Blog Tour: Saint’s Blood – Greatcoats #3 – Sebastien de Castell + Competition!

 

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Release date: April 7th, 2016
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 576
Format: Hardcover
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

How do you kill a Saint?

Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they’ve started with a friend.

The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumours are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors – a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he’ll still have to face him in battle.

And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win.

 

Review:

Writing a consistently engaging Fantasy series is a difficult thing. As readers, we’ve all experienced it: as expectations for the next book grow, the risk of disappointment grows with it. Even the big names can’t always keep a consistent level of awesomeness. For example, I didn’t quite enjoy the 4th book in A Song of Ice and Fire. Sebastien de Castell’s first book, Traitor’s Blade, was an amazing debut. A vast majority of readers and reviewers raved about it. The second book, Knight’s Shadow, was eagerly anticipated and it blew me away. It was even better than Traitor’s Blade. Now the third book is here, titled Saint’s Blood. Expectations were high, but there is always that bit of fear that the book might not live up to them. Saint’s Blood obliterated that fear and even exceeded the high expectations I had. I’m having difficulty expressing how much I absolutely adore the Greatcoats series at this point.

 

Falcio, Brasti and Kest are back, and how! The Greatcoats together with their allies are still trying to put Aline, the deceased King’s daughter, on the throne. Valiana is in the meantime acting as Realm’s Protector and teaching Aline everything she needs to know to become a good Queen. Falcio, the First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is trying to find all the Greatcoats that were sent out by King Paelis on individual quests right before his death. But this is Tristia and not everything goes according to plan. The Dukes are waiting to find a moment of weakness in the Realm’s Protector or the Queen to take back control. But then one of the Saints shows up, full of little cuts and with an iron mask clasped around her head. The mask has no openings to see through or hear through, only three little slits where the mouth should be. The Saint is dying and nobody knows who did this to her or why. Suddenly an old order of religious Inquisitors appears, who reluctantly admit that someone has been killing off all the Saints. It isn’t a big surprise that the Greatcoats and the Inquisitors don’t see eye to eye and Falcio is determined to find out who is murdering the Saints and why, without the interference from the Inquisitors.

 

The focus in Saint’s Blood is, as you can guess, strongly on the religion in Tristia. We had encountered Saints before in the previous books, we had heard about the Gods, but this time we learn a whole lot more about them and their history. It was fascinating to have this different part of Tristia highlighted. Towards the end of the book, when all the pieces fall into place, the interesting truth about religion in Tristia comes to light.
The three musketeers, Falcio, Kest and Brasti are still their entertaining selves. This time they are accompanied by Ethalia, the woman Falcio is in love with. Throughout the book familiar faces reappear and new ones come to join them.
Falcio has gone through a lot during his life and all of it seemed to culminate in this book. By now I’ve come to really care for Falcio. He is a very flawed man with a heavily burdened mind, but there is so much to love about him. I also really enjoyed reading how Aline grew more and more into her role as future Queen.
Another thing I really wanted to mention is how much I enjoyed reading the good cop/bad cop or angel/demon dynamic of King Paelis and Falcio’s deceased wife Aline, during his hallucinations. They were the most important people in Falcio’s life and seeing them battle it out in his mind was incredibly entertaining.

 

The pace didn’t slow down once. You are dragged along on a rollercoaster of incredibly detailed fights that will get your blood pumping, heart breaking moments that will move you to tears and the infamous banter that will make you chuckle. The ending of Saint’s Blood almost made my heart burst with pride and love for these characters. I literally couldn’t stop reading all through the last 100 pages. So much was happening and I was desperate to know how it would all play out. It really was the perfect ending for another epic book. The little epilogue/extra that came after the acknowledgements almost made me cry. Read it, but be prepared to have your heart broken.

 

With Saint’s Blood, the Greatcoats series has risen even higher on my favourites list and it was already pretty high up there. Sebastien de Castell keeps delivering amazing books, displaying his talent for weaving a web of humour, tension, ingenious plots and fantastic characters. Saint’s Blood was an exhilarating journey that took me at breakneck speed through a whole array of emotions. It’s beginning to feel as an addiction, because I can’t wait to have more. Can we have Tyrant’s Throne already? Please, please, please?

 

Competition (and it’s a BIG one!)

Jo Fletcher Books have set up an AMAZING competition to celebrate the publication of Saint’s Blood. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a competition with a better prizes than this one.

Want to find out more? Have a look at this blog post.

Hint: it involves the 4th and final book in the Greatcoats series AND a lot of books (a loooot of books)

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Posted on April 14, 2016, in Sebastien de Castell and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great review! Really excited to be a part of this and cant’ wait for my stop tomorrow 🙂

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