Book Review: Traitor’s Blade (Blog Tour)

unnamedWe were invited to be a part of the Penguin Canada’s Blog Tour for Traitor’s Blade, the first in the Greatcoats fantasy series by Sebastien de Castell.

The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards. Things could be worse. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while the killer plants evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening…

ashley | 

This is a book for the boys. That isn’t to say women won’t enjoy it, I certainly enjoyed it and there were a number of strong, memorable female characters, but the story carries a deep Three Musketeers camaraderie that really speaks to the boys club. A young Falcio, wide eyed and in awe at the stories of the Greatcoats and sword fighting and adventure, reminds me of the stereotypical happy little boy with his heads in the clouds, like Michael and John in Peter Pan going on a treasure hunt. And Traitor’s Blade starts off being just that, a treasure hunt, as Falcio desperately tries to fulfill the geas his King left him with and revive the legendary Greatcoats.

The first chapter sets the pace for the rest of the story and very naturally outlines everything you need to know about Falcio and his friends. Through a simple conversation, Falcio’s hopes and dreams are outlined, the sidekick characters are clear and you quickly see the shape of the story that lays ahead start to form. This doesn’t spoil anything; it quickly prepares and excites you for the adventure ahead.

What started as a boy’s treasure hunt quickly became something more. While the geas was still a focus, it was only mentioned almost like an afterthought between everything else that was happening… a mysterious woman’s caravan, a fiery young girl on the run from the Duke’s men, a monstrous beast, an ethereal prostitute and a crazy old tailor all keep Falcio and his band of brothers otherwise occupied. But as all these seemingly unconnected pieces start to come together, the magical story of the Greatcoats comes to life.

The novel has a classic feel to it. It’s written in a modern tone but still has a taste of the old language that speaks to the charm of knights and kings, with a little bit of mythology thrown in the mix. It’s a well crafted piece, drifting seamlessly between past and present and I loved the little gimmick of the narrator confidently stating a phrase and then the next line immediately contradicting it.

De Castell has a defined, unique voice that makes for an easy and entertaining read. If you’re looking for a light hearted fantasy novel, Traitor’s Blade will take you on quite the adventure. And this is only just the beginning.

veronica | Traitor’s Blade is an interesting and exciting trip through Tristia. Falcio Val Monde, the first Cantor of the Greatcoats, upholds the King’s Laws and trained in the art of fighting. They were once heroes but with the death of the king, they are now scorned and called traitors or tattercloaks.

This new series holds a lot of promise with its sprawling storyline and a great base in Tristia and the evil Dukes. An adventure reminiscent of The Three Musketeers but with a humorous undertone, the sometimes over the top action sequences will leave you on the edge of your seat turning page after page.

While the story flowed at a quick pace, there were points in the story that sort of meandered and dragged on where the plot hardly moved and was hard to see where it actually fit. The plot twist was spot on and even if you figured it out before the reveal, it did not diminish the story.

The one problem with books these days is the nagging feeling that they’re written with the mindset of turning it into a movie. Traitor’s Blade is laid out perfectly for the movie treatment.

It’s easy to see why Traitor’s Blade is garnering the buzz it is. A fantastic tale set in a brilliantly constructed world with characters that make you laugh with them and at them, Traitor’s Blade will leave you wanting the next installment now.

Traitor’s Blade is available now where ever your favourite books are sold.

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