I love these guys so much! De Castell delves deeper into the world and delivers a well-plotted story filled with adventure and mayhem on an epic scale.
There was something about the entirety of the book that kept me glued to the pages until the very end. View all 9 comments. May 31, Bookwraiths rated it it was amazing Shelves: review-freebie , fantasy , favorites. It really was one of the best books of Flash forward to I mean, can the author catch lightning in a bottle twice? Can he find a way to include all those great elements from book one, yet minimizing the less stellar ones — like the constant Falcio flashbacks?
Well, after finishing the novel, I can honestly declare that my doubts were unfounded. Not only did Sebastien de Castell meet my wildest expectations, but exceeded them by far, and by doing so set a ridiculously high standard for all books that follow. A state he endures every morning. Poison administered by his vilest enemy the cause.
But Falcio must overcome, because time is running out to place Aline securely on the throne, and to accomplish this, he has to find a way to persuade the hated Dukes of the land to support her cause. One that included enough hilarious scenes with Falcio, Kest, and Brasti in full swashbuckling mode to be entertaining, but did not reach for anything other than a credible retelling of book one. But then something happened: Sebastien de Castell pulled the proverbial rug out from under me, revealing a devious plot that might involve the most heinous participation by the Greatcoats themselves, leaving the poisoned Falcio, in his loyal naivete, frantically trying to discover the truth before he dies!
While Kest, Brasti, Aline, Valiana, and all the rest had their moments in book one, here they come into their own. The joker Brasti, who never seemed serious, displaying an unexpected depth of character, as he deals with the utmost despair and devastation. Kest, the Saint of Swords, struggling to balance his devotion to Falcio and his fellow Greatcoats with his desire to seek out opponents worthy of his time.
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Aline desiring a normal life away from the Dukes and the deadly machinations of the land, but choosing to forego her own personal happiness to try to help others. Valiana, the spoiled noble turned peasant, who slowly evolves from a hopeless wretch into a woman who is willing to change herself and lay down her own life for a cause she deems right. And Darriana, who is revealed late in the story but plays such a pivotal role in its resolution. Another area where this installment of Greatcoats excels is in the world building.
Bright Lady and White Knight
We find out more about the history of the Greatcoats, the true story of their beloved king, and who the legendary Dashini are. Hidden motives, vile betrayals, and devious machinations layered one upon the other until every absolute truth of this world is turned upside down, contorted into amazing new directions that never fail to surprise. Creative, brilliant, twisted, emotional, and unforgettable, every one of those labels can be fairly assigned to this novel.
Now, all I have to do is patiently wait for book three to be published. I received this book from Jo Fletcher Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Shelves: beautifully-broken-bastards , fantastic-fantasy , super-sidekicks , stars , buddy-read , bro-mantic.
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I thought that Falcio went through some trials in the first book but that seems like kids play in comparison to what he endured in this one. The man is this great tragic hero that is beaten and bruised and betrayed at every corner but he has this great will of spirit and just gets up time and time again to just keep going, keep inspiring and keep kicking ass even when every odd is against him. Why go through the motions? My best friend sits trapped in that stupid circle, despising himself.
This book has so many dark moments. You would kind of think that would make it sad or depressing. Dariana was my favorite addition to the cast.
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She is completely insane and a skilled fighter who uses everything to her advantage. She fights like a crazy person acting the damsel in distress running away only to turn around and gut someone bigger and stronger than her. She was sitting cross- legged on my bed, quite unconcerned that the dirt on her boots was rapidly transferring itself to my blankets.
Kest gets a little more page time since he is dealing with some of the repercussions of the last book. It seems being a Saint comes with a few obstacles of its own. There is no drop off, if anything it is so much better than the first book. The Knight's Shadow was an improvement upon Traitor's Blade in almost every way. Completely changed the tone of the story, and added some entirely new dynamics to the plot, even though certain aspects of it still felt very flawed to me.
The few quibbles I had with this book almost directly relate to the issues I mentioned in my review of book one. I think the thing I love most about this book are the themes. The "The fights that matter most aren't won on skill" 4 Stars. There's a huge message all throughout this book of what true justice is, and the value of sacrifice, and what it really means to be brave.
There's even themes of faith and belief throughout this series, as the story is primarily about three men who are fighting out of a belief in a king who has been long dead. It's genuinely inspiring to read, and I'm shoving a bunch of quotes into this review because it really was that good.
The quality of writing in this book went up A LOT although It might just be the Kindle edition, but I highlighted roughly a dozen typos and grammatical errors. Anybody else find this in their editions of the book? I don't hold this against the author, because that's an editing problem, but it still bothers me haha. I don't think people will read this book for that stuff though. People will read this book because it's just good old fashioned storytelling. That's really what it all boils down to, for me anyways. If you enjoy a good story with really heroic heroes, truly evil villains, with all of the blood and gore and action and violence that goes along with it, you will probably love this book.
Sebastian de Castell does an amazing job of combining fast-paced action with truly powerful moments that can inspire and touch even the hardest of hearts. He somehow even manages to squeeze in plenty of humor amid his rather unusual cast of characters, which is another plus for the storytelling. But we were all that was left" I gave it four stars because there really is plenty to love, and at times I almost couldn't put it down. But I have some problems haha. Ethalia is as annoying to me in this book as she was in the first.
Every time she pops up I want to cringe, because her presence and her relationship with Falcio are never explained, at all. Like why did they fall in love? I don't get it at all. I don't think de Castell has any clue who the Tailor is actually supposed to be, if I'm being honest. In book one, she was practically this all-seeing all-knowing seer, who knew exactly where everybody was going to be, and where they would wind up, and where they were going to go.
Switch over to book two, and she's literally clueless - all of the time. Her ever-expansive knowledge was not explained in book one, and her lack of knowledge in book two makes even less sense. I'm tempted to not even mention this, because I don't have a problem with dark books, but compared to book one, this book felt like it took a trip off the deep end. I really was not expecting it, and for the book as a whole, it isn't a bad thing. I'm just very sensitive to certain things. Rape is one of them. There was a pretty lengthy scene in this book that left a really bad taste on my tongue, and it felt totally out of sync with the rest of the content in this series.
Again, I have no problem with authors dealing with stuff like this in their books, but to have a scene described in so much detail was very unexpected from everything else I read in books one and two. I might be overly-sensitive, but I can't help that, and I wanted to mention it since it definitely contributed to me not liking this book as much.
source url I don't intend to detract from that. I'm only pointing out this one specific thing that bothered me, not trying to say that this entire part of the book was bad.
It was really powerful and necessary and definitely a highlight of the book. I can only handle so many twists in a story. It's like if you get in a car, and you're the passenger. Too many sharp turns and donuts and general crazy driving, and you'll eventually get car-sick and nauseous. That's kind of how I felt by the end of this book.
Two other characters had dramatic reveals, exposing that they weren't who we thought they were. It happened again, but not just with one or two characters, but with an entire group of people in the story. I just got tired of it after awhile, because it was like he was throwing twists into the story just for the sake of having unexpected twists in the story, which isn't always a good thing.
It's like we were in a constant state of having brand new revelations, but pretty much all that this communicates to the reader is that we can't trust anything that in this story. Or worse, that de Castell actually has no clue what is happening in the book, so he has to keep changing it up haha. I just hope book three is a continued improvement on the series, rather than a repeat of book one, which felt very sloppy.