A Plague of Swords by Miles Cameron
One of the reasons that we love the fantasy genre so much is that, so often, we aren’t given only one book, but rather one book of three, five, ten, or however many Raymond E. Feist has written. There are any number of standalone novels that do in fact stand on their own (Night Circus, for example) but a lot of the novels we get to read are part of a series, and therefore must be read a little differently.
This can be great – especially for those of us who simply don’t want to leave a particular universe – but it can also be a drawback. This is the case with Miles Cameron’s latest novel, A Plague of Swords, the fourth book in his ‘The Traitor Son Cycle’. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy this book – I did, in fact I loved it – but it isn’t a book that stands on its own. It is entirely dependent on the previous three books, and by the end we’ve barely even been given a separate story – rather, Cameron has moved his overall story forward, with a few minor climaxes.
It’s the equivalent of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – entirely dependent on what has come before, whose sole purpose is pretty much to set up what comes next. While A Plague of Swords might not be of the same quality as Empire, the analogy nevertheless works. If you are a newcomer to Miles Cameron’s work, do not start here.
All of that being said, Plague is great for those of us who are invested in the larger series. While I had barely any memory of anything that had come before (I simply read too many books in the time between releases to remember) I was able to pick up enough as I read to be able to add to the larger whole. I wish there was a dramatis personae at the beginning, or a recap of some sort, but I managed to push through and by the time I was a third of the way through I had pretty much remembered all I needed to. This might sound like another drawback for some readers – and I admit, Cameron’s penchant for similar sounding names, and confusing-sounding names from all over the world, does at times make it difficult to keep track of who is on whose side, who is who, and who is where.
The character development I was rewarded with was wonderful – a significant quality of Miles Cameron’s writing. Although the number of POVs and continents we are brought into contact with definitely doesn’t give us a lot of time with everyone, we do get to see some characters progress. Additionally, the larger story continues to unfold, and the real villains and threats are continually revealed, their plans becoming more defined.
One major issue with this book, however, was the atrocious editing. The copy I received to review read like an early Advanced Readers Copy (ARC), but was in fact (appeared to be) a final release edition. Yet the number of grammatical and spelling errors, resulting in some very sloppy and confusing pages. I was quite surprised – it’s not unusual for a book to have one or two errors, but I lost count of just how many issues there were. Hopefully a revised version might be in the works for future reprints.
Nevertheless, even though this book was confusing for me to start reading, added very little and was not a story on its own, and was littered with so many grammatical errors, I still enjoyed it. It is certainly not a book that can be read on its own – and I wish I had the time in my life where I could have re-read the preceding book to refresh my memory before I started on Plague – and is utterly reliant and dependent on the series as a whole. This could be seen as a bad thing, and I’m not wholly impressed, but I still enjoyed returning to this world and visiting again characters that I have come to appreciate and enjoy spending time with. In the end, a mixed bag, but one I’m nevertheless glad I read – and I’m still looking forward to future sequels.
This A Plague of Swords book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: The Traitor Son Cycle
The Red Knight
The Traitor Son Cycle #1
Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild. Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern's ja...
The Fell Sword
The Traitor Son Cycle #2
Loyalty costs money. Betrayal, on the other hand, is free. When the Emperor is taken hostage, the Red Knight and his men find their services in high demand - and themselves...
The Dread Wyrm
The Traitor Son Cycle #3
The Red Knight has stood against soldiers, against armies and against the might of an empire without flinching. He's fought on real and on magical battlefields alike, a...
A Plague of Swords
The Traitor Son Cycle #4
The Red Knight withstood the full might of his enemy, and won the day. In a victory which will be remembered through the ages, he brought disparate factions together and tu...
Have you read A Plague of Swords?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
A Plague of Swords reader reviews
6/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Liveship Traders
Wizardwood, a sentient wood. The most precious commodity in the world. Like many other legendary wares, it comes only from the Rain River Wilds. But how can one trade with ...
The Tawny Man
Fifteen years have passed since the end of the Red Ship War with the terrifying Outislanders. Since then, Fitz has wandered the world accompanied only by his wolf and Wit-p...
Age of Misrule
The details that Mark Chadbourn puts into the Celtic mythology are fantastic. I’ve never really been that keen on Celtic mythology in books in the past, this is the f...
Harrowing the Dragon
Spanning a quarter of a century, an anthology of previously uncollected short fiction by the World Fantasy Award-winning author explores a world of magic in such works as &...
The Dragon's Tooth
For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone t...
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Young pioneer, Micah, enters Wrymeweald full of hope to return home having made his fortune. But this is a land where wyrmes, fabulous dragon-like beasts, roam wild and rei...
Tales from the Perilous Realm
Enchanted by a sand-sorcerer, the toy dog Roverandom explores a world filled with strange and fabulous creatures; the fat and unheroic Farmer Giles of Ham is called upon to...
Kallon Redheart lives with his back turned on his fellow dragons, on humans, and on everything he once understood. Riza Diantus is a young woman with dreams too wide to fit...
Under the harsh regime of an ambitious master, Eon is training to become a Dragoneye - a powerful Lord able to command wind and water to nurture and protect the land. But E...
Pamela Wiseman and Sarah Laichas
From fire-breathing to friendly, dragons pretty much rule the fantasy world. Dedicated to the coolest of mythological beasts, DragonWorld is a showcase of some of today&rsq...
Vlad Taltos is an Easterner - an underprivileged human in an empire of tall, powerful, long-lived Dragaerans. He made a career for himself in House Jhereg, the Dragaeran cl...
George RR Martin
Among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, romantic figures who cross treacherous ocea...
In a small village, miles from the great cities of the Twin Kingdoms, a young boy called Errol tries to find his way in the world. He's an outsider - he looks different...
In The Labyrinth of Drakes
In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and ...
Big Dragons Don't Cry
A depressed dragon, impudent kitten, and frightened young woman make an unlikely trio to save the dragon's swamp and lead humans to wholeness. They need the help of the...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
The Story of Tomkin and the Dragon
Tomkin Thornhewn, youngest son of the Duke of Marshwell, has a problem: he’s not heroic. Regardless of his aspirations, the bookish, untrained young man is better suited...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own. New alliances and old feuds will remake the natio...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...