Saint’s Blood. Book Review

saiuntSAINT’S BLOOD by Sebastien De Castell
Jo Fletcher. h/b. £18.99.
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

Falcio Val Mond is in the middle of a duel and judging by his sarcastic, self-deprecating inner-monologue, he shouldn’t be. There seems to be more against him in this duel than just the man holding the other sword and Falcio knows dark desires and politics will be at the heart of it, as usual. He knows what he needs to do to finish this duel and answer the question that is no doubt residing at this moment on every member of his audience’s lips – is Falcio losing his edge?

Kest lost his sainthood along with his hand, Brasti, unfortunately, hasn’t lost his sense of humour, and Falcio is the butt of every joke and at the point of every sword, it seems. Once again the First Cantor finds himself in the midst of disaster, and this time it appears to be at the hands of the Inquisitors.

Saints are dying. No one knows how or why. The enemies are increasing, in number and power. As well as new ones appearing, the old ones don’t seem to be going anywhere. Their bodies and their new scars may betray it, but Falcio, Kest and Brasti, the three Greatcoats, may still be the men they used to be, after all.

From the first line we remember how funny the writing is in this series as we are immersed back into the world of the Greatcoats, their bone-plated attire and their dueling swords. This third in the series takes a definite sinister turn but De Castell retains that wonderful, witty delivery that made the first two books in the series such a success.

Saint’s Blood is told by Falcio in the first person, of course, but his supporting cast are once again fundamental and enriching to the story, propelling events when the plot becomes too dark and slowing things down when the narrative needs a light-hearted breath. The Greatcoats books have everything to recommend, and the person who gives up the story part way through will be a rarity indeed.