Book - Saint's Blood

Saint's Blood

Our own saintly Romeo Kennedy catches up with Book Three of The Greatcoats and reads Saint's Blood by Sebastien De Castell...

The books that keep you up all night and leave you wanting to read more are the books that stay in your heart forever. That is true for me for all of this series, and especially with Saint’s Blood.

On the night I started Saint’s Blood, I told my wife that I would try and get some sleep after I had read a few chapters. Two hundred and twenty eight pages later, I look at the time or rather I look out the window and see that the day has already started and the sun is well and truly up. And I regret nothing. Through red eyes and constant yawning, I spent the day thinking about those first thirty chapters as well as thinking about how much damage can the author inflict on Falcio Val Mond.

(A few spoilers ahead so as usual I will try to keep them mild, but reader beware.)

Here is the synopsis for Saint’s Blood

How do you kill a Saint? Falcio, Kest and Brasti are about to find out, because even Tristia’s most powerful Saints are turning up dead and the entire country is convinced it’s a sign that the God themselves oppose Aline’s ascension to the throne. Now the dukes are using the murders as an excuse to weasel out of their agreement to reinstate the Greatcoats, providing a golden opportunity for the inquisitors - the Church’s own dueling magistrates - to take up the burden of enforcing justice ... Their own much harsher form of justice.

If he’s going to stop the Inquisitors, Falcio has to find the Saint killer.

The only clue is the terrifying iron mask encasing the head of the dying Saint of Mercy - but even if it does lead him to the murderer, Falcio will still have to face him in battle.

And this may be one duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can ever hope to win.

With the Greatcoats reinstated, all should be well and right in the world of Tristia, right? Wrong. In fact things are more precarious than ever. And for once Trin isn’t behind it all. Although I’m sure she is planning something dastardly between the pages.

The first two books reference the many Saints and Gods of Tristia, mostly as inventive curse words by our trio of Greatcoats. Saint’s Blood, however, shines a light onto the religion and belief system of Tristia. And the reader can also learn more about the enigmatic Bardatti, the bards of Tristia who seem to know everything and also communicate with each other through the notes, and scales of a song. I would definitely like to see more of the Bardatti, as in their own way they are as Important to Tristia as the Greatcoats, I think that the Greatcoats and Bardatti are two halves of the same coin.

As with the first two books De Castell expertly paces the story, and even though new aspects of the world are being introduced they feel like they have always belonged even if the reader is not yet aware of who and what they are, and I would guess that there are yet more surprises around the corner. Saint’s Blood returns the series to a similar style of Traitor’s Blade in that the reader can experience the more humorous aspect that made the first book so fun. That’s not to say that Knight’s Shadow was all doom and gloom, it just means that the series has evolved to a point where that humor is important to the characters because after all they have been through why shouldn’t they see the funny side of a dire situation. That is not to say that it doesn’t have its moments where the reader feels like there is no way out of the ... difficult situations.

After reading the first two books I could say that I’am a fan of the Greatcoats, and after reading Saint’s Blood, not only can I say that I am a fan but that the Greatcoats is quite possibly one of my favourite fantasy series. Each book is beautifully written and de Castell has written a wonderful story with that totally immerses the reader.

I cannot wait for the the fourth and (I think) final book, and I can already imagine that things are going to be quite epic.

Saint’s Blood is out now via Jo Fletcher Books
To find out more about the author check out and follow Sebastien on Twitter @decastell

Image - Amazon