Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell

Their job is to enforce King's Law but in the wake of their king's death the Greatcoats find themselves living in a truly lawless land. Many have lost respect for the Trattari, now referring to them as tatter cloaks at best and bandits and murderers at worst. The Greatcoats are held responsible for the king's death, standing aside as the dukes of the land sent their own men to assassinate their lord and master. In truth, they were following the king's orders. Now, years later, Falcio, Brasti, and Kest are still together trying to uphold King Paelis's code as best they can. 

When their latest employer is murdered at the hands of a mysterious woman, the find themselves framed as killers. They are forced to join up with a team protecting the daughter of the very woman behind the plot against their king. But the job turns out to be more complicated than simple protection along the trade routes. The three soon learn that the dukes are plotting once again and while their new employment may not be desirable, it does put them in a position to learn more. Perhaps it'll even mean a chance  to avenge their king once and for all. 

Sebastien de Castell's debut is packed with sword-fights, double crosses, and political scheming! Add in a dash of magic and a pinch of mystery and you have a recipe for a sure fire fun read.

Traitor's Blade is very much in the vein of the Three Musketeers. A band of protectors, loyal to the king and seemingly beyond temptation, the Greatcoats have fallen far from their former glory. Over a hundred strong once upon a time, they've been scattered to the winds and all at the order of the king. Yes, it's true, each of them was given a different task, one final order from their monarch before his murder at the hands of the duke. And in the time since his death our three heroes have strangely seen almost none of their former brothers and sisters at arms.

Falcio's task is the only one we're privy to in this first of the series: he's been ordered to find the King's Charoites but he doesn't know where or even what they are. The reader is definitely able to tease out this particular truth well before Falcio himself does, but it was a clever plot point and one that will likely be a driving force in the next book of the series.

Kest and Brasti don't get as much attention, but for pretty fair reason considering much of the story follows Falcio. All three have their own parts to play as the heroes of the tale so I'm hopeful that the other two will get a bit more face time and development in subsequent releases.

Traitor's Blade is out now from Jo Fletcher/Quercus.

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