This is a review of the book “Traitor’s Blade” by Sebastien de Castell.
The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded and the Dukes are running things unchecked. First Cantor of the Greatcoats, Falcio Val Mond, and his two friends Kest and Brasti, are taking any old job they can find while trying to carry out a secret mission the King gave them but didn’t explain to them. But when their current employer tortured to death under their watch and with a royal conspiracy about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world, it could mean the end of everything they once fought for. Marked as traitors and assassins, the only thing that they can trust is themselves and their blades.
This is a varied world similar to Renaissance Europe, where everyone is trying to move in on everyone else’s turf and Saints have no qualms against making deals with humans. Humans who are full of their own desires, dreams, anger, hatred, fear and those little moments of bravery and honour that go down in songs. Falcio Val Mond is a bit of a bland character at first personality wise, but it is sufficiently explained by the end of the book. Brasti and Kest are complete opposites to each other and to Falcio, and the three of them work well together as characters.
Aline was incredibly strong as a young girl and as a character, and Valiana has a hard journey in front of her. Trin was a nice character and also she was both a surprise and not. King Paelis was both a dreamer and a shrewd politician, and by the end of the book it’s clear where he got that from. Patriana is a truly fearsome character, and one truly hates her for what she’s willing to do to get her way.
The writing style is nice and light; it’s full of action and fast paced duels, and the book is a surprisingly easy read despite the many conspiracies going about. It is complicated but presented simple enough to understand and follow. Most of the secondary and even tertiary characters have personalities and even conspiracies of their own, which is a change from most books, and the truly great conspirators in the book are all female, which is wonderful to read about.
There is nothing that I truly hated or disliked about this book, it’s an excellent read, but there are a few things I’m not certain of. The constant conspiracies within conspiracies within conspiracies and sudden revelations of who people truly are can get a bit too much, a bit too old by the end of the book. There were also some parts of the book that were a bit slower than the rest, and the part of the sexual healing that happened I’m really dubious about. But those are truly minor things, and not even all that important.
This is an excellent book and definitely worthwhile to read, and I will definitely try to get my hands on the sequel!