Saturday 22 August 2015

Book Review - Knight's Shadow (Greatcoats #2)

I don't read a lot of fiction but when I read Traitors Blade, the first book of a new Greatcoat's series, I knew I was hooked.

The series is set in the mythical land of Trista.  Although it is considered a fantasy, it is more true to the Three Musketeers era than to a land filled with magic and mythical creatures. Those I mostly shy away from.

The second book in the series, Knight's Shadow, came out in March of this year.

Following his beloved debut, Traitor's Blade, Sebastien de Castell returns with volume two of his fast-paced fantasy adventure series, inspired by the swashbuckling action and witty banter of The Three Musketeers. Knight's Shadow continues the series with a thrilling and dark tale of heroism and betrayal in a country crushed under the weight of its rulers' corruption.

A few days after the horrifying murder of a duke and his family, Falcio val Mond, swordsman and First Cantor of the Greatcoats, begins a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland

This is as just as good of a story as Traitor's Blade. Told from the viewpoint of Falcio (pronounced Fal-Key-oh), the author Sabastein de Castell gives great depth to all the characters in the story. I found myself really hating the evil doers, the Dashini (think evil ninjas) and the Dukes attempting to hold onto their own mini empires here and was totally engaged in Falcio's small band's desperate attempt to stop a civil war from erupting in country and putting the rightful owner of Trista's throne, Aline, a thirteen year old girl, into power.

The small group Falcio leads grows in this story from his original two Greatcoat members, Kest, the great swordsman having become the Saint of Swords in this story and Brasti, the expert, deadly accurate archer, to a small diverse band of Greatcoats, including one young woman just learning the art of battle and swordsmanship.

Knight's Shadow, originally to be called Greatcoat's Lament (both titles would work for this book), is an action-packed, violent, well-told story, full of mysteries, sword fights, battles, and intrigue, from start to finish.

According to the author's website, the first draft of Tyrant's Throne, the third in the Greatcoat series is near completion. I anxiously await its release next year.

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