Published: March 5th 2015 by Jo Fletcher Books
Format: Hardcover, 581 pages
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Tristia is a nation overcome by intrigue and corruption. The idealistic young King Paelis is dead and the Greatcoats - legendary travelling magistrates who brought justice to the kingdom - have been branded traitors. But just before his head was impaled on a spike, the King swore each of his hundred and forty-four Greatcoats to individual missions.
Falcio val Mond, First Cantor, with the help of fellow Greatcoats Kest and Brasto, has completed his King's final task: he has found his Charoites - well, one at least, and she was not quite what hey 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. that would be simple enough, if it weren't for the Dashini, an equally legendary band of assassins, getting in their way, not to forget the Dukes, who are determined to hold onto their fractured duchies, or the fact that the heir to the throne is only thirteen years old. Oh, and the poison that is slowly killing Falcio.
That's not evening mentioning the Greatcoat's Lament ...
Sometimes, you love a debut so much you wonder if the author can sweep you away again. I avoided reading Knight’s Shadow for years because I thought it couldn’t possibly live up to Traitor’s Blade. I was wrong, I should’ve read this book ages ago.
Knight’s Shadow is everything historical fantasy should be — fantastic plot, vivid imagery, and exhilarating action bundled with plenty of witty dialogue and lots of humour. I found myself reaching for it whenever I had a few minutes to spare — I didn’t want to leave the world or its characters.
The mythology and worldbuilding in this book blew me away. Connections only hinted at in Traitor’s Blade came to light (and left me hungry for more information) as Falcio learned that the history of his world isn’t as simple as he thought. The role of magic in this world continues to intrigue me, I hope we find out more in the next book!
The idealism and endless hope that drove Falcio (pronounced Fal-key-oh, we were helpfully told) grated on me after a while because I wanted him to wake up and see the world as it was, not as he wished it was. The qualities that make him a great leader also lead to his biggest mistakes, and while that doesn’t make him a bad character, he tends to be a little slow on the uptake. Many of the betrayals in the book didn’t have to be betrayals and many of the revelations weren’t all that surprising but just kept being blindsided by it all.
The camaraderie between Falcio, Brasti and Kest didn’t disappoint in this book. They make an excellent and well-balanced team but I liked that this book focussed on their individual journeys as well as their shared adventures.
Knight’s Shadow is a darker, more twisted tale than Traitor’s Blade, but I thoroughly enjoyed where de Castell is taking his heroes. A highly entertaining read that I recommend to those who enjoy a good adventure.