Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The King is dead, his magistrates the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and the Dukes are ruining the world one injustice at a time. Even branded as traitors the Greatcoats fight for justice and in this case it's for a girl marked for death by an evil Duke.
Traitor's Blade is a fantasy in a more classic sense of the genre. The Heroes are really good and the villains are the mustache twirling tie a girl to the train tracks type. It brings about a feeling of nostalgia for the simpler days when you knew who was good and who was bad within seconds of their arrival.
One of books biggest strengths to me came from the interaction between Falcio, Kest, and Brasti. The three of them were lovable loud mouths who were prepared to fight regardless of the odds. The other main strength came from Falcio's flashbacks. The flashbacks were entirely about Falcio's life as the entire book is in his point of view and many of them revolved around his interactions with King Paelis. A lot of powerful and emotional scenes played out in the flashbacks. Unfortunately not as many played out in the remainder of novel.
Like every book Traitor's Blade had its weaknesses which primarily revolved around Falcio going solo to protect Aline. It felt as though the author derailed his book by going overboard on a side quest. After finishing the book I see a bit of the importance of the particular quest, but I'd still say it took up too much of the novel. Another weak point to me was the number of times various characters shook their head in disbelief over how dumb Falcio was behaving. My particular issue is that each character did it nearly the same way.
This book also was lacking in scenes with the Tailor. That old woman put a smile on my face whenever she opened her mouth.
Traitor's Blade is a solid debut and worth a read especially for those sick of all their characters being shades of gray.
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