Traitor’s Blade (Greatcoats #1) by Sebastien de Castell
Publication: February 10th, 2014
Genre: Adult Fantasy
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.
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I didn’t know how I would feel about this book so I got it on audio. Spoiler alert I loved it. There is something about adult fantasy that gets me going. First, off Falcio Val Mond is one of the greatest protagonists ever. But, more on him later. Falcio is a part of a group that protects the King called the Greatcoats. But the King is dead and Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are being blamed for a murder that puts them on the run. The Greatcoats are disbanded and the nobles are more tyrant like than anything. They get into the employment of Aline an entitled noble princess who they must guard which leads to a whole lot of mess. But wait, that is not all when they get where they are going the city is full of such corruption and schemes. They must protect a young noble girl and live to fight another day. This trio faces one misfortune after the next but they keep such high spirits you truly wouldn’t even know. The pacing was so good. I was honestly hooked on this story. It was like the Three Musketeers on crack. I was never bored and the author constantly throws twists and turns on you. The whole last 40% was a wild ride of WHAT THE HELL??? I am 100% continuing this series.
Ok. I love everyone. That is a lie I hate Patriana but like she was such a good villain so I guess I like her? I just want her dead and all the nobles because King Paelis deserved to live and not those rats. He is a past person that we learn about but like he was so good and deserved everything. But, let’s get to Falcio, Kest, and Brasti. The trio is literally hilarious. If you do not laugh when these three are on the page then don’t speak to me. They are a mess of men who are loyal to their cause and dead king. They are amazing fighters and do everything to set things right. They have flaws but those flaws make them more likable. Falcio is such a great protagonist with his whit. I feel like he is what Percy Jackson would be if he was mortal and from back in the day lol. They both use sarcasm in the face of danger and adversary. They both have flaws but do their best to fight for the right cause and are incredibly loyal.
I was hooked. The story was so easy to read. There was not much world-building but it did not really need it. The story felt like it was set in any kingdom back in those times. I pictured the world and characters in my mind fine. The comedy was world-class. The fighting sequences and violence were very fluid. I really enjoy Castell as a fantasy writer.
“That’s what being free means – not the right to do whatever you want, but the right to take a stand and say what you’ll die for.”
“I don’t know how well I can fight, or run, or judge, but when the blade comes, I swear on whatever they want me to swear on, I’ll stop it, with my body if nothing else.”
“She turned back to the rest of us. “They’ve taken it all,” she said. “They’ve taken every last good thing in the world.”
Then she swung the door wide. “Now go and show them your answer.”
“… he had known darkness and despair, and emerged determined to light candles for everyone else.”
“The First Law is that men are free, for without the freedom to choose, men cannot serve their heart, and without heart they cannot serve their Gods, their Saints, or their King.”