Title: Traitor’s Blade
Author: Sebastien de Castell
Series: Greatcoats, book 1
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.
Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters. All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission.
But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…
Falcio val Mond grew up listening to tales about the Greatcoats and their courage. His dream was one day become one of them. After some drastic events that changed his life, his dream came true. For years he served King Paelis as the First Cantor of the Greatcoats, until the day when the Dukes of the kingdom planned a coup that ended with the king’s dead, and the Greatcoats dismantled and marked as traitors.
Five years have passed; the Greatcoats are now known as tatter-coats or Trattari and have been shunned by royals and commoners alike.
Falcio and his two best friends Brasti and Kest have been together since the dismantlement of the Greatcoats doing all kind of jobs to survive, including body guarding and escorting caravans. They kept together to fulfill King Paelis’ last wish, to find his Chariotes; search that has taken them all around the kingdom, where they are seeing the injustices being committed by the Dukes.
Falcio, Kest and Brasti known they need to find the Chariotes and soon. They also know they need to reunite the Greatcoats and try to save the kingdom before it’s too late.
There were some many things I like about Traitor’s Blade, that it was very easy to overlook the very few things I had problems with.
One of the things I liked the most about Traitor’s Blade is the characters, from the heroes, to the villains and all others in between. The good guys are good to a fault and the bad guys are evil, cunning and all around despicable… just the way I like them.
Falcio is the perfect hero; he’s witty, smart, noble, loyal, and courageous. His past shaped the man he has become, but bad experiences haven’t deterred him to be best person he can be; attitude that constantly gets him in trouble.
His best friends Brasti and Kest are a treat to read. It’s pretty clear they have been friends for a long time; they know each other perfectly and share the same positive characteristics that make Falcio a worthy hero. Their banter is witty and highly enjoyable. It helps to balance the darkness and gritty details in the story with humor and smart lines.
The story is told from Falcio’s POV. De Castell uses flashbacks to bring light into important past events that have shaped the current circumstances of Falcio and his friends. The flashbacks and present events transitions are flawlessly done without disrupting the flow of the story.
The story although a bit predictable at times is well written, fast paced, and with enough action to keep you glued to the pages.
The fighting scenes are some of the best I have ever read. They are not only perfectly written they are also beautifully choreographed. There is a language to the dance of swords that is clearly seen every time the rapiers came out to play.
Traitor's Blade is a fun, dark, smart and extremely entertaining debut novel. Traitor's Blade is old school adventure in a fantasy setting, where swords and sorcery are main players in the big scheme of the world.
I strongly recommend Traitor's Blade and can’t wait to read next installment in this new amazing series, Greatcoat's Lament.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other books in the series
Greatcoat's Lament (TBA)
Other reviews Goodreads