Series: Greatcoats #2
Published by Jo Fletcher Books, Quercus on March 5, 2015 (UK), June 2, 2015 (US)
Genres: Adult SFF, Fantasy
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My Reviews in this series: Traitor's Blade
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
Tristia is a nation overcome by intrigue and corruption. The idealistic young King Paelis is dead and the Greatcoats – legendary travelling magistrates who brought justice to the Kingdom – have been branded as traitors. But just before his head was impaled on a spike, the King swore each of his hundred and forty-four Greatcoats to a different mission.
Falcio Val Mond, First Cantor, with the help of fellow Greatcoats Kest and Brasti, has completed his King’s final task: he has found his Charoites – well, one at least, and she was not quite what they expected. Now they must protect the girl from the many who would see her dead, and place her on the throne of a lawless kingdom. That would be simple enough, if it weren’t for the Daishini, an equally legendary band of assassins, getting in their way, not to forget the Dukes who are determined to hold on to their fractured Kingdoms, or the fact that the heir to the throne is only thirteen years old. Oh, and the poison that is slowly killing Falcio.
That’s not even mentioning the Greatcoat’s Lament…
KNIGHT’S SHADOW continues the adventures of Falcio, Kest and Brasti as they attempt to put the deceased King’s daughter, Aline on the throne of Tristia. It was fast paced with them constantly on the move. Traveling, fighting, kicking some plated Knight arse and being just as amazing as they were in the first book. But this time around we get a much more up close and personal look into not just Falcio but Kest and Brasti as well. It was what I was hoping for and I was not disappointed!
This second book has a much darker and serious tone then the first book TRAITOR’S BLADE. The wry bits of humor are still there but there definitely isn’t as much humor and I didn’t have the laugh out loud moments I had the first time. For those that like their fantasy darker, I am sure they will enjoy the way I think the series is headed. I’m not very experienced in the grimdark subgenre (because I don’t normally want everything to be all doom and gloom) but to me this categorization would fit KNIGHT’S SHADOW as there are more dark despairing moments then not. But I don’t think it is as dark as actual grimdark fantasy novels. BUT BUT! Even tho it is more serious and I originally fell in love with the humor and adventure aspects of book one – I still gobbled up every second of it and there was still plenty of hope thrown in there to balance things out for me. Oh yes and there is much more magic this time around!
Greatcoats the new
As readers of the first book know, the Tailor brought with her a whole pack of new Greatcoats. One of those is Dariana and she becomes one of the main supporting characters, travelling with Falcio, Brasti, Kest and Valiana. Valiana is the newest Greatcoat, and the only one that doesn’t deserve the coat yet based on her current skill set. She is so young and naive in some things and yet knowledgeable in others. Logically I felt like if she were trained in court intrigue she would be a bit smarter all around as those nobles are sneaky and totally about webs within webs. Regardless she is a good character and I liked her gumption. Falcio et al butts heads with Dariana and this helps lighten the mood sometimes. After recently having read a different fantasy book completely dominated by male characters it was so refreshing that KNIGHT’S SHADOW had an ample amount of female presence.
The Bardatti will tell you a tale
There was even more character and world building this time around and way less flashback time spent with the king. Indeed I loved the inclusion of the importance of bards, knights and the structure of the classes that keep this or any country such as Tristia running. Oh and there are more great action and fight scenes. I almost cried after one…yeah I’m emotional sometimes. There was also a sense of urgency this time that wasn’t there previously. View Spoiler »This is because Falcio is still suffering from being poisoned at the end of book one and it's slowly paralyzing/killing him. Each time he wakes it's harder for him to wake up and gain control of his body. « Hide Spoiler This makes every day that passes extremely important.
The King’s mission and yours should you choose to accept it
Things get much deeper in the character department. We learn more about Brasti and Kest and what makes them tick. We finally learn a few of the individual missions that the King had given various greatcoats. But darn it I still need to know how Falcio was able to beat Kest! I was also very happy with how things left off! Someone find me more fabulous fantasy like this because the wait for the third book is already killing me.