“The first rule of the sword is – put the pointy end in the other man.”
I bought this book rather impulsively, without really knowing anything about it. I loved the cover (duh) and I decided to get the book, even though I haven’t heard anyone talk about it previously. Turns out – that worked in my favor. This really took me by surprise and I was constantly impressed by how much I was enjoying it. I ended up really loving this, so let’s break it down, shall we?
The story follows Falcio, Kest and Brasti, and they got this whole Three Musketeers vibe going on. They are what remains of the Greatcoats, the late king’s judge and jury that brought justice to the lands. But the king was executed by the Dukes, who rule everything know, and the Greatcoats have been disbanded and shamed. They end up being hired by a caravan as escorts, and things really spiral from there.
This is the kind of world I totally enjoy. I love the sort of Three Musketeers vibe it gave off, and I loved the premise of a idealistic king forming a sort of judiciary to uphold the laws. I also think that the whole world had a lot of grounding to it, it felt fleshed out and I loved the atmosphere it gave off. Plus, the author does exposition really well, so you never feel overburdened by the information and you have a good grasp on the history of the world we’re in. I really enjoyed that a lot.
I loved all of the characters in the book, a lot. Falcio is a really interesting character, who thinks he is the smartest person in the room, and also talks a lot, but is ultimately really charming. He is oblivious at times, and I found that that only added to his appeal. He has a lot of demons he struggles with, and I really enjoyed his character arc. Kest and Brasti were hilarious, especially Brasti, and a lot of fun as companions. All the rest of the characters (including a bit crazy old Tailor) were really intriguing, and I truly enjoyed them. There’s even a Fey Horse named Monster. That should get you the read the book alone.
There’s a duel or a fight scene every couple of pages in this book, but I found myself really enjoying that. De Castell is so good at engaging the reader in the fight, and he nails the details of it so well. It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone as good at writing fighting scenes as Sanderson, but this book really does them well. I kind of want to take up fencing now.
This book is so much fun. De Castell has such a distinctive voice, and his prose is super clever, but also super funny. This book is action packed, but still has a lot of substance to it. There are twists and turns (some pretty obvious, other’s not so much) and it’s just a ride.
The only reason I docked half a star off of this is that the plot was super convenient. Like super convenient. Everything worked out into the characters’ favor, and it all felt a bit deus ex machina. It just all tied in a little too nicely for my taste. I like to see a little bit of a struggle, but this is such a minor thing and it did not really diminish my enjoyment of the book.
I have a feeling this is going to be one of my favorite Fantasy series, and I am so glad I decided to get it (cover buying pays off!). It’s action packed, the characters are great and like I said, there’s a monstrous horse. Can’t go wrong with that one.
Final verdict: 4.5 stars
Have you heard of this one before? Did you maybe read it? Any thoughts you’d like to share? Let me know!
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