When I read Sebastien de Castell’s debut novel Traitor’s Blade last year, I knew immediately that this was an author I wanted to keep an eye out for. Subsequently, when the sequel was released, I was eager to get my hands on it as soon as humanly possible.
Thankfully, Knight’s Shadow rocked up this week, and two days later here I am.
Knight’s Shadow was a great read, and not only kept up the high quality of its predecessor, but managed to grow in quality as well. Sebastien de Castell has not slackened his ability one iota, and the wonderful action scenes are complimented by quieter and intense personal moments between Falco, the First Cantor of the Greatcoats, and his comrades.
Unlike other team stories, however, Knight’s Shadow doesn’t require that all the team be present at every stage along the way. I was shocked, at first, when this character or that would disappear, only to be reminded that the author not only knew what he was doing, but that I needn’t have worried.
While there are a handful of authorial contrivances that drive the story in places, they are done in such a way and with characters that I immediately like that I forgave the author his hand appearing in the story. And while the book didn’t conclude in a way that was obviously a finale or a cliff-hanger (I had to wait to be told that these characters would return in the third book, Tyrant’s Throne), I was pleased with the way the book ended.
Nor was there any authorial contrivance to keep one character inherently unlucky in love or perpetually at risk – almost every action taken by all the characters made sense (with the exception of the few aforementioned authorial contrivances).
The blurb of the book doesn’t do the contents credit: Yes, there is a lot arrayed against Falcio and his Greatcoats. But it never feels as if the book is overloaded with storylines, or action, or characters; it simply feels right.
Knight’s Shadow is a killer read that had me in my chair until 3 in the morning. And while I look forward to seeing Sebastien de Castell grow more as a writer, he’s already well on his way to being a favourite.
Review by Joshua S Hill
Patricia from Australia
This truly was a great read, in fact I could not put it down. The story line continues on from the first book at a great pace left me pausing at times to get my breath mentally. The weaving of the characters personalities helping me to understand some of the scenes in the storyline was helpful. I was disappointed that I have to wait to find out what happens to the young queen in the third book.
8.5/10 from 2 reviews