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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review: Knight's Shadow

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,
Knight's Shadow (Greatcoats #2)
by Sebastien de Castell
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

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 as traitors. But just before his head was impaled on a spike, the King swore each of his hundred and forty-four Greatcoats to a different mission.

Falcio Val Mond, First Cantor, with the help of fellow Greatcoats Kest and Brasti, has completed his King’s final task: he has found his Charoites – well, one at least, and she was not quite what they 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 Daishini, an equally legendary band of assassins, getting in their way, not to forget the Dukes who are determined to hold on to their fractured Kingdoms, 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 even mentioning the Greatcoat’s Lament…


The first book in this series, Traitor's Blade, was my absolute favorite read from last year (and definitely one of my favorite books ever).  It has action, humor, an inventive and surprising plot, with an idealistic and capable main character.   It would be hard for the second book to top the first for me, given how much I adored it.  But this book was an amazing and even more action packed sequel!

The plot of this novel is darker and much more involved - "Knight's Shadow" is double the length of "Traitor's Blade"- but the plot never drags and every scene is important to the story.  And that became very apparent to me as the plot took on many complex twists and turns.  In this book there are conspiracies everywhere, and Falcio is hard-pressed to keep to his moral center when so many of his beliefs are severely tested.  But I was thrilled with how Falcio continues to grow as a character in this story.  The first book sets up his character pretty conclusively, but somehow in the second his personality and strength of character is further tempered by his experiences and it was satisfying to see how he bore all of his trials.  The inner strength of many characters is tested greatly in this book and I found that study of human integrity and weakness to be fascinating.

This is a hard journey of a story because there are so many pitfalls the characters must take and some really shocking revelations.  I felt so intensely invested in the characters' plights that it was almost physically painful to read what they had to endure.  The storytelling was brilliant though because the way some plot developments would twist on itself was as mesmerizing as it was shocking.  This was a fantastically suspenseful and engaging read - even though it was about 600 pages, I felt like I breezed through the book in my determination get to the end of every action-packed chapter.

My love for the first book could have been a fluke, but this second book has cemented my love for the series before it has even finished.  It was so invigorating to go on this dangerous, and sometimes painful, but ultimately satisfying adventure with Falcio, Kest, Brasti and the rest of the Greatcoats.  This is a series I recommend everyone to read!

(I received a copy of this novel from the author or publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated for this review.  However I did buy the UK edition of this book before I received a review copy since it was released months before and I couldn't wait to read it!)

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