The Red Knight by Miles Cameron : Review

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Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.

Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men – or worse, a company of mercenaries – against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.

It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.

The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he’s determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it’s just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with.

Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war. . .

The Red Knight, book 1 of The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron is a well-written tale following the Captain and his troop of mercenaries. in a familiar high-fantasy world.

With interwoven elements of history, magic, faith, chivalry, fear and love, Cameron has taken our world (as it takes place at some point in time in Europe) and transformed it into an alternate history with monsters lurking in every shadow. Cameron definitely kept to “write what you know”, as his  knowledge of history and experience as a re-enactor both come through in his writing, creating both a gritty and rich atmosphere filled with gripping combat scenes.

There were some things which stood out in this novel, which were a bit odd and off-putting at the start. Cameron’s frequent POV changes take some getting used to, and it can be disconcerting and at times frustrating with a multitude of cliffhangers. As well, with the constant POV changes, it takes a while to get connected and to keep track of which character is which, and who is involved with what. However, while sacrificing the development of some characters, it does serve to make the world as a whole more rounded, and gives the story a more fast-paced feel.

There are also some perspectives from some characters which may be considered odd.. Such as bears. Which did seem a bit… different at first, but it was was rather interesting, as it provided early insight to a certain cast of characters from the world and made it possible to sympathize more with creatures which may have otherwise seemed unintelligent or to be wild beasts/monsters.

Overall, while The Red Knight had some short fallings, like clarity issues with the magic, and almost too-frequent POV changes, Cameron’s story was a great read, and sets up for the sequel, The Fell Sword quite nicely.

The Fell Sword, Book 2 of The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron is set to be released November 21st, 2013

 

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