by Sebastien de Castell
”The First Law is that men are free. For without freedom they cannot serve their heart.” – 67%
Title: Traitor’s Blade
Author: Sebastien de Castell
Published by: Jo Fletcher Books
Book: 1 of Greatcoats
Found: via book 2 on NetGalley
Rating: 5 Voodoos
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…
I loved this book.
I loved the idea of the Greatcoats and the Greatcoats themselves. Kest, Brasti and poor, poor Falcio. But mostly…mostly I loved the king. I loved him because Falcio loved him and because he loved Falcio, he loved his country and he even loved the people who are rejoicing in his death. I love how smart he was and how clever, though we don’t quite know yet EXACTLY how clever he was and how he said he wasn’t wise, when he was the wisest of them all.
I hope we get to see more of him in the other books, I hope that the talks about prequels go ahead and we get to meet him properly and I hope that eventually, they can convince the world just how much he loved them all because I hate that they hate him when he was trying to save them.
Tailor is also an interesting character, we learn a lot about her through the story, but there is certainly more to know! But I can’t talk more about her because she’s a little surprising.
On the whole, the book was both heart breaking and full of fun. The Dukes are varying degrees of awful and what they do, what they believe is their RIGHT to do is just horrid. Not to mention, what Falcio has lived and lost is phenomenal. But his friends and their banter, as well as Falcio’s own, is just hilarious. I’d love to quote the whole book if I could.
It’s told in first person, from Falcio’s point of view and while he admits to some of his skills, he tends to tell it like it is, while he’s got some skill with the sword he fully admits that Kest is far superior, for example, I think he doesn’t quite realise just how much everyone looks up to him and just how much influence he’s had, not only when he first met the king, but with everyone he’s met since. He is just himself, but he stands his ground and I think that effects people more than he realises.
I said while reading it that it reminded me of The musketeers, skilled fighters bantering their way about the place, writing wrongs etc, but the further I got into the story, the more The Greatcoats actually reminded me of the Heralds from Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series. I don’t mean that they were similar all over. Though they have a similar occupation, what made the comparison, at least for me, was their moral standing. It wasn’t just their job, it was who they were and they stay on that moral ground even when it was an impossible path to follow and turning away would be easier. They were fully prepared to give up their lives for their cause because they believed that there were worse things than death. Both groups demand respect from the reader, perhaps because they don’t get it from those around them.
As clever as the king was, I’m betting the ways of his Greatcoats are just genius. We’ve seen a few of their skills so far and they can only get better.
I have to admit, I’ve ordered the book in hardback…having read it as a kindle book. I do this, the best books, I have to own in a hardback copy so that I can see it and it’s MINE…