Articles tagged with: the greatcoats

Tyrant’s Throne by Sebastien de Castell

Isn't it beautiful?

Isn’t it beautiful?

This year’s birthday brought with it one of the most bittersweet gifts in the world: Tyrant’s Throne, the final installment in Sebastien de Castell’s Greatcoats series. I received this book (signed by the author) as a birthday gift from one of my musketeers (who is super awesome, btw, and you should totally go follow Shiri on Twitter because she writes some pretty excellent stuff for nerds like you and me!) It was a fitting gift, you see, because Shiri actually turned me onto the Greatcoats a couple of years ago, a recommendation I have been eternally grateful for because I adore this story and these characters more than you can even imagine. Every year when a new book came out, Shiri ordered a signed, hardcover edition from the UK because they always seem to get the these books about two months before us. This year, she ordered one for me as well because the release just so happened to fall around my birthday. I have the most amazing and thoughtful friends, seriously!

Of course, on the day it arrived I dropped everything else I was reading and dove right in because I knew this was it… the grand finale, and I was anxious to see how this story ended. We followed Falcio Val Mond, Kest Murrowson, and Brasti Goodbow through a great many terrible things, and I was beginning to wonder how de Castell could possibly make their lives any worse. I never doubted him, honestly. He is an authorial mastermind, and he did not disappoint.

Squeeee!

Squeeee!

After years of hardship and more near-death encounters than one man should ever be forced to endure, Falcio Val Mond continues to hold true to his king’s plan: put Aline, the king’s heir, on the throne and restore law and order to Tristia. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! The nobles, who’ve dominated the kingdom since they dethroned and killed King Paelis, follow their own set of laws. They have no love for the peasantry, and even less for the Greatcoats. It’s no surprise to discover they will stop at nothing to prevent the child who would be queen from taking the throne. To make matters worse, the trio’s longtime nemesis, Trin, has been stirring trouble. Sent to capture and bring her back for trial, Falcio not only uncovers Trin’s next plot, but what happened to the missing Greatcoats he’s been searching for, and they’ve got plans of their own.

As powers collide, the fallout is enough to destroy a kingdom that’s been on the verge of collapse for years. For once, Falcio’s skills as a lawful orator committed to his king’s vision don’t seem as though they’ll be strong enough to hold it all together. As everything he’s worked for crumbles through his hands like so much dust, even Falcio has no idea how in the world he’s going to save Tristia this time.

As far as final installments go, this was an incredibly satisfying read. Adventure, swashbuckling, justice, hardship, and joy… I used half a box of tissues during the last half of the book, but I used them gladly. Tragic, beautiful, gripping… I was sad to see the adventures of my three favorite Greatcoats come to an end, but a part of me is hopeful we haven’t seen the last of Falcio, Kest, and Brasti.

Five out of five stars, I highly recommend this entire series to lovers of adventure, fantasy, and outstanding storytelling!

If you’re interested in my thoughts on the overall series, check out my reviews of the first three books here:

Traitor’s Blade

Knight’s Shadow

Saint’s Blood

Saint’s Blood by Sebastien de Castell

Saint's BloodI can’t believe a year went by since I began my epic tantrum over the seemingly endless wait for the next book in Sebastien de Castell’s Greatcoats series. I think having so many Robin Hobb books to read spoiled me a little because I wanted to read Saint’s Blood the minute I blubbered over the final word in Knight’s Shadow, and couldn’t imagine how I would possibly last the year. I did make it, though it was a burden every time I remembered it wasn’t April yet, and found myself scrabbling to NetGalley the moment I knew it was being offered by the publisher to reviewers. That being said, I received my electronic copy of Saint’s Blood from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It’s time for me to hold up my end of the bargain, so onto the review.

Falcio val Mond is tired, and honestly, who can blame him? It’s been a long life tempered by loss, brief stints of madness, and a seemingly endless fight for a country that doesn’t seem to care enough about itself to rise to join the battle. As a Greatcoat, one of Tristia’s legendary law enforcers, the very people Falcio continues to sacrifice himself to protect despise his very existence. Trattari, Tattercloak, and just about every other foul name they can muster is thrown at the feet of all Greatcoats who walks Tristia–given all that’s happened over the last few years there aren’t exactly many left.

While the nobility split hairs over their agreement to support young Aline, the only surviving heir of King Paelis, as she ascends to the throne, an even graver obstacle looms on the horizon. Someone has discovered how to kill the Saints that walk the land, and their first victim is a close, personal friend of the Greatcoats. Arriving at the ducal palace shortly after an exhausted Falcio nearly loses a duel, a strange madwoman clad in a horrifying iron mask breaks through, and it’s almost too late they realize she is no enemy, but a beloved Saint whose offered aid and comfort to the trio in the past.

Killing a Saint isn’t something anyone ever imagined possible, but as they offer their friend comfort in her final hours, the Greatcoats learn she is not the only Saint to fall to the darkest curse to touch Tristia pretty much since Trin’s birth. Saints are disappearing all over the land, and rising in their place a whole new evil: the God’s Needles. Mad with power, nearly unstoppable in their violent assaults, Falcio, Kest, and Brasti must discover who’s behind the this wretched plot, and time is of the essence because one of their beloved Greatcoats falls victim to the iron mask.

I don’t know if you read my review of Knight’s Shadow, or not, but I noted within I am in love with the noble ideal that one man, no matter how exhausted or pained, no matter how broken and distraught, no matter how blind and foolish, has the power to make his world a better place.  Falcio is exhausted, he’s ready to throw in the towel at times because no matter what he does, someone is always standing in the way of his making the world a better place, and the toll it has taken on his soul is as painful as it is brilliant.

duellingThis book… I swear there are no words to describe how much I enjoyed every word of this book. The writing is clever and exquisite, each character voice unique and vibrant, and the relationships between the core characters is absolutely brilliant. Characters we’ve known since Traitor’s Blade have become precious imaginary friends, and when bad things happen to them (because, come on, if you’ve ever read these books you already know bad things ALWAYS happen to the people Falcio surrounds himself with,) it feels like a dagger jabbing into my heart.

I took my time with this book because I know another’s coming, and I know it will probably be at least another year, maybe longer, before I can read it (I’m dying inside, seriously,) but there were moments while I was reading that completely sucked me in and I couldn’t stop because I had to know my beloved imaginary friends were safe.

Highly recommended if you like adventure, dueling, tension, dueling, and wit with a twist of fantasy, oh and did I mention there’s some fabulous dueling. I give Saint’s Blood 5 out of 5 stars and find myself hoping de Castell decides he can’t possibly end this story and continues writing about the Greatcoats forever.

Saint’s Blood is currently available in the United Kingdom, and will release in the U.S. on June 7, 2016. I cannot wait until this is available in the U.S. so I can add the physical book to my collection and devour it all over again.

P.S. I think I might be in love with Kest, and I don’t care who knows it.