Saint’s Blood by Sebastien De Castell
|Book Name:||Saint's Blood|
|Author:||Sebastien De Castell|
|Publisher(s):||Jo Fletcher Books (UK)|
|Formatt:||Hardback / Paperback / Ebook|
|Release Date:||April 2016|
How do you kill a Saint?
Falcio, Kest and Brasti are about to find out, because even Tristia’s most powerful Saints are turning up dead and the entire country is convinced it’s a sign that the Gods themselves opposes Aline’s ascension to the throne.
Now the Dukes are using the murders as an excuse to weasel out of their agreement to reinstate the Greatcoats, providing a golden opportunity for the Inquistitors – the Church’s own duelling magistrates – to take up the burden of enforcing justice…..their own much harsher form of justice.
If he’s going to stop the Inquisitors, Falcio has to find the Saint-killer.
The only clue is the terrifying iron mask encasing the head of the dying Saint of Mercy – but even if it does lead him to the murderer, Falcio will still have to face him in battle.
And this may be one duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can ever hope to win
I loved this book for so many reasons.
Firstly Sebastien has created an exceptional group of characters. Falcio, Kest and Brasti are in each other heads more than ever before and the dialogue between the three of them ranges from hilarious to heartbreaking whilst always maintaining an incredible sense of authenticity with the world around them.
I’ve loved and engaged with characters before but rarely like this. Castell has that rare talent of making you truly bond with his cast in a way that makes their hopes your hopes, their dreams your dreams and their nightmares your nightmares. The beautiful thing was that despite the despair and doubt, felt by Falcio in particular, it never felt self-indulgent or whingey as there was always an agency to accompany it.
Falcio’s quest to fulfil his King’s final orders is still at the forefront of his mind but the Greatcoats are struggling to maintain the law as they said they would and Falcio is not remotely recovered from the Lament he faced in Knight’s Shadow. His propensity to throw himself into impossible situations to fulfil his notion of valour, break his enemies and protect those he loves, makes him hard not to admire.
“Why is life so much easier to live when people are trying to take it from you than when you’re forced to actually live it?”
Kest is having a shit of a time. He’s lost his Sainthood and his hand and with them the ability to do what drives his entire life, to be the King’s Sword and protect those he loves by killing those that would do them harm. Plunged into a world of pain every time he wields his sword he also has to deal with his own calculating mindset that tells him precisely how much worse off he is in every situation than he would have been had he been, dare I say it, fully armed. His journey to deal with his new limitations and the strain it places on his character is awesome to watch manifest.
Brasti, ah Brasti, you cad. He gets most of the funny lines and whilst his sense of humour is a mask he uses to protect his sense of self he proves to be the heart of this particular tale. Always second guessing, constantly calling people and deities out on their predictability by telling them what they are about to say, his lack of apology for the absolute wretch that he can sometimes be makes him a constant joy and shining light on every page he inhabits.
The ladies are brilliant and I would quite happily see them in their own book. Aline, Valiana and Ethalia all play different, but vitally important roles as one must lead a country, one must unite a people and one must master Sainthood. The growth of these characters from Traitor’s Blade is enormously impressive and they will prove to be every bit as important to saving Tristia as our band of brothers.
The writing is polished, eloquent and occasionally terrifying but this will come as no surprise to readers of the previous two books in the series.
“No laws save mine’, the God declared, his words transforming into a wild dog made rabid by pure rage, tearing at our minds piece by piece…..the boy can’t see, his eyes too swollen. He smells his own urine at is runs down his leg and pools on the floor. His hand slips in it as he tries to crawl away sobbing, ‘Please, Father, please. I’ll do anything you want. I promise. Anything!’
I loved the expansion of the universe, especially through the greater exploration of the Saints who up until this point had generally been restricted to being part of Brasti’s insults or Falcio’s thoughts during times of great despair. It’s been building since Kest earned and lost his Sainthood but the structure of the spiritual world upon which Castell’s world is built and they way it is revealed as it becomes clear they may have to fight a God is a real treat to experience.
This is a one in a million series. Each book is fantastic yet manages to be better than the last and with Saint’s Blood Castell takes the characters and readers into some hugely unexpected and exciting places with the consummate precision and skill of a master dueller. There is actually not a high enough recommendation I could give that would reflect how much I truly think people should pick this up. It’s amazing and will leave you desperate for more and with only one more book in the series it promises to be an explosive finish. I’d step over my mother for a copy of the finale known as Tyrant’s Throne….even if she were having a really rotten day and just needed a tiny bit of human decency. Sorry mum.