Published: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Series: Greatcoats #1
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
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…
It’s been about a week and a half since I finished Traitor’s Blade, but between writing other reviews and life I nearly forgot to review this! Shame on me because this book was such fun and I guess you could say that I’ve joined the Greatcoats fan club now. I can’t believe I’ve never picked up any of de Castell’s books prior to Traitor’s Blade, but at least the series is finished now and I can read them in quick succession!
Traitor’s Blade is the first installment of what readers and reviewers alike call the greatest Three Musketeer’s trope since Dumas’s original tale. While I’ve never read the original, I know the general plot (thanks Wishbone) and can safely say that this does in fact channel the same feeling. Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats and perceived traitor to the throne, has resorted to guarding caravans with comrades Kest and Brasti. They’ve sunk low from their former positions as traveling adjudicators to the realm, but it’s more honorable than thievery and they have ulterior motives anyways. Being labelled Trattari doesn’t stop them from being the finest swordsmen, archers, and fisticuffs brawlers in the world… plus, such skills are useful when you’re searching for the dead king’s lost jewels (his final request).
Falcio, Brasti, and Kest are fantastic and lovable characters that will by turns have you laughing and shedding tears. Falcio in particular had some very moving scenes and as a result was the easiest to connect to while reading. Brasti never misses a target with an arrow, but doesn’t always have as much luck with the ladies he’s so fond of chasing. Kest is an artist with the blade and you’ll find that he’s quite a saint by the end of the book (hehe). Sebastien de Castell has done a marvelous job of writing the story as a first person narrative (I’m no English major, is that the correct term?) that weaves past and present events together flawlessly.
I can’t even tell you how glad I am to have finally begun my journey through the Greatcoats series! I already have book 2 ready and waiting once my schedule slacks off a bit and I really wish they were available in audio format so I could get to them quicker. If you haven’t read these yet and love fantasy, then do yourself a favor – take my advice and read this book!