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review 2018-03-06 19:02
Tyrant's Throne by Sebastien de Castell - My Thoughts
Tyrant's Throne - Sebastien de Castell

I finished this a few days ago and promptly got sidetracked and forgot to write up my thoughts!  And it's not because it wasn't good,  because it was GREAT! 

In this, the fourth book of the Greatcoats quartet, the tale of Falcio, Kest, Brasti et al comes to its finale and my goodness it's not what you'd expect.  :)   And just when you thought you knew everything about the land of Tristia it turns out that you knew next to nothing!  *LOL*  I felt like Jon Snow there for a bit.  :)  But what we discover... mama mia, it opens the door to all kinds of musings and ponderings!

I found this book a little more serious, a little deeper than the previous three and I wonder if that's down to us being inside Falcio's head as everything gets turned upside down and sideways.  Probably. But despite that, there was still the humour, still the swashbuckling, still the larger than life characters that I've grown to love over the past books. 

So I loved the way that Sebastien wrapped things up.  The adventure, the politics, the ethical conundrums, the brotherhood, it was all there.  And the ending was perfect even if just a wee bit open-ended.  THAT made me happy, the hope of seeing our faves again. 

I still love Brasti beyond all belief, I really think he's my favourite character.  Brasti, Monster and the latest addition, Chalmers - my God, I fell in love with Chalmers! 

Anyway, incoherent as this is, I loved this book, I loved this whole quartet of books and I thank Sebastien de Castell for writing them!

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review 2016-06-13 02:25
Saint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell - My Thoughts
Saint's Blood - Sebastien de Castell

It felt like I waited forever for this third book about my wonderful Greatcoats!  Okay, they're not mine, but they're still wonderful and I love them, so...  :)

 

This third book in the Greatcoats series is not really as much of a romp as the previous two and I think that's because we are reading about Big Events - Really Big Events - concerning Saints and Gods and Thrones and the 'terribleness' of them all.  

 

Once again, Falcio seems to be tilting at windmills, never quite sure why he's doing what he's doing and why he's leading his friends and loved ones into all these dangers, he just knows he must.  He has a new horse, bless him, a horse he's named Arsehole.  Of course it is.  *LOL*   And poor Falcio, he's destined for even more tragedy and heartbreak and wounding and loss.  Was there ever a more tragic figure yet one who can make me laugh out loud at his wry outlook on just about everything?  Sometimes I just want to shake him until his teeth rattle and I am by far not the only one.  

 

Kest and Brasti are back too.  I love them.  Both of them.  There is a part in the book where Kest talks to Falcio about when they were boys and I  was in tears!  And Brasti, bless his humongous ego, he always seems to know when that ego is most needed.  :)  Brasti Goodbow, another archer I have fallen in love with.  

 

And the ladies are all there.  Aline, Ethalia, Valiana.  All of them proving to the men who would protect them from all that is evil that they are more than able to do that protecting themselves.  I mean, there is no one more heroic that Valiana in my opinion!  

 

And I have a new fave.  Quentis.  Thank you, Sebastien, for not doing the predictable with him.  

 

I mentioned that there was a lot about Gods in this book.  I am not really fond of the stories where Gods walk the Earth and I wasn't really fond of the trope in my Greatcoats book.  But that being said, there was a lot of interesting discussion, both internal and external about the nature of Gods, religion, faith and the like - but while quite fascinating at times, it took away from the swashbuckling of the book.  So I had to take off a half a star.  

 

And just like the Marvel movies that we so love, if you make it through the credits, you get a little bit extra - in this case ... well, I'll leave that surprise to you.  :)

 

And joy of joys!  There will be a Greatcoats 4!!  Tyrant's Throne.  I can't wait!!

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review 2016-02-23 17:33
Knight's Shadow by Sebastien de Castell - My Thoughts
Knight's Shadow - Sebastien de Castell

Knight's Shadow continues the epic wonderfulness of volume 1 of the Greatcoats series. A little darker, a little more thoughtful, it's still a terrific swash-buckling adventure filled with all kinds of emotions, including the good ones.  While there might be a less humour and and light-heartedness, it still contains all the delicious stuff that made me fall in love with Falcio, Kest and Brasti.  

 

In this volume, the women really come into their own.  Valiana and Dari and Elithea show some great development alongside the Trio of Greatcoats.  I was pleased at the twists and turns of their stories and even shed a tear or two for them in some places.  :)

 

One scene actually made me put down the book - well, the ereader - and grab my kleenex for a bit of a sob.  I call it the Spartacus scene and MAN, did it get me.  

 

I don't know what's left for the author to put these characters through, let me tell you, but I'm sure he's got something dastardly wicked up his sleeve.  I can't wait!  Seriously, if you're a fan of Alexandre Dumas' Musketeers or Stephen Brust's Phoenix Guards, you'll love this series.  It definitely holds its own in this august company.  

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review 2016-01-31 03:32
Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell - My Thoughts
Traitor's Blade - Sebastien de Castell

What a wonderful surprise this book was!  I picked this book and the second volume in the Greatcoats series up when I caught sight of the them on sale at Kobo.  It was a guts call, based on the blurb and the cover artwork - you know, how we used to choose books back in the days before all the online review blogs, opinion blogs, publisher blogs etc...

 

Traitor's Blade is a swashbuckling, action-packed, fast-paced story told in the first person by Falcio Val Mond, the one time First Cantor of the Greatcoats, the travelling magisters of the land.  King Paelis has been executed by his Dukes and the Greatcoats disbanded and in disgrace.  Falcio, along with his besties, Kest and Brasti are working as bodyguards and things are about to blow up in their faces. 

 

I loved Falcio's voice from the get go.  It was easy to read, even the parts where he was giving us the history of something or describing the fights.  And OMG, there were a lot of fights to describe.  Duels, battles, and fights.  That was the one thing I wasn't fond of.  Not that there were so many of them, but that they had to all be described in depth.  

 

I enjoyed the other characters, Kest and Brasti, the people they meet and hook up with along the way - good and bad.  And even Falcio's memories of his beloved King.  They all fit perfectly in this world.  They all work and I wanted to keep reading to learn more about them.  One more chapter, one more chapter.  *LOL*

 

So I figured out one or two of the puzzles before the reveals in the plot.  It didn't matter, it didn't diminish my enjoyment one bit.  In fact, I think it may have actually increased it because I was so pleased with the twists.  

 

So yep, this was a rollicking, fun, thoughtful in parts, swashbuckling ride and I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series.  :)

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