Traitor’s Blade was way overhyped (in my opinion), and I almost let that hype ruin it for me. Thankfully, life got in the way of my reading for a week or two. When I finally had time to pick this up again, it was with more tempered expectations. And it improved dramatically for me!
Traitor’s Blade was billed as The Three Musketeers in a grim fantasy setting, and that’s exactly what I got in the very beginning of the book and in the last hundred or so pages. But the middle of the book was hard for me. When our three Greatcoats were separated for a large part of the story, I had a hard time maintaining interest and not getting bogged down. The Three Musketeers is about about camaraderie and humor in the face of bleak circumstances, and when Kest and Brasti were forced to part ways with Falcio, that camaraderie and humor fell by the wayside. Thankfully our Greatcoats do get together again, and the last hundred pages of the book were by far the strongest. And, from what I’ve heard, each book gets consecutively better as the series progresses. So there’s a lot to look forward to from the Greatcoats.
Even though I struggled through this in places, I had to give it 4 stars. This was a debut, but the writing felt incredibly polished for a first novel, which impressed me. Also, even though I wasn’t a fan of splitting up our Greatcoats, Falcio’s time in Rijou served a purpose. Here, de Castell did a great amount of his world building, as well as introducing us to important characters and giving us time to get to know them. But as much as I enjoyed these new characters and Kest and Brasti, this book is truly Falcio’s story. And it’s a pretty darn tragic one.
Poets and minstrels see the whole picture, but people like me live their whole lives inside one or two cleverly worded lines and never know what them mean.
I love Falcio, and I desperately wish he could have a few moments’ peace. He’s an incredibly broken hero, but a hero he certainly is. He gives everything he has, and then finds a way to give more. He has lost everything, and still he serves. How can anyone not respect that level of dedication?
All things considered, this was a solidly good book. And the rest of the series is supposed to be even better. It's definitely worth picking up!
You don’t have to be the victim of someone else’s story.
You can be a Greatcoat.