Traitor's Blade by Sebastien De CastellTraitor's Blade by Sebastien De Castell

Traitor's Blade

bySebastien De Castell

Paperback | March 4, 2014

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The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards. Things could be worse. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while the killer plants evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening…

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they’ll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor’s blade.

Sebastien de Castell had just finished a degree in Archaeology when he started work on his first dig. Four hours later he realized how much he actually hated archaeology and left to pursue a very focused career as a musician, interaction designer, fight choreographer, teacher, actor, and product strategist.  His only defense against th...
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Title:Traitor's BladeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.25 × 1 inPublished:March 4, 2014Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143188739

ISBN - 13:9780143188735

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I absolutely loved this!The plot was great but what truly made this great were the characters. The dialogue was fantastic, their banter was witty and their personalities complemented each other perfectly
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I loved this book. In fact, I was about halfway through before I ordered books 2 and 3. This was funny, and sad, and at times heartbreaking. Plus, this is a Canadian author who deserves far more attention than he is getting.
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fun, but I suspect the best is yet to come I enjoyed this - immensely at times - but I find myself oddly conflicted as to how much I really liked it. I suspect it's one of those books where my appreciation will grow over time, but where my first impressions are somewhat challenged by some of its more unexpected elements. If you've read any of the promotional blurbs or advance reviews for Traitor's Blade, then you know Sebastien de Castell has successful served up a swashbuckling historical fantasy that's adventurous, thrilling, and often darkly humorous. It's also, however, a story that I found to be very cruel and depressing in a number of places, which unfortunately dampens my enthusiasm a bit. Having said that, the fact that the cruelty affected me so, getting so effectively under my skin, says a lot for Sebastien's storytelling prowess. In terms of structure, this is book that is heavily dependent upon flashbacks. In fact, for the first half of the novel, I found the flashbacks infinitely more fascinating than the main story, and was actually impatient to do away with current events and get back to the history. Let's be honest, when you're dealing with a group of fallen heroes like the Greatcoats, the mystery behind how and why they've fallen so far is going to consume your imagination. There is, however, a definite point at which the main story catches up, and that is when Falcio is left to stand guard over a young girl, alone against the world, in a week during which blood must run freely. After that, it's very much a running battle to determine which aspect of the tale is the strongest. My main issue with the present tale is that it felt as if too much of the main story was being kept from us, and I don't like being kept in the dark. I generally prefer a story with a defined quest to be attained or a clear conflict to be resolved, and I struggled with that here. If the early flashbacks and the mystery of the Greatcoats' fall hadn't been so compelling, I'm not sure I would have stuck with the tale. Once again, having said that, the way all the pieces fell into place was highly entertaining, and I completely appreciated just how many of the seemingly disconnected story threads were leading to the same climax. There was a bit of a fate/destiny cheat involved there, in my opinion, but not enough to completely derail the success of the telling. One thing with which I am not all conflicted in my admiration for the conflict itself. Yes, this is a swashbuckling tale, and the swordplay is exquisite. I often find myself skimming through extended fight scenes, more interested in the dialogue than the dance of swords, but Sebastien absolutely demands that you dance with him. As we find out later in the story, there's a language to the dance of swords, and it really does feel as if part of the telling here is in the fighting. Exceptionally well-choreographed, the duels and battles are something you desperately want to see on the big screen. As for the characters, they're conflicted themselves, but strong, fascinating, and well-developed. Heroes and villains alike are immediately identifiable, memorable, and entertaining. Falcio is more conflicted than most, and I fully expected his angry sort of self-pity party to become tiresome, but somehow Sebastien sustains it through more than one grand moment of transformation. A tragic hero in every sense of the word, we come to understand that his motives aren't always as grand as he'd have others believe, but they're nothing for which we can possibly fault him. Duchess Patriana, meanwhile, is an absolutely perfect antagonist, falling just shy of cartoon or fairy tale villainy. She's cruel, conniving, and as intelligent as she is imaginative. This is a woman to be honestly feared as well as hated, and she is largely responsible for making the second half of the tale so entertaining. Like a number of other reads from the past few years, I suspect the best is yet to come for Sebastien de Castell. With the world and the characters established, and the storytelling expectations set, I suspect whatever follows Traitor's Blade will be a better, stronger, less conflicted pleasure.
Date published: 2014-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from New type of story Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien De Castell was an interesting read as the dialogue was a cross between modern day English and old English. I am the type of person who has a strong dislike for Shakespeare’s works, as I can never understand what is trying to be said. However, Traitor’s Blade was the perfect combination of new vocabulary (old English) and the way people in this day speak. This is completely unrelated to the story but I have to say that I LOVE the use of a table of contents at the beginning of the story. Every time I read a book, I skip ahead to see how many pages are in the chapter which takes away from my time actually reading the story since I have to do the basic calculations to see how many pages are left in the chapter and if I have time to read it. The table of contents saved me a lot of time in the sense that I would just have to flip to the beginning of the book instead of skimming future pages to find the beginning of the next chapter. Although I enjoyed the story, I found that I had to be in the right “mood” to really get into the story. This is because it had a lot of action but it is not the type of action I am used to since the protagonists used sword-like weapons in their battles. However, some parts of the novel (i.e. the first chapter) are intriguing and mysterious as we are only given limited information about what is happening which makes us want to read on! Now, should you or should you not read this book? That’s the question everyone is asking. If you are a fan of The Princess Bride or The Three Musketeers then this story is for you! It tastefully combines both types of stories to make something new and appealing.
Date published: 2014-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun debut- fun to read Now, I must admit - Sebastien de Castell's debut novel Traitor's Blade is not my normal fare. But right up front, I want to say that I am so glad I picked it up! Why? Well....let's see.... A trio of swashbuckling Greatcoats, led by Falcio val Mond. Once revered throughout the land they are now reduced to working for hire, as their King is dead. The mighty Greatcoats are disbanded, but our three are staying true to their sworn oath to uphold and defend the law of the land - and fulfill the King's last command.... "Either the King's Charoites were out there somewhere and we would find them, or we would end our days at the end of a noose." Through a series of machinations, they find themselves guarding a caravan headed straight to the stronghold of a dastardly Duke determined to thwart our heroes and put his own evil plan into play. Throw in some magic, a mysterious crone with unnamed powers, a few beautiful damsels, a war horse to rival no other, action packed fight scenes (very detailed as de Castell works as a fight choreographer)and wonderfully fun (and humourous) dialogue.... "When you're fighting a crowd, its good to shout potentially threatening things like 'Crossbows!' or Fire! or 'Giant Flying Cat!' every once in a while."..... ...and you've got one heck of a rollicking romp of a read! De Castell has created a fantastical world where one can imagine heroes on horseback (or foot as the case may be) ready to defend the poor and downtrodden, defeat the bad guys, save the girl (and the kingdom) and make you want to be there with them - sharing in the adventure. We never question who is good and who is evil. But maybe we should have - the plotting keeps the reader guessing, with more than one twist thrown in along the way. Traitor's Blade was a delightfully entertaining debut - and it looks like there will be further adventures of the Greatcoats in the future. I'll be picking up the next in the series. If you loved The Princess Bride (My name is Falcio val Mond) and The Three Musketeers, this is a book for you!
Date published: 2014-03-11

Editorial Reviews

“An all-round brilliant fantasy debut, and one of the best I’ve read in a decade.” - Civilian Reader.blogspot.co.uk“I loved loved loved Traitor's Blade. I would recommend it to everyone, and I think fencing and sword fighting types will especially get a kick out of it. Seriously, this is one excellent and remarkably entertaining book! Read it.” - The BiblioSanctum“Termed to be “The Three Musketers meets Game of Thrones”, Traitor’s Blade is definitely the most delightful fun I’ve had in epic fantasy reads and marks the perfect start to a rib-tickling swashbuckling adventure series that would be high up on anyone’s list of 2014 Fantasy books.” - Sachin Dev, Smorgasbord Fantasia“De Castell has produced a wonderfully inventive, thoroughly entertaining story and a fascinating world in which to set it. And I, for one, am excited to hear how Falcio will proceed in the remaining three volumes of the series!” - nerds-feather.com“The author served a master class in sword fighting skills like no other author I have read before. I came away from this book believing that I am now an expert swordsman!” - newsignedbooks.com“Sebastien de Castell is a brilliant story teller. This book reminded me of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie; high praise you may think but once you read this book, you will agree with me. I have no fear in giving this my highest marks.” - newsignedbooks.com"This is one hell of a good book. So many fantasies concentrate on the darkness in humanity these days. There's something to be said for that, if it's well done. Yet this is a book that reminds you that deep down, we want to have courage and honour - and we admire those who do. Hugely enjoyable throughout. 5 stars - well deserved." - Conn Iggulden, author of The Dangerous Book for Boys"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“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“In Traitor's Blade, Sebastien 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“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. If you thought that Alexandre Dumas put his three Musketeers through a lot of trouble, just wait until you see what Mr. de Castell dumps on his three Greatcoats. His fight scenes are amazingly detailed and yet they never lose pace. Sebastien de Castell is a newcomer to the genre, and will be a very popular one if he can continue to produce books of this quality.” - Dave Duncan, author of King of Swords