Ahoy me mateys! Sadly, it is time to abandon another ship . . .
the red knight (Miles Cameron)
Okay so I give up. While I am capable of fighting to the bitter end, I just couldn’t do it. This novel was so darn slow to read. I made it to page 366 out of 648. Now mind you I like a lot of the characters especially: 1) the title character, the Red Knight; 2) the queen, Desiderata; and 3) Mag the Seamstress among others. The chapters in this book are told from multiple character points of view.
But this story takes place in a siege. And oh how sieges drag on. Lots of skirmishes. Clashes in the woods. Building up defenses. Facing bitter odds. But it was just so long and had so many sections where nothing major happens. I do believe 200 pages could have been edited out and the story would have been improved. Oh and typos, poor word choice, and repetitive clauses . . . could have benefited from better editing in general really.
Plus the book tagline on the cover says “Slaying Dragons is a Bloody Business.” What dragons might I ask? That tagline seems to suggest tons of dragon slaying. In the novel I believe they are what the author calls qwethnethogs. But they didn’t seem like any dragons I have ever met, and that was not a good thing. There wasn’t even a decent description of what these qwethnethogs looked like. Or, frankly of what many of the bad creatures looked like. I am supposing it was to add to their mystery but blah. How can dragons be boring?
The main bad guy, Thorn, is a magician who is barely human and is also kind of pointless. The “I need all the power at all costs” just for the sake of power thing. And he keeps pondering his brilliance and then of course makes stupid mistakes that the Red Knight takes advantage of and uses to survive. Extremely two-dimensional. I actually started getting annoyed anytime he tried to mastermind anything.
Now, I did enjoy the odd magics held by the Red Knight and the nuns and some others. I also enjoyed the medieval fighting style of the knights. Full armor, getting tired from it, using the horses as weapons, etc. Some of the creatures of the Wild, like the bears in particular, were awesome. And I do think the worldbuilding itself was fun. I just didn’t love how that worldbuilding was used. Oh, yeah, and the romance was flat.
I can see how some readers of epic fantasy would like this work. However, not only did I abandon this book but shall abandon the rest of the series too.
Amazon has this to say about the novel:
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. . .
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