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The Red Knight (Traitor Son Cycle 1) Paperback – 8 Aug 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (8 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575113308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575113305
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 4.8 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Fans of hefty adventure epics will enjoy this dense, intricately plotted historical fantasy debut... [Cameron] packs this thick volume with enough magic, violence, and intrigue for three books, flavoring the story with period detail and earthy dialogue." ""Publishers Weekly"""

"I cannot recommend the Traitor Son Cycle enough... amazing." ""SF Signal "on" The Fell Sword"""

""The Red Knight" is an excellent debut... You will be won by the intricate story and sophisticated world building." ""Fantasy Book Critic "on" The Red Knight"""

"Promising historical fantasy debut featuring an expansive cast, an engaging plot, and a detailed eye for combat." ""The Ranting Dragon "on" The Red Knight """

"Literate, intelligent and well-thought-out...a pleasingly complex and greatly satisfying novel." ""SFF World "on" The Red Knight"""

"A rousing read." ""SF Signal "on" The Red Knight"""

""The Red Knight" is an excellent debut...will only get better as the series progresses...you will be won by the intricate story and sophisticated world building." ""Fantasy Book Critic "on" The Red Knight""" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Forget George and the Dragon. Forget Sir Lancelot and tales of Knightly exploits. This is dirty, bloody work. This is violent, visceral action. This is a mercenary knight as you've never seen one before.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.
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Format: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OK - the story is a good one, Miles Cameron spins a Good Yarn. He obviously knows his Arms and Armour and although I didn't know 95% of the words and terms used, the context makes it clear as to what the Knights and Men-at-Arms are doing. so - Why only 4 Stars?

There are a few things that bothered me.
1 Too many characters. The story wasn't helped by having to follow so many individuals.

2 I have no problem with Dragons and Trolls etc in a fantasy story, but considering the "Monsters" in this story are meant to be from the English Wild - I felt no connection to them. The Boglins were so alien as to be boring. What happened to Orcs, Goblins and Brownies?. Neither the Daemons nor Trolls bore any resemblance to my imagined horrors. I want to be able to walk in a wood at night and feel some trepidation that I might come across something nasty.- the adult version of the "Gruffalo" doesn't do it for me. Only the Wyverns passed muster.

3 Mr Cameron may know about Medieval Armour but his knowledge of British Wildlife is sadly lacking, Turkeys, Holm Oaks and (ffs) Humming Birds?
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