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May 2, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: The Red Knight, by Miles Cameron

Book Review: “The Red Knight” by Miles Cameron

There is nothing quite like picking up a book, seeing that it’s 648 pages long, and knowing as soon as you read the first few sentences that you’re going to love every single second of it. The Red Knight, by Miles Cameron, is one of those books.

 

  At first I was a little confused. I could see bits and pieces of magic scattered through the first hundred pages or so, but it wasn’t blatantly obvious. It was more like a spice than the main ingredient; magic wasn’t what the reader was meant to focus on, and I found that fact very appealing as I progressed through the book. As a fantasy fan, I often have to stop myself from rolling my eyes as I read books where the author must “introduce” magic to their story, however necessary that may be. Here, magic is more of a given. Cameron has blended it perfectly with an Ivanhoe-esque background of kingdoms, chivalry, and piety to create a well-established world that you sort of just fall into. Of course, magic becomes more prevalent later on, but it still remains an augmentation of the actual story.

 

  The characters are also amazing. I was surprised at the sheer number of characters, but more on that in a moment. Somehow Cameron manages to make all of them, especially the Red Knight, real. It helps that they aren’t just displayed like so many paintings in a gallery. Sufficient time is taken to fill each one out gradually. The characters start out as good acquaintances. They grow to become people I can admire. The best part? All of them are human. I don’t mean physically. There are plenty of creatures in this book. However, Cameron somehow gives each and every one of them motivation, reason, and purpose. He makes them come alive. He does it in a way that shows their imperfections as well as their good points. Not one single character is perfect, but each is admirable. Well, most anyway. Some you aren’t meant to admire, but you still understand them.

 

  Now, about the actual story. No spoilers, I promise! I just can’t say enough about how much effort went into the plot. I’m the first to admit that after five or six points of view come into a story, I get frustrated. I have trouble keeping track of the characters and the places, and generally just get exasperated. So I was admittedly a little wary when the point-of-views started multiplying. Even after finishing the book I couldn’t tell you how many actually appeared, but it was over twenty. My shock came when they kept coming and I knew exactly what was going on. They started out a little widespread, but just kept twisting together like threads until, by the end of the book, there was a single rope. Everything connected. It was amazing. The tapestry of words Cameron uses to weave his tale is impressive and shows a vast knowledge of the historical facts that, as he mentions in the acknowledgements, were used to construct his world.

 

  The Red Knight isn’t a mystery. That said, it isn’t boringly predictable either. As the story progressed I was able to connect the dots and make little discoveries about past events or characters. This didn’t detract one bit from my enjoyment, however. It actually added fuel to the fire! I had to read more. I had to find out if I was right, to see what was going to happen next. I might have actually yelled at the book in my hands a few times…ahem. In fact, I could probably read it over and over again and find something I had overlooked in my excitement each time.

I really can’t recommend The Red Knight enough. It was, by far, one of the best fantasy books I have read in a very long time. Since the cover informs me that it is book one of The Traitor Son Cycle, I believe I can safely say that I am looking forward to more from Miles Cameron.

Check this book out yourself here!

Sincerely,

Molly Chenault

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