A great blade has to be sharp, sure, but it needs a bit of weight as well—heft enough to fend off the weapons of enemies. You don’t want your hardware to be too heavy, however: it needs to be perfectly balanced between point and pommel. In addition, a good grip is worth investing in, because if you can’t hold onto your sword properly, what’s the point of wearing one, I wonder?
Once you can be assured that your weapon attends to the necessaries aforementioned, there are a few other things worth considering. For starters, size certainly matters... which isn’t to say bigger is always better. In some situations, a small sword—say a rapier—is markedly more suitable than a sabre. The accessibility of your blade is also important; you probably want to have it handy. Last but not least, I dare say a little decoration goes a long way, so long as it’s tasteful.
These are all qualities Sebastien de Castell hones to a piercing point over the course of his swashbuckling first fantasy. Like the sword its disgraced protagonist carries, Traitor’s Blade is short and sharp and smart, and very well wielded, really.