Book Reviews

Book Review: “Traitor’s Blade” by Sebastien de Castell

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Traitor’s Blade, set to be released in March, follows the journey of Falcio, Kest, and Brasti as they fight to keep the Greatcoat values alive. The Greatcoats are the much hated “traitors” who stood by and let the king be murdered with his head put on a stake for everyone to see. The Greatcoats, now disbanded and pretty much on a lower level than peasants, have to either struggle day by day just to get sustenance, or they face death. Falcio, who was the great friend of the King (and helped him to put the Greatcoats together) has never let go of the values practiced by the Greatcoats … “Judge Fair, Ride Fast, Fight Hard. Fighting is always our last resort”.

Don’t let the size of this book make you shy away from reading it. Once you REALLY get into it, it’s hard to put down. I know some of you absolutely refuse to get highly praised books because of the whole hype around it, or the constant nonstop talk about the novel…but seriously, trust me, this is NOT something you want to miss out on. This epic fantasy/fantasy novel is going to change this genre forever. A lot of people are going to love this, and a rise in this genre is something the world needs.
A battle happens pretty much all the time in Traitor’s Blade. But it’s not “forced” onto us like it is in some novels. These battles are different, and a lot better compared to every book I’ve read that had “horrific-battle” mode in every page. Sebastien not only overloads this book with battles (in a good way), but he writes each one so that it all seems new and exciting..kind of like you’re reading about a whole different battle. He keeps his writing refreshing and new, so it never feels like he’s screaming “read me!” at us.
The characters themselves….LOVE LOVE LOVE. The dynamics in his characters (especially Falcio) were pleasantly surprising. Usually in an epic adventure story, I find that there really isn’t too much characterization, which I would rather have. It was great to practically be “inside” Falcio, and see how his brain works, through memory and in battle. The detail of all of Sebastien’s characters makes me love the novel even more. Credit is due to Sebastien, of course, because you can tell he really spent time on his characters to perfect them.

It’s books like these that make me ecstatic to be an editor one day..helping to bring a book like this to the best it can be is exciting, so a shoutout is due as well to the people who helped to make this book happen (refer to Sebastien’s ‘Acknowledgements” at the end).

Overall, Traitor’s Blade deserves 10/10 from me. Nothing is overdone, and this novel is new and refreshing from the typical genres that are much more popular than this one. However, Sebastien de Castell has breathed life into the epic/epic fantasy genres, so I wouldn’t be surprised if authors try their hand at it. Personally, Sebastien has mastered this genre, and I would love to (and really can’t wait) for more from him, because he is definitely going to be making a lot of noise with Traitor’s Blade. This book is honestly appropriate for all age groups. There is a bit of cussing in here though, so maybe not too young…but when those kids are old enough, this is a definite must-read.

Keep checking back on Twitter for more updates on Penguin Canada’s Traitor’s Blade Blog Tour! (Follow @PenguinCanada). Here’s a link to Penguin Canada’s page on Traitor’s Blade: http://www.penguin.ca/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780143188735,00.html
And, keep checking Sebastien’s official website (http://decastell.com) for more info, updates, whatever you want to look at! You can also follow him on twitter (@decastell). He is VERY good at looking through his tweets…so don’t be afraid to drop him 140 characters or so!

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