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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debut Historical Fantasy
I suspect there are going to be the almost inevitable comparisons between Miles Cameron and the likes of George R. R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie. First off, The Red Knight is one massive doorstop of a book, honestly it's HUGE. Also, much like the novels that make up A Song of Ice and Fire, each new chapter tends to shift point of view between the different characters...
Published on 25 Oct. 2012 by Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent...

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great read, shocking proof read
Really enjoying this book but it does annoy me when books are published with numerous spelling and typo errors. Maybe the physical books are better but on the kindle they are numerous . Would have been 4 stars otherwise.
Published 15 months ago by Ben Simkins


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debut Historical Fantasy, 25 Oct. 2012
By 
This review is from: The Red Knight (Paperback)
I suspect there are going to be the almost inevitable comparisons between Miles Cameron and the likes of George R. R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie. First off, The Red Knight is one massive doorstop of a book, honestly it's HUGE. Also, much like the novels that make up A Song of Ice and Fire, each new chapter tends to shift point of view between the different characters. Like Abercrombie, Cameron likes to go uncensored when it comes to the violent moments, nothing gets sugar coated here. Be prepared to witness the horror of war and battle in all of its brutal, gory glory.

It helps with a book of this size that there is huge cast of memorable characters to discover. They add a sense of real depth to the plot. As is often the case, I found myself enjoying the characters that were darker in tone. It's the psychopaths and sociopaths who I always find notable. In The Red Knight there are a number of standouts like Bad Tom who lives for little but violence and the unrestrained joy he finds in the midst of a melee. Or Jean d'Vrailly, the self-styled "greatest knight in the world". Even the Red Knight himself displays his dark side on more than one occasion. These three characters are undoubtedly flawed in one way or another but it makes them just so damn interesting to read. I'd go so far as to say that they made the book for me, especially Bad Tom.

Cameron also appears to take a perverse delight in naming almost all the characters that appear, including the minor ones. It's highly likely I'll never know how the likes of No Head, Wilful Murder and Long Paw came to be named. It's never really explained just the occasional oblique reference. I kinda like that though. It hints at many untold stories which exist but the reader just hasn't uncovered them yet, it's a nice touch.

Though the pace of the novel slows from time to time this makes perfect sense within the confines of the story. A large chunk of the narrative covers the build-up to the final confrontation between the Red Knight's mercenary forces and the supernatural powers of the Wild. The author follows the characters trying to survive a siege and as things go from bad to worse you can feel the ramping up of tension. With each subsequent chapter the pace starts to pick up. Events build to a crescendo and then an epic confrontation occurs.

From a brutal bear baiting scene during the novel's early chapters to the full blown, frenetic chaos of main battle near the book's end things get pretty bloody. Cameron definitely has the descriptive skills when it comes to placing the reader right at the heart of the action. This author's writing perfectly captures the anarchy and confusion that exists in the heat of the moment. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a debut novel. I have high hopes for whatever Cameron comes up with next.

The Red Knight is published by Orbit and is available from 25th October. Highly recommended but I'd suggest that you go for the electronic version if you can. The physical book weighs a ton.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fantasy novel, but not perfect, 27 May 2013
By 
Marcus Pailing (Bartlesnipe's Revenge) (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Red Knight (Hardcover)
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The Red Knight is an excellent fantasy novel in many ways. It is the story of a troop of mercenaries who take employment from the abbess of a convent, which is under attack from the denizens of the wilds. Their leader is the Red Knight of the title, who remains something of an enigma for much of the story, as we do not even learn his name until over half-way through the book. Yet what appears to be a local incident soon takes on a much wider significance, and the convent becomes the stage for a tumultuous siege that could see the conquest of all of civilisation by the wild.

The story is written with great confidence. The author presents realistic characters, well-drawn. The plot holds together well, with no inconsistencies that I could see. It is written with verve, in a style that echoes, extremely well, the stories from the medieval period that it seeks to emulate. Most impressive is the author's handling of warfare. Miles Cameron is a medieval re-enactor, and his knowledge of 15th century arms and armour - and how they were used - is exceptional. This knowledge, and his ability to display it in the pages of the book, adds such realism to the story that one is fully able to suspend one's disbelief: one is able to believe, in consequence, in the more fantastic elements of the story, such as the magic and the magical and other non-human creatures that populate the story.

Why do I only give it four stars? Cameron tells his story from multiple points of view, but in my mind there were just too many characters jostling to have their POV shown. There was one character, for example, whose purpose in the story I struggled to understand, even by the end. (As it happens, I think that the character is intended to provide a link to the sequel, but he didn't really add anything to this story, and had too much exposure in this first, for no good reason.) This multi-view approach also made the first part of the novel go too slowly - after about a hundred pages I was starting to wonder whether I could be bothered, despite the very fine writing. I am extremely glad I did continue, but the main part of the story could have been arrived at much more quickly.

Overall, this was one of the better fantasy novels I have read in recent years, but it does require some fortitude to keep going, until around half-way through, after which time it rattles along and sucks the reader in.

Everything at the end of the novel points towards a sequel, and I, for one, will definitely be reading that when it is published.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great read, shocking proof read, 15 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Red Knight (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoying this book but it does annoy me when books are published with numerous spelling and typo errors. Maybe the physical books are better but on the kindle they are numerous . Would have been 4 stars otherwise.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, but £14.99 is an enormous price to pay for such poor editing/proofreading....., 3 Dec. 2012
This review is from: The Red Knight (Paperback)
This was a good story, well written with interesting characters and lots of detail, refreshingly not "dumbed down" - eg the author feels no need (and has not been forced by editors) to explain terms such as "round ship" or "bated lances". However, my enjoyment was seriously impaired by the extremely poor copy-editing/proofreading. There are many instances of missing words or letters, and of misapplied apostrophes ("it's" instead of "its" being particularly frequent), and several instances where a sentence has obviously been amended but the original wording retained instead of being replaced. There is also a particular problem with homonyms - did the author use voice recognition software? Just a few examples: "heart" for "hart"; "breeches" for "breaches"; "leaches" for "leeches"; "heel" for "heal"; "censors" for "censers" - a particularly annoying one that occurred several times was "spore" for "spoor". Did the publisher employ a proofreader? If they didn't, they should have; and if they did, he or she should be sacked.

I look forward to the next volume - but please get it properly proofed before printing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed Historical Fantasy., 15 April 2013
By 
Bruce "from Brighton" (UK - England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Red Knight (Hardcover)
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I must say that this book did not start well for me and I was initially put off by the style and the voice of the writer. However, after getting into the plot a bit further, it started to get more interesting and the story-telling drew you in.

I am still not sure about certain types of "anachronism" within the book. It is very detailed and the descriptions of the armour, weapons and combat make you feel as if this is a very real world created by the author, based very much on historical research. However, the way the characters express themselves in internal dialogues, feels very much like a post-feminist, post-atheistic, 21st century mode of expression.

This aspect is quite subtle though and many people won't even notice - importantly, it doesn't really detract from the enjoyment of reading this book. The idea of "power" as a way of using magic is very interesting and the fantasy elements of the book are quite original and well-written. The pace is good and once you get into the idea of the "Wild" being a source of fantastically threatening monsters, rather than just a wilderness - it starts to become a real page-turner.

If you can suspend your disbelief, then this is a very enjoyable fantasy, with a wealth of colourful characters and a well-realised world. Great fun.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun, 23 Oct. 2012
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Red Knight (Paperback)
Review:

The Red Knight is the book i personally have been waiting for, for at least five years, and have been discussing with others for over 20 years. It is a true blending of Historical Fiction and Fantasy Fiction, not many authors have been able to manage it over the years.

That's not to say that Fantasy authors cant write a damn good fight scene when they want, they can make it action packed and bloody, Good fantasy like good Historical Fiction can be fun, action packed drama filled and full of gore. Great Fantasy and Historical fiction needs more depth and knowledge, there is so much from history sprinkled among fantasy: EG: The Nadir Horde from the Drenai and Ulric this is Genghis and the Mongol Horde, Paul Hoffmans Left hand of God is liberally sprinkled with Historical References and there are so many more to mention.

Miles Cameron brings to Fantasy years of fighting knowledge and experience with many weapons, a depth of historical knowledge that just makes me feel inadequate and blends it all with a fantasy environment, giving free reign to the scope and size of the enemy and the tools / Magic that both sides can use for fighting.

The last author I read who could bring this all together this well was David Gemmell, first with lion of Macedon, and then later with the more mature Troy trilogy. Add to this the flawed hero main character who is very gemmellesque, and i was hooked, The Red Knight is one of those books that comes along so rarely, one that captures you, and creates a world so real and believable that you go there and live there as soon as you open the pages, the fights so visceral that emotions run hot, cold, angry violent, melancholy and anguished and leave the reader exhausted from the storm of action and emotion. Miles Cameron has come along at a time when for me Fantasy is going through a resurgence of great writing, Mark Lawrence, Stephen Deas and many others.

This is the start of a series that could easily rival the very greats of the genre, I'm hooked.

Highly recommended
(Parm)

Book Description

This is a world dominated by The Wild.

Man lives in pockets of civilisation claimed from The Wild. Within men's walls life is civilised, the peace punctuated by tournaments, politicking, courtly love and canny business. Beyond those walls men are prey - vulnerable to the exceptionally powerful and dangerous creatures which populate the land, and even more vulnerable to those creatures schemes.

So when one of those creatures breaks out of The Wild and begins preying on people in their homes, it takes a specialist to hunt it down or drive it out ... and even then, it's a long, difficult and extremely dangerous job.

The Black Captain and his men are one such group of specialists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So good that I've even forgiven the awful editing!, 11 Jan. 2015
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Red Knight (Kindle Edition)
After reading all the Game Of Throes books back-to-back, it has been a real struggle to find any fantasy books which are anywhere near as satisfying. But I've certainly found one here! To be honest, the first time I read it, I only got past the first few chapters before the poor editing put me off - I'd love to meet whoever was paid to proof-read it, so I could ask them with a half-cocked eyebrow, 'look, did you actually read it? No, really, though? Really?' However, upon the second attack, I found that the further into Cameron's world I got, the less it bothered me. The action-packed story grabbed me by the scruff of the neck & held me there - right up to the superb ending, which both gave full closure to the story while leaving me itching to get hold of the sequel.

Cameron's true talent is in bringing his words to flesh. His vivid descriptions of the feeling of wearing armour, the exhaustion of non-stop fighting, so many things, made his story vivid & convincing. I particularly loved his descriptions of magical battles which were refreshingly down-to-earth while presenting a whole new dimension within which the characters could react. And the multiple viewpoints worked well, too. A couple of characters from the early chapters just disappeared, though. One came back at the end to sow seeds for the sequel but another simply vanished. But who knows, perhaps they'll be back too.

The Red Knight is a satisfying, enjoyable read which headed in directions which I wasn't expecting. This in itself makes the anticipation for the sequels all the more delicious. If, like me, you are initially put off by the poor editing, then I'd urge you to stick with it anyway - it's worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Here Be Dragons, 16 Nov. 2014
By 
Mr. T. Stacey "Laresistance4" (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Red Knight (Paperback)
Growing up, I was always fascinated with tales of knightly exploits e.g. King Arthur, and particularly when they faced off against mighty mythical beasts, such as Wyverns, Griffins and of course... Dragons!

As I got older, my tastes turned towards grittier, more grounded fantasy, such as GRRM, Abercrombie, etc. Fantasy with morally ambiguous characters, where anyone can die, often unceremoniously, despite their virtues and/or compellingness as a character. Don't get me wrong, I was still interested in knights and Dragons, but many of those stories were (are) too predictable. You know the goody-two-shoes hero is going to prevail, you can see the plot 'twists' a mile off. It's a shame there isn't a book series that combines my love for knight-Dragon conflicts with the grittiness of modern fantasy... until now.

The Red Knight by Miles Cameron is exactly what the fantasy genre needed. A book encompassing the legend and lore of mythical creatures of olde with a razor-sharp edge. The mercenary company of knights, led by the title character, are exactly what I envisioned they would be like from when I first read the product description. No good or evil. No noble intentions. Just a hardened company, a little rough around the edges, fighting for a living. Not to say some aren't blacker than others (Wilful Murder springs to mind), but like every army, you're always going to find some scum of the earth! The characters are honest, with realistic motivations and... well... character.

The battle scenes are vivid, bloody, grimey, and make you feel as if you are there beside them, struggling to stay alive as a Wyvern tries to tear your head off! Another thing I like: armour is actually effective! No casual slash with a sword is going to rip through all that plated mail like a knife through butter. Not like we see all too often in films. Mr Cameron certainly knows his stuff when it comes to weaponry and armour.

The Dramatis Personae for this book is huge! The amount of POV's is simply staggering and it is very easy for one to get lost early on, struggling to remember who's who and how they fit in with the story. However, as you learn more about each person, and the viewpoints begin to converge, it becomes much easier to keep track and become invested in the separate strands of this mammoth story.

The ending provides a satisfactory resolution to the main plot, yet still manages to set up the next book (The Fell Sword) as well as the entire series (five books) with several intriguing moments (no spoilers here). To summarise, this is a must buy for anyone who enjoys their fantasy with some grit, unpredictability, epic scope, great characters, brilliant battles or dragons. Or, like me, all of the above :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for everyone?, 30 Jun. 2013
By 
JPS - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Red Knight (Hardcover)
I very much enjoyed this "heroic fantasy" book from an author who seems set to rival R.R. Martin's "Game of Thrones". The country where the action takes place is another fantasy world derived from England and Scotland in the 14th - 15th century, except that there are no hints at the War of the Roses. You do, however, get dragons, but also monsters - masses of them in fact, and the war pits humans of the (Christian?) Kingdom against non-humans (and a handful of rebels) fighting over a land that had in the past been occupied by the Archaïcs (which seem to be the Ancient Greeks rather than the more "usual" Romans).

You will also get your fill of magic and battle between wizards and sorcerers, and daemons, in addition to the "usual" hand-to-hand fighting. There is also the intervention of some characters from foreign kingdoms, whether Alcaeus, the cousin of the (Byzantine-inspired) Emperor Manual or the flashy and very arrogant knights from Galle (14-15 the century France).

One of the most interesting features (for me, at least) was the workings of the mercenary company commanded by the main hero of this book (or should have written this episode, since it is to be the first of a series?). This one is clearly inspired by the Grandes Compagnies of the Hundred Years war and perhaps also by the Condottas of the 14th and 15th centuries in Italy, and by their leaders. The author seems to have extensively researched the subject. Even the pay rates (in florins) seem to be drawn from history.

Even the book's structure, with the narrative jumping from one place and character to another, seems built to mirror RR Martin's opus. To the extent that the pieces are shorter, with a few paragraphs or a few pages each, at most, this does create some additional suspense while also allowing for several stories to be told simultaneously. So, while not exactly original, this feature worked extraordinarily well for me in this book.

Then there are the characters. The most attractive of all is probably that of the hero, the roguish "Captain" or "Red Knight". The author also seems to have had fun coming up with various characters and people inspired by history. So you get some highlanders next to Iroquois Indian tribes (one is called the Abenakis!) all living in the North, hundreds of miles from Harndon (London?), the King's capital and the rich and much more settled South.

This was real fun to read, and the 650 pages or so, while also in line with a "Martin-style" book were certainly not too long. It also has the benefit of not finishing too abruptly, as some books tend to do when another volume is to follow. Although there seems to clearly have been a lot of hard work involved in putting this one together, it seems that the author might have rather enjoyed it. I certainly enjoyed reading it. Oh, and of course, then there is the story, but I will let readers discover it for themselves, rather than run the risk of spoiling their pleasure...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rough diamond, 11 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Red Knight (Hardcover)
Well if you only read one book this year, then you are either working too hard or you're a very slow reader!

This was just a ruthless editor away from 5 stars. All the raw ingredients were there -

A great cast list

Great knowledge of armour and weapons which grounded the story.

For the most part great writing and a vivid imagination.

Where it fell down for me was the over writing, It was 200 pages too long. Firstly we built up to to two epic show downs (and both were a bit anti-climactic) Between the Red Knight and Thorn and then we had that strange last chapter where we were marched off to meet the Dragon. Why?

Then there were some really promising story lines that turned into a cul-de-sac and fizzled out. Such as Sir Gawin's run in with de Vrailly , that was shaping up beautifully - Gawin's humiliation followed by his heroics and magical blending with a creature of the wild then....he disappears for the pretty much the rest of the book!!?

There were a couple of other examples which I will not mention for spoiling reasons and fears my review will be as over written as the book!

Then there was simply too much monster slaying. For me monsters are for PC games or background texture. They don't make compelling bad guys because they generally run about shouting 'ggggrrr!!!' till they are despatched by a good guy and to honest, if I would have had to read another chapters of irks and Boglins being mashed by the hundred I may have just given up. Their number was seemingly so endless for their killing not to matter and they seemed to pose the same challenge as a cloud of gnats.

No for me the author needs to give center stage to de Vrailly and his arrogant bunch of Galles now there were some people we could really hate! or promote a few of the tribesmen.

My last moan / advice is 'less is more' By the end of this book I thought the only person who would not develop magic powers would be me! Everyone was a witch or wizard!

Anyway enough already. I really enjoyed this book and I think young Miles has huge potential. He can do charterisation which is a huge gift and so lacking in the fantasy writing world. And I was genuinley fond of Bad Tom, Ranald, Gawin, Michael et al by the end of this story and want to know what happens to them next. The action scenes were convincing. The dialogue excellent and the interaction between the protogonists unpredictable and interesting. Great work.

Back to work with you then, but less monsters and more human confrontation please!
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The Red Knight
The Red Knight by Miles Cameron (Paperback - 8 Aug. 2013)
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