Book - Knight's Shadow

Knight's Shadow

Romeo Kennedy puts on his greatcoat once more and reads Knight’s Shadow (Book Two of The Greatcoats) By Sebastien De Castell...

(Spoilers ahead! Ye have been warned.)

Sometimes you will see a book or film etc described as X and Y on crack. I’m not a fan of describing things that way as It makes it sound like said book or film is an absolute howling mess. Readers of Traitor’s Blade will know of the mysterious substance that the Greatcoats sometimes take to help keep them awake and alert for longer. The Hard Candy. So for the first time (Bear with me here people!) I shall open this review with this ...

Knight’s Shadow is like Traitor’s Blade but on Hard Candy.

It’s faster, harder, and those dark tones I mentioned in my review for Traitor’s Blade, well, Knight’s Shadow at times is bloody dark, and so tense. I found myself having to put the book down every now and again and catch my breath.

I mentioned in my review of book one that the reader genuinely worries about the characters as anything can, and does, happen. In Knight’s Shadow I wasn’t only worried about them, I almost crawled into the book and wrapped them all in bubble-wrap.

So it was a shame that they all were turned into carnivorous squirrels ...

GOTCHA!

Yes, I did say there will be a few spoilers, I shall try to not make it too spoilery, and no, rest assured no carnivorous squirrels made an appearance in this book.

So here's is the synopsis for Knight’s Shadow ...

Tristia is a nation overcome by intrigue and corruption.
The idealistic young King Paelis is dead and the Greatcoats - legendary traveling magistrates who brought justice to the Kingdom - have been branded as traitors. But just before his head was impaled on a spike, the King swore each of his hundred and forty-four Greatcoats to a different mission.

Falcio Val Mond, First Cantor, has completed his King’s final task: he has found his Charoites - well, one at least, and she was not quite what they expected. Now they must protect the girl from the many who would see her dead, and place her on the throne of a lawless kingdom. Simple enough, if it weren’t for the legendary band of assassins, the Dukes determined to hold on to their fractured Duchies, and the poison that is slowly killing Falcio, all getting in their way

That’s not even mentioning the Greatcoat’s Lament


Falcio has been poisoned by Duchess Patriana with the deadly Neatha, which is like the Hard Candy but kills you, although too much Hard Candy will kill you too. Either way the Neatha is slowly killing Falcio and each morning he is waking up paralyzed. Kest and Brasti are positive that he is going to die.

With each chapter the reader really gets a sense of what is at stake, not just for Aline’s future but how far Falcio is willing to go to put this girl on the throne despite the odds stacked against him and the rest of the Greatcoats.

De Castell has yet again crafted a wicked story that opens the doors of Tristia wider and plunges the reader into situations that you really don’t know whats going to happen. There were times when I would pick this book and say out loud to myself, “How the hell is Falcio going to get out of this one.” Falcio is great at talking himself out of situations but for how good he is at talking it usually lands him, Kest and Brasti into more trouble, and more trouble again, and then there is nowhere to turn for them.

It was so tense from start to finish, and a little less humorous than Traitor’s Blade, which worked really nicely and personally in my opinion, and more humor in Knight’s Shadow would have felt forced and actually taken away from the fact that all hell breaks loose in this book, and if you are wearing a Greatcoat, expect the worse.

I loved Kest as much as I did in the first book but even more so in this one. Now that he is the Saint of Swords, it added some really elements to his character and made the best swordsman in Tristia even more dangerous. The moments were Kest could tell how many moves it would take to kill his opponent was a really nice touch.

And, as with the first book, the fight scenes were magnificently crafted, like a well forged blade. I tried to describe the fight scenes to a friend of mine and all I could say was, that they weren’t like reading a fight but instead watching a dance.

With its darker chapters and precious little lightheartedness, there then came those absolute dread chapters, and with that the Greatcoat’s Lament. Well, bloody hell. I cried a few times at this because it is probably one of the most harrowing things I have read, but brilliant at the same time.

This all builds to quite a stunning finale.

Knight’s Shadow is a fantastic sequel to what is turning out to be a wonderful fantasy series.

Knight’s Shadow is out now via Jo Fletcher Books www.jofletcherbooks.com
To find out more about the author visit www.decastell.com and follow him on Twitter @decastell

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