Knight's Shadow (The Greatcoats #2) by Sebastian De Castell
Rating; 5 out of 5 stars
I am utterly in love with this series! If I wasn't hooked after reading Traitor's Blade late last year Knight's Shadow has stolen my heart completely. I am in awe of the wonderful storytelling in these books and right about now I'm wishing that I could do nothing more in this world than become a Greatcoat.
Yes, less than a month after I finished Traitor's Blade I delved back into Sebastien de Castell's wonderful Greatcoats series about the adventures of musketeer-esque friends Falcio, Kest and Brasti as they travel their country trying to put into action the promises gained from them by their now dead King. Picking up immediately after the ending of Book 1 we are immediately back into the story of the 3 brave soldiers trying to now put the dead King's daughter on the throne and save their country and put an end to the inequalities in their land. They know they will need to try and overcome the scheming and dangerous Duke's in their land and fight to do so whilst still being regarded as traitors.
Initially, it took me a few chapters to get back into the swing of things, to refresh my memory of what had happened in the explosive exploits of Book 1 but once I had cleared things up it and the action started to pick up this book was absolutely non-stop. If we thought there was political intrigue in Traitor's Blade well Knight's Shadow takes it to a whole new level. Someone is murdering the Duke's of Tristia and their families and Falcio, Kest and Brasti find themselves with the finger pointing at them. Who is trying to start a civil war and why? We travel Tristia with our Greatcoats as they try to stop the assassinations before they occur and find out just who is behind it.
Our circle of Greatcoats grows in this book, we add more allies to the little band of 3 giving us more context in which to view our heroes and the way they interact. The other thing I loved about Castell's writing in this book is the way in which he brings smaller characters from Book 1 and enhances their story for us. He doesn't simply say that the villain is all bad, he gives us more context and light and shade so we can see the complexities of their situation and how they can be redeemable. Also how he can take a small character and allow them to shine and be the hero, meaning someone who has perhaps been featured a small amount across both books leaves you feeling welled up and emotional when their story plays out.
Castell makes no compromises when it comes to outlining the more gruesome parts of this book, he doesn't shy away from violence and yet he never makes you feel uncomfortable with the amount or nature of it. There's lots of swordfights and battles in this book to give us plenty of departures and moments for our heroes to shine but for me, the star part is the wonderful political manoeuvring that Falcio manages throughout. This is my all time favourite thing to read, the careful managing of the different players on the board, the tiny moves that are made to move everyone to the position in which you want them. Castell's series is proving a master at this and for that reason, I am one of it's biggest fans.
I absolutely cannot wait to read the last 2 books in this quartet and already have them on my shelf ready to pick up in the weeks ahead and it says something that already I'm worried I'm going to miss my 3 Greatcoats when I'm done and am wishing that maybe he might release a fifth?