Knight's Shadow: Greatcoats Series, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Following his beloved debut, Traitor's Blade, Sebastien de Castell returns with volume two of his fast-paced fantasy adventure series, inspired by the swashbuckling action and witty banter of The Three Musketeers. Knight's Shadow continues the series with a thrilling and dark tale of heroism and betrayal in a country crushed under the weight of its rulers' corruption.
A few days after the horrifying murder of a duke and his family, Falcio val Mond, swordsman and First Cantor of the Greatcoats, begins a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland.
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|Listening Length||20 hours and 4 minutes|
|Author||Sebastien de Castell|
|Audible.ca Release Date||January 24 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #70,682 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#223 in Friendship Fiction
#607 in Historical Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,329 in Action & Adventure Fantasy
Top reviews from Canada
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I greatly appreciated the character development of Falcio and Valiana in particular. This book does go dark but it adds so much depth to the story.
Plenty happens in this book but it felt as though there is more story left to tell.
I’m curious to see where this series goes next and what the author has in store for our Greatcoats and The land of Tristia.
I give lots of books a four star for great characters, prose and setting but I only give a five star if a book has all that and evokes a genuine emotional response.
Looking forward to Saint's Blood in the spring!
I don't regret reading it, but I doubt I'll sign up for the third instalment.
Just when I think I have a handle on the characters, de Castell surprises me. Kest and Brasti continue to have incredible depth to them, their own struggles and turmoil testing their friendships and loyalties. Valiana was a standout for me. She has so much heart and devotion that I constantly cheered for her. And Falcio? Falcio goes to places I’d never have imagined. His entire personality is put into question as he faces his demons. He continues to be one of the best and most complex heroes in adventure fantasy. I absolutely adore him.
The story feels like many adventures leading into one. There are more action scenes this time around, more magic and drama, so I never felt bored. Quite the opposite. There were more than enough twists to keep me eager and on the edge of my seat.
De Castell has amazing prose. It’s clever and fun and at times, haunting. He is a master of the craft and I am dying to know what happens next.
KNIGHT’S SHADOW is a masterpiece of character, friendship, and adventure. I recommend it to all lovers of fantasy, and hope more people give the story the love it deserves.
Top reviews from other countries
I am not a fan of magic, but I can forgive a little if it is not too prevalent - as is the case in the first two books. I can recommend these books ( or at least the two I have read) to anyone who enjoys adventure involving swords, archery and the like, along with a dash of poisoning, treachery and derring - do. Historical fiction fans dabbling in fantasy could well find something to their liking here. If you like to listen the audiobook is very well narrated by Joe Jameson.
I will certainly be heading to book 3 in the near future!
The sheer amount of turning heel and vice versa in the book, used as a kind of Deus Ex, is staggering.
The characters are thinly drawn and no-body, I mean no-body, acts in any believable way.
Awful. Terry Goodkind levels of awful.
The so-called evil characters in the book have to have the evil dialled up to level 1 million to the extent that it’s ridiculous. There’s no attempt to build a character that may seem real or has any justification for their actions.
One character even turns up to a torture session held on our protagonist even though the torturers are her erstwhile opponents. What follows is a weird combination of ridiculous, sexually deviant and just plain downright nasty...I honestly couldn’t believe a minute of what was happening, it was so unutterably stupid.
I am absolutely loving this series, and if it wasn’t part of a read-along, I’d probably start the next one immediately. Sebastien de Castell is an amazing writer, has created some memorable characters, top notch action sequences, and overall a fantastic series so far. I’m already regretting that there’s just two books left of Falcio, Kest, and Brasti’s exploits for me to read. Hard to pick a favourite there, honestly. While the books are entirely written from Falcio’s perspective, the other two do have their big moments.
This series just keeps getting better.
I was initially a bit concerned and afraid that this book could turn out into filler, as second volumes of trilogies sometime are. This is simply not the case. There is a lot happening in this instalment. While it is also just about possible to read it on a standalone basis without having read “traitor’s blade” before, it is nevertheless preferable to read them sequentially. Also, and yet again, the story is told in what is a gripping and very entertaining way.
The story is still largely told in the first person and – mostly – this worked well for me as it had in the first book with the story told by Falcio Val Mond, the former First Cantor (and therefore Chief) of the Greatcoats, who was also the friend, the confidant and the right-hand man of the King, and shared his dream and his ideals of justice. Some components of the story are however a bit difficult to believe. I had trouble accepting that a secret society of assassins would draw such extreme consequences simply because two of its members had “failed to deliver”, and supposedly been the very first to do so in eons. Something else that did not quite ring true and was unconvincing was to have the hero almost tortured to death but seeming to have fully recovered shortly afterwards. This graphically described session was somewhat unnecessary to the extent that it does not add anything substantial to the story.
Again, I found that the book’s strongest feature was the characterisation of the main characters. As in the first volume, Falcio comes across as rather sympathetic and idealistic but also, at times, almost naïve. A nice surprise was that the characters of his two friends and companions, Brasti the colossal master archer and Kest, the supreme swordsman, both of which are devoted to Falcio, regardless of what they may pretend. Another interesting feature was the manifestation of the Saint of Swords, but also of Saint Birgit. In both cases, their holiness appears to be a curse perhap0s as much as a blessing. Another character, supposedly friendly to Falcio and his two lieutenants, turns out to have much more mixed incentives and very ambiguous behaviours. Finally, the cast of “nasties” is largely the same as in the first volume and includes at least two of the Dukes (or, to be more precise, one Duke and a recently crowned and very sadistic Duchess).
Contrary to the previous volume, however, you get a bit less fighting. The story concentrates a bit more on our heroes trying to prevent multiple murders and the descent of their world into utter chaos. You also get a number of flashbacks with Falcio remembering some of his past conversations with the murdered King and some of the - cryptic at the time - statements that he made at the time. Also, I still found this book to be something of a cross between The Three Musketeers of Alexandre Dumas and of “Once upon a time in the West” from Sergio Leone. It is quite easy to imagine the Great Coats with their great leather coats reinforced with armour and containing multiple pockets filled with all sorts of weapons. I just needed to close my eyes to see them fighting rapiers, broadsword or bow in hand against late medieval knights covered in plate armour from head to toe.
As you will see for yourself by the time you get to the end of this 600 plus page book, there is a sort off “happy ending” with a couple of twists that I found not entirely surprising but which I had nevertheless not necessarily guessed. Since there will be a third volume which I am eager to read, you can guess that Falcio and his colleagues and friends still have their work cut out and that the last instalment will probably contain yet more unpleasant surprises. Four stars, just like the first one.