Traitor’s Blade – Sebastien de Castell
The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded and Falcio Val Mond and fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse – their employer could be laying dead on the floor while the three of them are forced to watch as the killer plants evidence framing them for the murder. Oh, wait, that’s exactly what’s happening…
A royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world and it could mean the ruin of everything Falcio, Kest and Brasti have fought for. If the trio want to unwind the conspiracy, save the innocents and reunite the Greatcoats, they’ll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor’s blade.
“That’s what being free means – not the right to do whatever you want, but the right to take a stand and say what you’ll die for.”
I first came across Sebastien de Castell last year, when I picked up another one of his books – Spellslinger – and was immediately drawn to his writing style, which is funny, eloquent and with just the right amount of sass. So when I came across Traitor’s Blade, which is kind of a Three Musketeers retelling, I knew I had to give it a go.
I was not disappointed.
Falcio is an engaging narrator, even if some of the language he uses is a little long winded! The swordfights were very well described (at least for someone who doesn’t know anything about them), the story is pacy and exciting, and although some of the twists were a little predictable, de Castell still sneaks in some real surprises. It does flick back and forth between past and present, sometimes in really short, teasing bursts, but on the whole it reads very smoothly (I started reading it on the train to YALC, and finished the day after – if I managed to fit it in around YALC, Comic Con, World Cup Hockey and seeing my brother, it must be pretty good!)
The only real issue I have with it is that sometimes everything ended “too well” and escapes/fights went “too perfectly”, but all in all this was a very enjoyable read and I’m anxiously awaiting the delivery of book 2…
Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell
Published 2014 by Jo Fletcher Books
Read August 2018