At long last we have returned to the lands of Alba and the company of the Red Knight. The company will be moving east to the mountains of Morea and Thrake to put down a local rebellion in the making. The battle lines are being drawn with people and creatures of Alba choosing sides in the war to come. The Fell Sword is a story of maneuvering and build-up for the rest of the series with plenty of betrayals, battles, and introduction of new characters essential for what is to come. This will be a spoiler free review, but I will be taking about events that took place in The Red Knight.
The Red Knight, Gabriel, has driven back the forces of the wild with his magical powers and the help of the women of Lissen Carak. This has come at a great cost as Prudentia, his teacher and statue controlling his powers in his mind, has shattered and left this world only to be replaced by the royal magus Harmodius. The royal magus has great ambitions for Gabriel even if it is not in the best interest of the company. Gabriel is also reunited with his brother Gavin and we get to learn the shocking events that transpired with their family and why Gabriel was thought dead. The Company decides to make its way across the mountains to the city of Livianopolis to put down an uprising against the emperor and the princess. In the city of Livianopolis we are introduced to Morgan Mortirmir, a student at the academy trying to learn the ancient texts and teachings of the magic of Alba. Morgan becomes an essential character to follow not only for the magic but because we get a front row seat into the rebellion and the effects it is having on the local people.
Thorn, fresh off of his defeat at Lissen Carak decides to make his way north to regroup and recover. He finds his way to an island on the Inner Sea riddled with the magic of the wild. It is here that Thorn can greatly influence the events of several parties around Alba and ultimately comes to the decision that he requires a general for his armies. Also, Thorn can’t help but shack the felling that he is being influenced by a more powerful outside force and his goals may not totally be his own. We are also introduced to two new knight characters: The Black Knight and the Faery knight. The Black Knight is sent by the King of Galle to monitor the situation at Lissen Carak and this ever growing threat of the wild and Thorn. The Faery Knight is actually one of the irks and if you remember from The Red Knight, irks were part of the assault on Lissen Carak. The Faery Knight is not own he seems to be and he can turn the tides for the upcoming battle.
The Fell Sword I feel suffers a little bit from the “middle book syndrome” based on the fact that the pacing slows down and it can take a while for the plot to get moving. The huge battle that takes place in The Fell Sword is very technical and brilliantly written even if it did feel a little drawn out. What made the Fell Sword work for me was the massive amount of mysteries and secrets that are revealed and how little hints dropped in the Red Knight are pushed to the forefront. Readers who love to binge a series will enjoy the Fell Sword immensely. We also get to pull back the layers and get a better glimpse into the meta-world implications for Alba, the war, and all the moving pieces. It turns out that there are a lot more players in this game than we originally thought and Miles Cameron has definitely raised the stakes. By the end, the stage will be set for book 3, The Dread Wyrm, which I can say without a doubt is my favorite book in the series.
If you enjoyed The Red Knight, this is a very good continuation of the Traitor Son Cycle. Big battles and political maneuvering may take center stage, but the character growth and secrets being held will keep you turning the page more than ever. The war is here and it will be bloody.