Wednesday, March 12, 2014

E-ARC Review: Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell

Title: Traitor's Blade
Author: Sebastien de Castell
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening…

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, 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.

Review: I was asked to read and review this book for Penguin Canada. I received the book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
At first I was a little hesitant to agree to read this book because it is out if my normal genre, but I wanted to try something new. I actually really liked this novel. I liked that we follow various characters around while they fight for their lives and others. I really enjoyed the flashbacks, I learned so much about the characters this way. Also I found this story to be told in a humorous way, despite the hardships that the characters faced constantly. This book meshes so many fantasy elements perfectly it was hard not to fall in love with everything.
Each of the characters were so well written that I even liked the villains, although one in particular I did want to kill myself for some of the horrors they had put others through. It was amazing how Sebastien de Castell could make even the most ruthless of characters so vulnerable at times and actually make the reader feel bad for them, almost enough to forgive their horrible acts. I am literally in love with all of the "good guy" characters, I can't help myself. Each character is wittier than the next, and they are also smart. I liked hearing what they were thinking as they were in the midst of fighting and other instances. Each character was given a voice and they used it.
Although I did tread lightly at first, I quickly became submerged in this epic fantasy tale and I still find myself wanting more. I want to learn more about these characters and where they are now and what will happen next. Sebastien de Castell's debut novel has me hooked and I want more from this promising author. I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers of all ages, but with a warning of adult scenes, violence and some explicit language.

About this author

Sebastien de Castell had just finished a degree in Archaeology when he started work on his first dig. Four hours later he realized how much he actually hated archaeology and left to pursue a very focused career as a musician, ombudsman, interaction designer, fight choreographer, teacher, project manager, actor, and product strategist. His only defence against the charge of unbridled dilettantism is that he genuinely likes doing these things and that, in one way or another, each of these fields plays a role in his writing. He sternly resists the accusation of being a Renaissance Man in the hopes that more people will label him that way.

Sebastien lives in Vancouver, Canada with his lovely wife and two belligerent cats.

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