- File Size: 6836 KB
- Print Length: 620 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (January 16, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 16, 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FEG0J1A
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,742 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Fell Sword (Traitor Son Cycle 2) Kindle Edition
|Length: 620 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Add the Audible book for a reduced price of $12.99 when you buy the Kindle book.
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The eastern part of the continent is called "Morea" and is the seat of a fictional and much reduced Empire modelled on the Fourteenth Century Byzantine Empire, with the capital city called Livianopolis (instead of Contantinopolis) and the second largest city called "Lonica" (instead of Thessalonika). Also very much present are the "Etruscan" merchants, with their respective city-states and colonies inspired from Venice, Genoa and Pisa. The southern part are the lands of Jarsay (would this be inspired from Jersey by any chance?) and Occitan (Languedoc?) while south of the North Cross Ocean lie the lands of Galle, Iberia and, to the south west, Ifrikiya.
At least some of the main characters seem to be loosely inspired from historical figures, although several of the historical figures are often blended together to make up one of the book's characters. For instance, the Imperial Princess Irene seems to be a cross between the Byzantine empress of the same name and the Princess Anna Komnene, although she appears both younger and much less ruthless that the two historical characters. The King of Galle (France) somewhat reminded me of a petulant and younger version of the French King Louis XI. The Red Knight himself reminded me of a rather youthful and sympathetic cross between John Hawkwood, the English mercenary to made a career for himself in Italy and Roger de Flor (whose real name was Rutger von Blum), a rather infamous ex-Templar sergeant and leader of the Catalan Company of mercenaries. He and his men did serve the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II for a few years at the beginning of the 14th century before being murdered by his employer.
Then there is the story itself, which I will not discuss and let you discover. As in the previous volume, you can expect plenty of physical and magical fights, including a few battles. There are however a number of differences with this book.
First, there are many more stories being told in bits and pieces and in parallel, sometimes more than half a dozen, with events taking place in Morea, Galle, at sea, in the Albin Kingdom (whether at Court, in the South or in the North) and in "the Wild". Depending on preferences, some will like this and find that the device is useful in showing the events taking place simultaneously and in creating some additional suspense, a bit like R.R. Martin has tended to go in his Game of Thrones, while others might find that it complicates the story and spoils the flow.
While I tend to incline towards the former, and very much liked the book, I must also admit that the plot itself was not exactly a surprise, although the story remained rather exciting and I leafed through the whole 600 pages in a couple of days. Note, however, that despite the device of having multiple stories unfolding within each chapter, the real action takes place in Morea with the Red Knight and his Company. Despite some desultory warfare in the North, and the increasing trouble raised by the Galle knights and their insufferable leader at the Albin Court, I could not help feeling that these were all sideshows and "holding actions".
Second, there are the military elements: the respective armies, their equipment and the battles. The Morean forces, irrespective of which side they are fighting on, are a collection of units mixing up regiments and forces that really existed between the 11th (for instance the Scholae) and the 12th and 13th century (for instance the Vardariots and the Latinikon), even if some names have sometimes been modified (the Varangians been perhaps the most obvious example). The Company is a rather typical English force of the mid and second half of the 14th century, with a mix of men-at-arms and squires, on the one hand, and long bowmen on the other hand.
The outcomes of the confrontations between the two types of forces tend to be somewhat predictable and one-sided, however much the author conveys the impression of hard fighting and hotly contested battles, as the long bowmen are shown shooting their opponents to pieces time and again. One exception to this is the merciless contest opposing the simili-Varangians to the mercenary knights serving with the rebels. This is inspired from the battle of Dyrrakhion in 1081 when the Varangians (largely made up of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Dane exiles at the time) faced Normano-Lombard heavy cavalry and were largely wiped out after inflicting heavy casualties on their opponents.
Anyway, I started this review by suggesting that the author may have had fun in writing this book, which does not preclude some hard work also. I do not know whether this is true or not, although I hope it is. What I do know for sure, however, is that I had a lot of fun reading it and very much enjoyed it...
Four stars and highly recommended. One thing to note however: it is also recommended to find the first volume before this one.
Another problem I had with the book is that the author does not wear his learning lightly. There is just far too much detailing of what anyone is wearing at any given time, or how the their swords look. I'm sure it's all historically wonderful, but it just slows the story down, and this is a story that needs to move along briskly, it being somewhat thin at times. Deft scene-setting and light touches are what are needed, not heavy handed overkill.
I had trouble all the way through this book with just who is who - there's an Emperor, a Duke or two, a King and Queen, a Princess (related to the Emperor, not the King and Queen) - and from where they all come. Mr Cameron has dipped heavily into any old civilisation and time period, so there are Etruscans, Venetians, French , Moors, American Indians and Frontiersmen, faeries, goblins, giants; there's Christianity and magic; there's the Italian renaissance and the Wild; it's all a massive hotch potch which personally I don't think works.
And as so often there's an all powerful 'being' who yet manages not to be all powerful. Mr Cameron seems unable to decide just what to do with Thorn, until near the end when he suddenly becomes the tool of an even more mighty being - it's almost as though there's no plot-line worked out for the entire cycle, and that instead Mr Cameron is making it up as he writes.
Which is disappointing, because I really enjoyed 'The Red Knight', and as mentioned, the parts where he is battling and plotting are quite good. Maybe Mr Cameron would be more comfortable writing historical fiction set in 1500s Italy instead of fantasy.
I have really enjoyed both of the Red Knight books and am looking forward to the next in the series - highly recommended reading.
Most recent customer reviews
This is broadly the same, though with a far more dispersed narrative.Read more