There was a time when literature dealt with honor, conviction and had a good battle or two. Be stories of the ‘Knights of the Round Table’ or the ‘The Three Musketeers’ these were tales that held our imagination for a while. Sebastien De Castell has brought us readers back into such tales with his novel Traitor’s Blade.
Pretend, just for a moment, that you have attained your most deep seated desire. Not the simple, sensible one you tell your friends about, but the dream that’s so close to your heart that even as a child you hesitated to speak it out loud. Imagine, for example, that you had always yearned to be a Greatcoat, one of the legendary sword-wielding magistrates who travelled from the lowliest village to the biggest city, ensuring that any man or woman, high or low, had recourse to the King’s Laws. A protector to many – maybe even a hero to some. You feel the thick leather coat of office around your shoulders, the deceptively light weight of its internal bone plates that shield you like armour and the dozens of hidden pockets holding your tools and tricks and esoteric pills and potions. You grip the sword at your side, knowing that as a Greatcoat you’ve been taught to fight when needed, given the training to take on any man in single combat.
There are elements in this book that de Castell has brilliantly taken from his work and studies in history and the theatre and included them. His prose is light yet gripping. A perfect read for the any fan of history, romance or fantasy.