Wraith Knight Kindle Edition
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|Length: 322 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Wraith Knight chronicles the events that transpire when Jacob, former legendary hero, finds himself shriven of life and wakes up not just dead, but a Wraith Knight, one of the four Dark Lords of the King Below. He soon discovers that the King Below is dead, and he has spent the last two centuries in the service of evil. Jacob is understandably not happy about this circumstance. After abortive attempts to end his (un)existence, Jacob finds himself saddled with the duty to bring the Nine Heroes to ruin and become the next King Below.
In short order, Jacob hooks up with female companions Regina, a warrior-elf, and Serah, a powerful dark sorceress who, over the course of their adventures, develop a deep affection for each other and even Jacob -- kind of like a holy trinity of darkness.
There are many themes explored in this book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a complex grimdark tale that takes the usual fantasy tropes and turns them on their head. Jacob’s character is sarcastic and hilarious – everything you’d want in a reluctant Dark Lord. His two female companions are both fierce, independent heroines who manage to embrace their own strengths without diminishing the male protagonist.
The theme of “one man’s villain is another man’s hero” is explored in depth within these pages. The Lawgiver (god of light) comes off as perhaps a worse choice in deity than the King Below. The whole concept of good and evil is brought into question, and we find ourselves beginning to side with Jacob the Dark Lord and his Shadowkind allies against the Lightborn.
The novel also contains an exceptionally grimdark and complex romance between Jacob and his long-dead lover, Jassamine, a sanctified arch-wizard and a lawful-good character diametrically opposed to what Jacob now represents.
I thoroughly enjoyed Wraith Knight and am already thirsting for the sequel. Highly recommend!
If there is something that can be improved in future books, it would be growing the relationships more organically at the start. While it was rather stilted in the beginning, the bonds grow well afterwards and it is handled MUCH better than I've read in books that are 2-3 times this price. Keep up the good work!
It seems, with gods, it's always a threesome. There is a being representing light and goodness against a god of not quite the same power levels posed against it. Both are vying for the attention, love and obedience of lesser beings.
In the first installment of CT Phipps' Wraith Knight, we see this struggle first hand. As the story progresses in this grimdark fantasy, we see that the King Underneath lives up to his nickname, The Trickster in Grand fashion and how power can corrupt even those with the purest of intent.
While the book can stand on its own merits, Phipps has set us up for the next novel in the series with the line, "...we have a world to conquer."
Now, about the world. In grand fashion, the world of Wrath Knight is one of high fantasy filled with classic monsters, magical creations, knights of high orders and fickle gods. Although, in this case, there are only two, unless you count the neutral goddess, The Mother. There were more, but the two brothers saw to their demise. There are three distinct locations; the World Above, the World below and the World Between. However, to add to some measure of confusion, there are other worlds that can be traveled to through "gates." If these gates are available in all the worlds (Above, Below or Between) remains unknown, but there may have been a mention of the elves coming from a gate in the World Above.
The characters were enjoyable, but there were some very wordy exchanges where I would have loved to have seen more action. Of all of the characters, the ones on the dark side were my favorite. Creature holds the top place so far.
Usually, I am a big fan of the narration of books. Kevin T Collins put forth an admirable performance. He gave almost all the characters life (especially my favourite). However, there were a few things that detracted from the performance. He seemed to rush through quite a bit. At times it was difficult to tell the difference between the two main female characters and The Trickster. Most of the performance was harmed by the constant breathiness. But, again, his overall performance was wonderful, hence the rating of a 4.
This style is different than Mr. Phipps usual and stayed the course for grimdark fantasy. I am looking forward to the next installment to see what he has dreamed up next.
Most recent customer reviews
Wraith Knight is a solid deconstruction of the fantasy genre.Read more