Tyrant’s Throne by Sebastien de Castell

January 23, 2021 Reviews 0 ★★

Tyrant’s Throne by Sebastien de CastellTyrant's Throne (Greatcoats #4) by Sebastien de Castell
Published: April 20th 2017 by Jo Fletcher Books
Format: Hardcover, 586 pages
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
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2 Stars

Would you - could you? - uphold the law at the cost of those you love?

After years of struggle and sacrifice, Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead King's dream: Aline, the King's daughter, is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once and for all.

But for the Greatcoats, nothing is ever that simple. In the neighbouring country of Avares, an enigmatic new warlord is uniting the barbarian armies which have long plagued Tristia's borders - and even worse, he is rumoured to have a new ally: Trin, who's twice tried to kill Aline to take the throne for herself. With the armies of Avares at her back, she'll be unstoppable.

Falcio, Kest and Brasti race north to stop her, but in those cold and treacherous climes they discover something altogether different, and far more dangerous: a new player is planning to take the throne of Tristia, and the Greatcoats, for all their skill, may not be able to stop him.

As the nobles of Tristia and even the Greatcoats themselves fight over who should rule, the Warlord of Avares threatens to invade. It is going to fall to Falcio to render the one verdict he cannot bring himself to decide: does he crown the girl he vowed to put on the throne, or uphold the laws he swore to serve?

A quartet that should’ve been a trilogy, the Greatcoats series concludes with Tyrant’s Throne, a repetitive, drawn-out mess that managed to make a war boring.

The most ridiculous aspect of this book (and it was a struggle to pick one) is that none of the characters has learned anything. They face the same problems, make the same decisions, and wonder why they face the same failures. Falcio, in particular, continues to be an utter fool. There was little to no growth on his side, and in the end, his foolish outlook was rewarded. And the main conflict in the book — the one between the King’s vision and Falcio’s own world view — didn’t live up to its potential. Kest and Brasti, previously amazing comrades, only seemed to exist in this book to make Falcio look good (a difficult task, and one they didn’t excel in).

The world-building didn’t improve in this book. With the action finally taking place outside Tristia’s borders, it disappointing to see the characters (mostly Falcio) dismiss Averans simply because they were different. There was no attempt to understand them, let alone respect them for their differences. They were often spoken of derogatorily and mocked them for speaking Tristian imperfectly (predictably, few Tristians in the novel spoke a single word of the Averan language). The history of the Trattari, Badratti, Dashini, Cogneri and Rangieri, one of the biggest draws for me in the first book, was glossed over and underutilised.

Tyrant’s Throne is the weakest and least satisfying book in the series. And to add insult to injury, I don’t think we were ever told what Brasti’s mission from the King was.

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