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The Forever Knight: A Novel of the Bronze Knight (Books of the Bronze Knight) [Hardcover]

John Marco

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Price: 14.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Quest with a Great Cast 3 April 2013
By Kayla Beck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
You may want to step over there while I gush about this book, but don't run away. I know what you may be thinking - it's the fourth book in a series. I haven't read the others either, but the instances where that was a minute issue were very rare. The Forever Knight did fine being read alone because Lukien, the main character, is having a new adventure that has almost nothing to do with the previous books in the series. Also, who doesn't love a good epic quest?

Let me tell you a little bit of something about Lukien. He is the classic hero that could be pulled out of any myth, story, or legend. He is practically immortal, damn near invincible, and up to his ears in good ol' hubris. Most of the time, I know these guys have it coming and just wait for it to happen. However, Lukien is something special. I have not become attached to such a hard character in fantasy since Roland Deschain. (Okay, he's not as hard as Roland.) What made him special is that he did not try to push everyone away. Even at the beginning of the novel, John Marco made it abundantly clear that Lukien was a man who was still very capable of love. I saw early on how much various other characters meant to him: Gilwyn, White Eye, and especially Cricket. His relationship with his Akari, Malator, was a little more complicated, but it usually showed Lukien in a positive light.

This book crawled into my head and under my skin because of the fantastic quest that Lukien undertakes in order to help Cricket go to Akyre - one of the Bitter Kingdoms that is in the middle of war - to find her lost memories. Malator warns him against doing this, but Lukien wants to both help Cricket and get out of Jabor to fight some battles and do some good. While on this journey, they find themselves caught up in the middle of an insane king who wants to be emperor, his Legion of the Lost, a damned wealthy spice merchant, and a monster who may or may not be tied up in all of it. I could not put the book down until I was able to see how it all played out. It was a little sad at times, but as an experienced epic fantasy reader, it wasn't anything that I didn't see coming.

The Forever Knight was a wonderful fantasy novel that I thoroughly enjoyed being sucked into. Lukien and his quest was a great adventure to read, and I will definitely be going back to read the first books in the series. I think anyone who enjoys fantasy, mythology, or just a good story will like The Forever Knight , too.

4.5 Stars

*To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the book from the author via TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to revisit the old friends 3 April 2013
By Matthew Eaton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can tell you I waited for a very long time for this to come out, and I will say I wasn't disappointed in the results.

John Marco has something that the other fantasy standards don't: A focus on the story itself. So often, in this genre, you get lost in the sweeping worlds and insignificant characters that only appear in a cameo that you wonder if authors forgot how to write stories.

Look no further than here.

Lukien is always a great character, though I think from this vantage (the fourth installment), it is hard to identify with him out of the gate if you haven't read the other three books. He comes off as arrogant and brash at times, too confident in his abilities and the magical abilities of his sword. This might turn off some new readers to the series if they start here, but it is a part of his personality.

Malator is a newer character, and this book fleshes him out a little. The personality is there, sort of a yin to Lukien's yang. This book is meant to highlight the working relationship between these two, but I would have enjoyed more definition in his personality. Some interactions were a little odd, but that might be explained in the next installment.

Cricket was great, though I can understand some people being turned off by her. My belief wasn't so much it was an innocent voice meant to coax out the humanity in Lukien, but a representation of Lukien's last bit of innocence. When you get to it, you might understand why I would say this. In the end, great little character with quirks of her own.

My few gripes were just that, gripes. Nothing major unhinges the story. Minor quibbles for overusage of exclamation points, adverbs, some stretching of certain chapter and the like.

The book is at a perfect size, and it surprised me when I first opened the box. The other three are beasts compared to this subtle tome, but that also might be the most unintended artistic expression of this book. The first three books needed to tame this wild beast known as Lukien, but it will always be the smaller actions that make the major changes.

Get the book. You won't regret it. Heck, you don't really even NEED to read the previous three (though you should), just start digging in.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Couldn't Put This Book Down 14 April 2013
By Holli Kohler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
John Marco's books have always been the kind that I have troubles putting down, and 'The Forever Knight' was no exception.

From the very beginning, the reader is pulled right back into Lukien's world, so much that I felt like I was a part of it. The 1st Person Narrative was an interesting change, and I think it worked extremely well with this book and with Lukien. The characters that John created are wonderful. For being a shorter book, it's easy to feel at least somewhat attached to the new guys.

'The Forever Knight' is an amazing book! You'd be missing out if you skip this one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forever Knight 14 April 2013
By Toolamondo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
John Marco breathes new life into a worn out and troubled character. This is the 4th book featuring Lukien, but this can be read as a stand alone. Certainly wont hurt to read the others, as they are great reads also. This one is a little shorter than the others as it's narrated through the first person. All I can say, is that this book is extremely well written! It's paced beautifully, the character's good and bad are well thought out and the plots aren't challenging to follow. John Marco could find himself a nice little niche for this character if he wants, I could read about this Lukien fellow for many more installments!
The Forever Knight is high fantasy at it's best!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY-- John Marco and Lukien make a long-awaited comeback! 6 April 2013
By Jay Requard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a longtime fan of both the author and the preceding trilogy, I can certifiably say that John Marco is one of the greats in the genre of Epic Fantasy and everyone should give this book a read. While I will admit that I am a die-hard fan of Marco, this book was a real pleasure, as it saw the author attempt to reinvent his style and his character, and does with thrilling success.

The Forever Knight picks up where The Sword of Angels left off--Lukien still protects Grimhold, home of the Inhumans, but is now free of one of the two Eyes of Gods that guaranteed his immortality, having replaced the magical amulet with the powerful Sword of Angels, a mighty weapon which contains the Akari spirit of Malator, a hero from ages past. What really struck me about this novel immediately were two things:

1. John Marco, a master of third person-limited point-of-view, decided to tell the story from Lukien's first person perspective, and
2. Damn, this book is short. Marco's work usually spans over 700 pages, but The Forever Knight comes in at a very trim 282 pages!

What follows is both a gamble and a feat of writing mastery that both dazzled and left me thoroughly impressed. While the book is much shorter, it is clear that in the seven years since Sword of Angels' release (2006) that Marco has spent time refining his craft, as each sentence packs a punch and carries the story along at a break-neck pace. Even though there are the grand battles, ghostly magics, and well-layered characters one comes to expect in this beloved genre, Marco shines forth with his greatest skill as a writer--all of his characters, especially Lukien, are real. They breath upon the pages, interacting with each other in a realistic sense. None of it feels forced or fabricated to get the plot from one point to the next.

The strength of this novel truly lies with Lukien, who is so nuanced as hero, still struggling to coincide his past losses of his friends and the love of his life, Cassandra, while miring in the peace he helped create during the Inhumans Trilogy. We get to see what happens when good wins but the hero is left alone with nothing to show for his victory beyond his victory, and with this base emotion of a listless existence, Marco has remade a protagonist we can all relate to. At some point in all our lives we feel like we used to do something worthwhile but then that something finished and we were left spinning our wheels. Sometimes we do stupid things to fill the gap, and sometimes we do great things. Lukien does both, and it makes him a very compelling character as he goes off the find meaning in the world through war and wonders. His relationship with Malator is especially captivating, as the dialogue between them is superb and really fleshes them both out in ways that the previous novel could not.

If some out there haven't read the first trilogy, I would implore all do to so, but one of the nice things that Marco does in this novel is write it in such a way that the reader can piece together what happened in the previous arc, effectively letting the reader start fresh at this point. He is one of the few writers I have found who can do it right, the other being RA Salvatore and Stephen Lawhead.

Bottom line, The Forever Knight is an enthralling adventure, one that I would encourage anyone reading heroic or epic fantasy to go and pick up immediately.
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