Being a historical fiction novel, getting the details right is essential, and Christian Cameron absolutely nails it. Not only does he have a great way of explaining the intricacies of the society and arms of the time, he does it in a way that speeds the story, not slows it. Everything from the major players, the political landscape, the battle tactics, to the fit of a knight’s sabatons is in here – that is the level of detail and historic accuracy. And, incredibly, not a detail is wasted or superfluous – it all matters.
The character of William Gold, and the many surrounding characters he falls in with, are so well done you feel that this is the “Band of Brothers” of the age. This is a “Knight’s Tale” like no other, following a boy’s journey from street urchin, to soldier, to routier, to knight. Literally, from the kitchens to the battlefield, I’ve rarely seen a hero’s journey so authentic and compelling. I burned through the first book and went straight into the sequels – I couldn’t put it down.
This is historic military fiction done right, and absolutely sets the standard in my mind for any book in the genre.
If you like stories of knights, valor, and medieval combat – this is your book. If you appreciate the finer details of history, the Poitier’s campaign, and the politics of the era – this is also your book. If you like kick ass action – yup, this is your book, too.
In other words – it’s a great, engaging, well told story with artful attention to history and detail, at both the macro and micro level.
Final Verdict: ★★★★★
(And, I’m not one to give 5 stars lightly!)