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Archive for June 24th, 2016

The Greatcoats Series

Over the past few years, Sebastian de Castell has created a fantastic swashbuckling adventure series reminiscent of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers with a touch of Joe Abercrombie and a dash of Mark Lawrence to darken it up.

Tristia is a nation overcome by intrigue and corruption. The idealistic young King Paelis is dead, beheaded by the Dukes who resented his attempts to reform their country and mitigate their power, and the Greatcoats – legendary travelling magistrates whose swords and cunning brought justice to the Kingdom – are dispersed and branded as traitors. Just before his death, the King swore each of his hundred and forty-four Greatcoats to a different mission, but five years later, most appear to have abandoned their vows; everyone knows those still alive are little more than bands and murderers.

But the truth is both greater and darker: the Greatcoats might have promised their King they would disband and not to seek revenge for the Dukes’ assassination of their sovereign, but that doesn’t mean they can’t seek to uphold their own ideals. The series follows Falcio, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, and his best friends, the swordsman Kest and the archer Brasti, as they struggle to stay true to the ideals of their King and solve his last baffling commands.

And what was Falcio’s mission? To track down the King’s Charoites, and Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have succeeded, or found one, at least, and she was not quite what they expected. Now they must protect the girl from the many who want her dead, and place her on the throne of a lawless kingdom.

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The third installment of the critically acclaimed 

Greatcoats Series

SAINT’S BLOOD

By Sebastien de Castell

June 7, 2016  

Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they’ve started with a friend.

The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumours are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors – a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he’ll still have to face him in battle.

And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win.

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TRAITOR’S BLADE (Greatcoats – 1)

Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are traveling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters.

All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission. But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn.

Praise for TRAITOR’S BLADE

“Traitor’s Blade is a swashbuckling romp packed with charisma, camaraderie, quick wit and even quicker swordplay. That said, it’s far from candy-coated – and it packs some serious substance . . . darkness is served up deliciously in Traitor’s Blade – only de Castell uses it as the sauce, not the soup . . . What makes the book truly sing, though, is its rich historical backdrop . . . De Castell’s fight scenes are as sumptuously detailed as the world Falcio inhabits. . . In its own way, Traitor’s Blade is as grim and dark as the edgiest fantasy series on the shelves. It’s also shot through with heroics, hope and a dazzling aptitude for fun.”

—Jason Heller, NPR Books

“Like the sword its disgraced protagonist carries, Traitor’s Blade is short and sharp and smart, and very well wielded, really . . . With a tip of his hat at Alexandre Dumas, Sebastien de Castell make a fine first impression in this entertaining debut.”

—Tor

“This debut is a triumph of character, with every protagonist a fascination, especially Falcio, a tormented and ridiculously honorable man. Humor abounds, mostly in the sparkling dialog among our Three Musketeers–esque band of brothers, in this swashbuckling series launch that shows huge potential.”

Library Journal, Starred Review, and June 2014 Debut of the Month

“Is Traitor’s Blade destined to be a classic? Well, that’s a kind of questions I ask myself about books I can get some distance from. I don’t want any distance from this book. What I want, just as soon as I finish writing this review, is to read Traitor’s Blade again, immediately. And maybe once more right after that.”

—Black Gate

“Traitor’s Blade is the first new fantasy of 2014 that met and even exceeded my expectations.”

—Fantasy Book Critic

“Like a master-crafted rapier, Traitor’s Blade is perfectly balanced, sharp and to the point. Very highly recommended, this is a must read.”

—Civilian Reader

“Some books you can’t put down. This one won’t even let you try; it whirls you along in a wild dance of fights, treachery, and jaw-dropping surprises.”

—Dave Duncan, author of King of Swords

“Sebastian de Castell combines the best of Joe Abercrombie and Alexandre Dumas. He can break your heart and spike your adrenaline with the same sentence. Riveting.”

—Violette Malan, author of Path of the Sun and The Storm Witch

“Traitor’s Blade never falters, with writing as smooth and decisive as a rapier’s swish through the air and a story as passionate as life itself. I can’t wait to read more about these wonderful characters. Highly recommended!

—Julie E. Czerneda, author of A Turn of Light

“If this isn’t your most anticipated debut novel of 2014, then you’re doing it wrong. Traitor’s Blade may well end up going down as one of the strongest first fantasy novels of recent times–it’s an absolute stunner that you can’t afford to miss.”
—Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

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KNIGHT’S SHADOW (Creatcoats – 2)

Following his beloved debut, Traitor’s Blade (a “swashbuckling romp packed with charisma, camaraderie, quick wit and even quicker swordplay”-NPR), 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.

Praise for KNIGHT’S SHADOW

“I had an amazing time with this book. Greatcoats is now up there on my list of favorite fantasy series.”

—Bibliosanctum

“Knight’s Shadow truly is a must-read book . . . the kind of historical fantasy that makes everything else pale in comparison.”

—Beauty in Ruin

“The fantastic dialogue, the humor, the twists and the exhilarating action all make this a worthy sequel to Traitor’s Blade. It has certainly proven that de Castell is not a one hit wonder.”

—Draumr Kopa Blog

“I loved the story, I loved the style, the book just kept on giving and never lets you down. It’s a perfect fantasy story.”

—Book Geek Says

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I’m so excited. I have the opportunity to review this series. But I want to let everyone know about it before I get the review done. Make sure to check these books out!!!

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A Matter of Time

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A Matter of Time by Michael Bowler

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The world’s greatest evil stalks the world’s greatest ship, and the only one who can stop him hasn’t been born yet.

Jamie Collins is a junior at Santa Clara University in 1986.He has friends, a professor who mentors him, and a promising future as a writer.

Then the dreams begin – nightmarish memories that transport him back to a time and place fifty years before he was born: Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912.

When Jamie discovers a foreign cell in his blood that links him to the famous vessel, the two timelines begin to overlap and he realizes an unimaginable truth – something supernatural stalks the ill-fated ship, something that will kill him if he can’t stop it first. And the only way to stop it may be to prevent Titanic from sinking.

But even if he can figure out a way to do that, should he? What will be the effect on history if he succeeds? And what about the lady he wasn’t supposed to fall in love with? As her destiny becomes entwined with his, Jamie discovers the value of friendship, the power of love, the impact of evil, and the vagaries of Fate.

Book

My Review

5 stars

It is 1986 and Jamie is a junior at Santa Clara University. He wakes up from a dream where in it he is attacked. Shortly thereafter he starts being lethargic during the day, the sunlight burns him, and then feels super strong at night. Jamie becomes obsessed with the young man is in the dream and trying to figure out what is happening. At the same time his friend Jay and Maggie visit Jay’s great grandma about a diary she kept her whole life. Maggie is writing a paper on the Titanic and things this can supplement her paper.

Jamie keeps getting sicker and sicker until he realizes that Jack, the man from the dreams is on the Titanic. Jamie decides to go to the coordinates of Titanic to catch a ride. His plan is to stop the attacker but ends up meeting widowed Kate and her 10 year old son David and falling in love with Kate. But it’s clearly not meant to be since the Titanic will be sinking in a couple hours. Jamie is torn between saving the passengers and how this would affect history.

Jamie is a fan of science fiction and horror. So when he starts having the dreams everyone thinks he is just writing a story. But it is clear something is very wrong and then he becomes obsessed with the Titanic. He even manages to make it aboard Titanic.

This is a great story. I admit that at first I had a hard time getting into the story. It seemed to drag but I think that was just me. I loved the paranormal twist and the wrong information that it leaked. It’s hard to go into this without giving it away. Trust me you will like it.

I received A Matter of Time as an audiobook through Audible. Aaron Landon narrates the book and he did a wonderful job. It was easy to listen to the story and understand the different characters.

I especially loved how the story ended. It was a great, warm, fuzzie moment. This is a wonderful story and I recommend that everyone check it out. You will not be disappointed.

To purchase A Matter of Time make sure to visit Amazon, Audible, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Michael Bowler’s website.

 

sagemoon

I received A Matter of Time for free from Sage’s Blog Tours and the author in exchange for an honest review.

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