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Review of The Fell Sword by Miles Cameron

Review of The Fell Sword by Miles CameronThe Fell Sword by Miles Cameron
Series: The Traitor Son Cycle #2
on 2014-03-11
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Pages: 640

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Miles Cameron weaves a tale of magic and depravity in the sequel to The Red Knight. Loyalty costs money. Betrayal, on the other hand, is free. When the Emperor is taken hostage, the Red Knight and his men find their services in high demand -- and themselves surrounded by enemies. The country is in revolt, the capital city is besieged and any victory will be hard won. But the Red Knight has a plan. The question is, can he negotiate the political, magical, real and romantic battlefields at the same time -- especially when he intends to be victorious on them all?

Soooooo, huh. Let me start by saying that I absolutely love The Red Knight, or the Captain as he’s also called. His character is layered with depth and I find myself longing to be in his PoV. There’s so many questions I have about him and few answers. Cameron tosses us these little tidbits of information and I gobble them up like starved puppy. I’m fascinated by the Captain. I can’t get enough of him. And that is why I had some issues with this book.

Like The Red Knight, this book’s storyline is heavy in military life and has a fair amount of groups that are converging together. So, basically, it’s bordering on a storyline that I can get rather bored with easily. Simply said: I’m a character reader. I want to be with my favorite character for at least 80-90% of the time. With such an intricate storyline with such a diverse cast, I’m not able to ride alongside my favorite characters in this book as often as needed. Therefore, I’m not fully engrossed in the story. So, I can sum up my complaints about The Fell Sword by saying—for me—there were just too many other characters that I was forced to read about, too many I really didn’t care about.

Now, I’m not a complete Red Knight snob. I love Sauce and Bad Tom. Great characters. Ser Michael was one I took notice of in this book. However, we’re rarely with them either. I had this same complaint about the first book, but I must say that it felt like we spent even less time with the Captain in book 2.

I love the magic system. It’s great. However, I’m starting not to care when someone gets hurt. Oh, you got hit with an arrow? No worries. We’ll heal you right up. Sure, some people died, but the heavy hitters seem immune. I know for story sake that they must live, but when you know someone can heal, it takes a bit of the intensity out of it.

The world is still interesting for me. The Wild is great, and I loved the creatures some characters had to face. That said, the Captain wasn’t in the Wild this time, so it was with a character I wasn’t that attached to which lessoned my interest. Still, some great fights. Nice level of gore, great descriptions.

I also had a bit of a problem with time. It took me a ways in before I understood that weeks and months were passing. I might have missed it because I did (hang head in shame) skim a bit to get to my favorite characters or the stories that interested me more than others.

Also, if you can, I’d read this as close to The Red Knight as possible. Cameron does not spend time recapping and with his cast of characters, I had forgotten who quite a few of them were. I caught up eventually, but I had just read The Red Knight a few months ago. If I waited a year, forget it. I would have been lost.

I don’t think I mentioned it in my other review, but there were a couple typos. There’s not as many as in the first, but be prepared for some missing quotations and a bit of confusion when two characters talk in the same paragraph.

Now, I’ve grumbled off a list of negatives, but I cannot express how damn curious I am about the Captain. He keeps me coming back to this story. I. Must. Know. More. So if you’re a character reader like I am, I think you’ll find someone to love. And personally, I like Cameron’s voice.

About Miles Cameron


Is a military veteran and historian.

He has a degree in Medieval History and lives with his wife and daughter in the most multi-cultural city in the world. There’s also a cat. So far, no horse.
However, there are a great many pieces of armour, swords, pole-axes, tents, camp kettles, bits of horse harness, and other guarantees that the author spends far too much money on reenacting.
In the course of his military career, the author served both in combat roles and on staffs—and had the opportunity to give orders and take them, and to watch the modern equivalents of Kings and Constables and the like make decisions, both good and bad.

The author also served for a while in the deep and dark worlds of electronic warfare, and would be the first to admit that his Neo-Platonic magic system is deeply tinged with personal experiences of detecting an adversary’s transmissions and using his own signals as a beacon for a counter-strike.

And finally, the author loves the deep wilderness—loves to camp six miles from a road—using only 14th century or 18th century camping techniques and equipment. The author feels—right or wrong—that when you are deep in the Metcalf Lake region of the Adirondack Mountains (or the Serengeti) , anything might happen. Everything is possible. Just walk out of the circle of firelight into the waiting darkness, and feel the Wild.

That’s not fantasy.

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