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.
The third installment of the critically acclaimed
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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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
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.”
“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
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!!!