Fantasy Book Review: Saint’s Blood by Sebastien de Castell

Posted 25 May, 2016 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review, Tweet-Short Reviews | 3 Comments

Fantasy Book Review: Saint’s Blood by Sebastien de CastellSaint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell
Series: Greatcoats #3
Published by Jo Fletcher Books on April 7, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 576

How do you kill a Saint?

Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they've started with a friend.

The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumours are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors - a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he'll still have to face him in battle.

And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win.

How is Falcio even alive? I mean, seriously. He’s been mostly dead the entire series (lol), especially after the whole Greatcoat’s Lament torture he went through in Book 2. The Lament still haunts him, both mentally and physically, but there he is, fighting yet another duel that he will most likely win by a hairsbreadth while opening old injuries. Oh, Falcio. You really need a good, long vacation in a place that isn’t an utter shithole like your country. Maybe a nice beach vacation? Just imagine lounging with your lady-love under a palm tree with no one trying to kill you…

But, of course, our Falcio is too noble of a Greatcoat to do anything more than forge forward, ever determined to save his little piece of the world and protect everyone he loves. (To be honest, Falcio is a bit exhausting. There are times when I just want to shoot the man up with some sedatives so we can both get some much-needed rest. Even his friends are exhausted.)

In this third installment, things are progressing…but not really in the way that any of the Greatcoats expect or hope. Saints are being killed in the most terrible manner, the Dukes are up to shenanigans as they grapple for power, and young queen Aline is working hard to learn her new job while also fending off those who wish to depose her. With the deaths (ahem, brutal murders) of the Saints, word gets out amongst the unwashed masses that the gods are not happy with what’s going on in Tristia, making them even more disgruntled than they usually are.

After the death of one of their Saint friends and an unexpected result of said death, Falcio is even more determined than ever to get to the bottom of the deadly mystery, even if it means giving up his life in the meantime (he’s ever-willing to risk his life but freaks out when someone else puts themselves in danger. There’s heroic and then there’s heroically stupid. It’s a fine line.).

Despite (or maybe because of) Falcio’s ongoing dance with death, this is the best installment yet. It’s fast-paced and, even though I really did want to strangle Falcio (his friends and I, we’re in agreement. Falcio needs to chill. Just a little bit.), I’m still a huge fan of the Greatcoats and can’t help but root for them in their quest to do what they think is right for their country. For some reason, I thought this was just a trilogy but there’s going to be a fourth installment (I’m sure Falcio will find new and interesting ways to try and get himself killed in the name of the queen) so yay!

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