found out that she’s part of this elite group called the Blue Bloods. They were Fallen Angels cursed to live again and again as Vam-pyres. preying on human blood. Their transition begins around their 15th birthday and old memories slowly start to permeate their current ones easing them slowly to who and what they really are.

Of late, there is an alarming number of deaths in their community and the victims are drained of blood. This puts all of them in danger because the Committee and Wardens continue to cover up the murders and refuses to warn the younger Blue Bloods. Behind it all are the Silver Bloods, Lucifer’s posse of Fallen Angels who are after their fellow Angels to make themselves practically invincible. Only Schuyler with the help of her grandmother Cordelia, can help them uncover the mystery behind the Silver Bloods and how to stop them.

The previous reviews that I’ve read didn’t exaggerate when they said that the label dropping and the zealous flaunting of wealth is a little off putting at first. But they were also right in saying that once you get past that part you’ll be intrigued by it all as well. I agree with the first observation because there were moments where it could’ve been foregone. We get it, these kids don’t shop in Forever21 and even vintage for them doesn’t equate to Goodwill or the Swap Meet.

BUT plot is interesting though there are a couple of YA cliche’s like The Golden Boy, the Queen Bee and her court, The Rebel, The Sidekick, The Loyal Bestie and the inconspicuous Heroine. However the conflict is intricately woven I don’t know where to start. But the points below are what whetted my appetite.

  • As reincarnated souls, Schuyler is a new one and she’s an outsider because she’s a half-human and her mother is more than who she appears to be.
  • The Golden Boy, Jack Force, is drawn to Schuyler because his soul remembers her mother and in the past I’m assuming that they’ve been intimate at one point.
  • The Queen Bee, Mimi Force and Jack’s twin, has also been the latter’s spouse on several of his previous incarnations so there’s also a certain intimacy between them that is a little bit weird considering they’re currently siblings.

By the end of the book I’m actually quite impressed by the story. De la Cruz set a lot of rules and I’m curious on how she’ll keep everyone and everything inside the lines. On top of that her vampire myth is a combination of other things, not just Fallen Angels, but other myths as well. I guess the series got too much flack from all the branding mentioned but if you can at least finish the first book I guarantee that she’ll make you pick up the next one, Masquerade.

Dark Shadows the Movie

Production has officially begun on the “Dark Shadows’ movie. Dark Shadows is an upcoming cinematic adaptation of the 1960’s supernatural daytime soap opera show about vampires, werewolves, ghosts and witches. What makes this movie stand out from other vampire or paranormal movies coming out is the fact that it’ll bring back one of my favorite on screen collaborations, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. Johnny Depp as a Vampire….I’m already feeling my skin tingling from excitement!

From Warner Bros.:
“In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet—or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Brouchard. A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.

Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman, to help with her family troubles.”

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride & Prejudice and Zombies author, Seth Grahme-Smith, has penned the latest draft of the script which was previously drafted by John August. John August also happens to be the screenwriter for one of my all-time favorite movies, Big Fish, another Tim Burton film. As with all of the Johnny Depp-Tim Burton projects, we should expect this to be dark, gothic and quirky but I’m hoping that the tone will gear more towards one of their previous collaborations, Sleepy Hallow. Which ever direction Tim decides to go with in this project, I have no doubts that Johnny Depp will be bringing us another spectacular performance with Barnabas Collins.

Helena Bonham Carter (Dr. Julia Hoffman), Chloe Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard), Eva Green (Angelique Bouchard) and Michelle Pfieffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) and a host of other talented actors round out the rest of the cast. Talks have been swirling around that original cast members will be making cameo appearances.

Dark Shadows should be hitting the big screen sometime in May 2012.

Byzantium the Movie (A Vampire Story)

Neil Jordan
So Neil Jordan, the man behind Showtime’s Italian Renaissance series, The Borgias, and several film adaptations namely Michael Collins, End of the Affair and the unforgettable Interview with the Vampire, is out doing another Vampire movie, Byzantium, based on Moira Buffini’s play, A Vampire Story.
The play is about two “sisters” who arrive in a quaint British town claiming to be 200 year-old vampires. The play itself raises the question of who’s story is being told, is it the older sister/mother or is it the younger sister Eleanor?
Moira Buffini
The nameless older sister claims that their mother died three years ago and she was left as guardian to her sister, Eleanor. She’d take odd jobs while her sister goes to school. Eleanor on the other hand negates this story and says that she is not her sister but her mother and they are 200yo vampires. Teachers, counselors and parents urged them both to sort out their story and get help. Soon people start disappearing and the town’s people start thinking if there is a grain of truth to the story that these two strangers told.
As of latest news there’s no release date yet for the movie but given Mr. Jordan’s record I’m confident that he’ll deliver. Another plus in this upcoming movie is Ms. Buffini will also be involved in the adaptation. So if you’ve seen or familiar with the play then rest assured that the things that you loved about it will be kept.
Casting on the other hand has been announced and I’m glad to say that I like the actors they picked.
Saoirise Ronan (Lovely Bones), Gemma Aterton (Prince of Persia; Clash of the Titans) and Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men).

Byzantium the Movie (A Vampire Story)

Neil Jordan
So Neil Jordan, the man behind Showtime’s Italian Renaissance series, The Borgias, and several film adaptations namely Michael Collins, End of the Affair and the unforgettable Interview with the Vampire, is out doing another Vampire movie, Byzantium, based on Moira Buffini’s play, A Vampire Story.
The play is about two “sisters” who arrive in a quaint British town claiming to be 200 year-old vampires. The play itself raises the question of who’s story is being told, is it the older sister/mother or is it the younger sister Eleanor?
Moira Buffini
The nameless older sister claims that their mother died three years ago and she was left as guardian to her sister, Eleanor. She’d take odd jobs while her sister goes to school. Eleanor on the other hand negates this story and says that she is not her sister but her mother and they are 200yo vampires. Teachers, counselors and parents urged them both to sort out their story and get help. Soon people start disappearing and the town’s people start thinking if there is a grain of truth to the story that these two strangers told.
As of latest news there’s no release date yet for the movie but given Mr. Jordan’s record I’m confident that he’ll deliver. Another plus in this upcoming movie is Ms. Buffini will also be involved in the adaptation. So if you’ve seen or familiar with the play then rest assured that the things that you loved about it will be kept.
Casting on the other hand has been announced and I’m glad to say that I like the actors they picked.
Saoirise Ronan (Lovely Bones), Gemma Aterton (Prince of Persia; Clash of the Titans) and Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men).

Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

excerpt here

Series: League Series 1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: January 1, 2009
Purchase Link: Amazon

Awakened from a drugged sleep in a cold cell, the Princess Kiara finds herself a prisoner of the merciless marauders who threaten her father’s planetary kingdom. Miraculously, a rescuer appears, but behind his fearsome mask is the handsome face of a dark avenger whose outlaw touch sets her very soul aflame.

Since I’ve sort of developed a certain loyalty for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s work and a friend gave me this series as a gift, I thought that I should give it a go. Sherrilyn Kenyon knows her men and I’ve always been a fan of her witty dialogue.

Now this one is far from a typical Supernatural themed book, it’s actually a science fiction series set in the distant future. Now I know that this is far from what you’d normally see being read and reviewed in this page but out of curiousity let’s give it a look-see.

The League Series is an action-packed book, fast paced and though it’s futuristic the jargon slides smoothly in the tongue. The dialogue is not as biting as her Dark-Hunter series but it’s still smart and barbed.

Born of Night is like The Bodyguard (yeah the one with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner). Nykyrian is a member of The League and is the organization’s best assassin, Kiara, the heroine, is a famous ballet dancer and a Princess to boot, whose life he needs to protect from those hired killers set to get her.

As assassins, these men are damaged which explains the various comparisons made with BDB’s Zsadist although the Brother’s story remains unmatched. Anyway the characters are interesting, I like Syn (whose story will be told in the next book Born of Fire) and Darling. Like her Dark-Hunters, these assassins are bred from the tragedies of life and were trained to be the best in their field.

I didn’t really warm up to this book, I find Nykyrian’s story a bit cliche, an abandoned child turned dark who ended up a Royal Prince himself. And Kiara, a Princess who’s a walking target because of her father’s political alliance and eventually because of her association with Nyk. Maybe it’s just their love match and how their characters are made up that didn’t appeal to me however this is the first book in the series and from my experience the story gets better as one goes along. But don’t take my word for it, it’s probably because I’m not really into the sci-fi genre with flying ships and all that, you might end up liking it.

What I like about Kenyon is that she sees this characters so clearly in her mind there’s even a tab reserved for them in her page. Nykyrian looks like Val Kilmer and Kiara looks like a young Carla Guigino. For more info and pictures of Sherrilyn’s Cast of Characters click here —->http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/characters/

Claymore

Claymore is a 26 episode Anime series released in 2007. The first 24 episodes was based on this first 11 volumes of the Manga Series but the anime version used a different ending.
Claymore is actually the name of the organization that hunts Yoma or demons. Claymores are feared because they are part Yoma which would enable them to battle those beasts. They are a band of silver-eyed blonde females, they are feared by the human population because eventually their Yoma side would Awaken and they will become the thing that they fight.
The heroine is Clare, years ago she was taken into the custody of the number 1 fighter of the organization, Teresa. But after Teresa slaughtered a band of bandits to save Clare, she was marked for death by the organization because their #1 rule is to protect humans and to hurt them in any way much less kill them require the most severe punishment. Death. 
Teresa fell in the hands of a fellow Claymore, Priscilla, who Awakened at the end of the battle. This altered Clare’s destiny and became a Claymore herself, hunting down Priscilla to exact vengeance for Teresa’s death.
With Naruto being an exception, I’m not much into anime but this one was actually good and it’s short, you can watch all episodes in Netflix on a lazy day. The story is figurative, fighting our inner demons to the best of our ability and doing what’s right for the greater good.
Typical of an anime series, the characters are interesting and have super human abilities. I can’t help but admire Japanese creativity and it’s no wonder why they have such a loyal following and why some prefer their animation more than a live action movie or even their digital counterparts.
The series has an open ending although there’s no news of the anime having another season. The Manga series is still ongoing.
FACTOID
Claymore is a anglicization of the Gaelic claidheamh mòr “great sword”. It’s a Scottish two-handed longsword with a long hilt that was used by guards during the 15th to 16th century.