- File Size: 3130 KB
- Print Length: 155 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Castalia House (August 26, 2016)
- Publication Date: August 26, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01L43JG88
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,161 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Swan Knight's Son: The Green Knight's Squire Book One (Moth & Cobweb 1) Kindle Edition
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One of the things I particularly appreciate about this book is that, although it is a teen/young adult book, it does not insult the intelligence of the reader. I'm very much looking forward to diving in to the next volume.
As a YA fantasy novel he takes the tropes and makes them his own. Gil, a young man, is living a life often on the move. He knows nothing about his father and his mother is silent on the subject. He knows that he is not quite like other boys as he speaks with animals and his dog Ruff.
From the start the novel is steeped in mystery as you are brought into this world. There are ominous signs that you don't know what to make of. This first novel is the story of Gil as he is forced to move from the life of a young man and high school into a more dangerous world where he will need training to survive and to protect his mother and those around him.
Along the way their is tons of fun as he finds his first tutor into his training as a night and starts to see the fuller world around him that most can not see. As an urban fantasy this is quite excellent. I generally like his descriptive prose and use of terms and uncommon words. This all provides a nice ambiance to the story. I've read a solid amount of fantasy, yet nothing quite like the fantasy world-building he provides by his imagination.
Mr. Wright has been hitting on all cylinders in recent years with his short stories, novellas, and novels where each entry delights me anew. I certainly look forward to the rest of the trilogy.
Swan Knight's Son is oriented toward action and the weaving of a large fantasy world. The main character, Gil, moves straight toward whatever goal, adventure or foe is set before him. Given his apparent destiny, this is fitting. Given his inexperience, this does not always seem wise.
Many intriguing characters are introduced and many adventures had. It starts with creepy and ends with what looks like crazy. A really fun read, I look forward to book #2. I will be passing these on to my kids.
The story uses a fairly typical coming of age framework, but Wright covers that framework with an old-school take on elfs that are inimical to mankind. While the end of the book is broadcast by the title and cover - spoiler alert - the lead character really is the Swan Knight's Son - this is one of those books where the journey is so much fun that you don't mind knowing where it leads.
The book centers around a teenage protagonist, but doesn't wallow in the overplayed 'Woah I'm just a kid and magical stuff is happening!' type of plotline that hampers urban fantasy books of similar ilk. The boy of Gil is actually very refreshing: a hero who wants to be a hero! He is not reluctant to accept responsibility and solves problems with knightly violence. YES!
And while all that is just splendid, I came here for the Elves and they are... exquisite. Elves in most fantasy just bore me, owing to how damn derivative they are, their backgrounds and personalities are lesser riffs off of Tolkien's work. The Elves in this book blow modern fantasy Elves out of the water! This is because Wright mined his version from the real world myths, and while surely they have their own touches that differentiate them further from the myths, they are from the SOURCE, not cut from the same generic supply that haunts most other fantasy novels.
They are capricious, cruel, beautiful and operate on an utterly inhuman axis of morality, just as Elves ought to be! The way John describes them is glorious, and reminds me so so so much of Poul Anderson's talents of rendering the dangerous allure of the fae world, I got flashbacks of The Broken Sword and Hrolf Kraki's Saga when these Fair Folk made their entrances, and I have been looking for an author who just 'gets' them like that for so long!
The book itself is a mighty quick read, and also deals with themes of modernity, the hollowing out of the West's spiritual heritage which has not gone unnoticed nor unexploited by certain dagger eared bastards. Each character is remarkably well characterized, all of the animals in particular. Hopefully you liked Budd from Up because Ruff... Ruff is something special, the essence of every dog distilled into one oblivious yet essentially innocent companion.
His character and all others animals make me want to see John's own kind of take on Aesop's Fables, but I digress! The book is brilliant and I will buy the sequel as soon as I am able.