Published: January 22, 2013
Pages: 672 (Paperback)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.
Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men – or worse, a company of mercenaries – against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.
It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.
The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he’s determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it’s just another job. The abbey is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with.
Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war. . .
About two years ago, I purchased this book for my brother who is pretty into historical stuff and did some HEMA classes awhile back. He really enjoyed it and I told myself that eventually I would get around to reading it because I thought it sounded awesome and eventually (a few weeks ago) I did read it. I’m glad I already have book 2 sitting on my shelf because as soon as I have the time to dedicate to another large-ish book, I’ll be starting that one!
For a book with a character cast nearly as large as that in Game of Thrones, I was surprisingly invested in almost every single character. I was very fond of the core group consisting of the captain (the Red Knight), the Abbess, Harmodius, and Amicia though less central characters like Bad Tom and the Queen were just as captivating. I think Miles Cameron did a fantastic job of inserting a new POV just when it was most useful- they always added something essential, whether it was a tidbit of info or just a chuckle. One aspect that I found particularly frustrating was the air of mystery surrounding the identity of the captain. He hinted so much about his past and gave away true details grudgingly and I didn’t find out his name until a good way into the book. There are so many hints about his true purpose and his mother and alllll this childhood drama that is following him into adulthood. At the end he whispers something to the King, who visibly blanches at whatever he revealed about his parentage and that makes me really want to know the big secret.
This book felt EXTREMELY long, and in regards to the number of pages, it was pretty long (~650). While 650 pages is not that big of a deal to me, the amount of time it took me to get through this book was discouraging! It took me 10 days, which is nearly unheard of for me and I must admit some of this was due to the suddenly pleasant weather. This book is extremely descriptive, especially when it comes to the battle portions which are frequent and at times very long. I admire the work put into making this book into the quality piece that it is and I struggle to definitively say whether anything could have been omitted to increase the pace. The pace was steady throughout with plenty of action interspersed with the demands of siege warfare.
I enjoyed the story that played out within the pages of The Red Knight and I look forward to continuing on with this series. This is definitely not something I could binge read because there’s so much to take in, however its quality is excellent. I would consider this is a historical fantasy and fans of A Song of Ice and Fire would probably enjoy this. It should help with the wait for The Winds of Winter!