With swashbuckling action that recall Dumas’ Three Musketeers Sebastien de Castell has created a dynamic new fantasy series. In Traitor’s Blade a disgraced swordsman struggles to redeem himself by protecting a young girl caught in the web of a royal conspiracy.
The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they’ll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor’s blade.
I admit it. I was a bad girl. I normally try to review ARCs close to publication date – after all, the whole point of this game is giving books exposure near publication to get people to pick it up. But I thought this sounded like a great read, and I forgot to check when it was coming out, so I’ll settle for reminding ya’ll when the time comes.
In the meantime though – add this to your To Read list. Go pre-order it. This is epic fantasy with an intimate feel. It is a classic story of a man trying to the Right Thing in a world that neither wants him to, nor in many cases, even believe that he is capable of it. It’s a simple story, with slight overtone of the Three Muskateers, told extremely well. The world itself isn’t anything new, but there are little touches (like the concept of the Greatcoats themselves) that still make it worth visiting.
I think this book is perfect for both epic fantasy fans, as well as those looking to get into epic fantasy, but find the genre overwhelming – the book isn’t a thousand pages long and doesn’t have a thousand characters or locals to keep track of. In other words, it keeps the best parts of epic fantasy, without getting bogged down in itself.
Verdict: Buy It
Available: July 2014