Book Review: Saint's Blood

Saint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell, Greatcoats #3

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.
Two years ago Sebastien de Castell took over the world by storm with his debut Greatcoats. A perfect and fresh addition to the Epic Fantasy genre, I loved every bit off it and last year he once again surprised me with the sequel to Greatcoats, Knight's Shadow which I nominated for in my Best of list. There is just something about this series that makes it such a blast to read. Sebastien de Castell knows how to create a pitch perfect setting. The characters that he has created are just amazing. With already having written two very successful books the question always always comes to mind can the success be maintained. Yes it can. Saint's Blood is the third book in this series and it adds even more awesomeness to the Greatcoats.

Falcio val Mond, King's Heart and his fellow Greatcoats Kest and Brasti have already been through a lot and they are all doing it for the same cause that of the dead king Paelis who charged every Greatcoat with a task to complete, the ultimate goal is still not known. The three have already met the Tailor who holds the threads of life and created the almost impenetrable coats that the Greatcoats still wear. In Knight's Shadow, Falcio was struck down by one of the most dangerous poisons known in all of Tristia. Saint's Blood sees Falcio still recovering from the poison but also a lot of new developments. The Dukes of Tristia are still trying to get the Realm's Protector, who is currently ruling the country in the name of the true heir from the throne in order to rule themselves with their knights. However something much bigger is happening, one day a Saint comes to the doorstep and Falcio makes a gruesome discovery, Saint Birgit has gone through hell and back, she is mutilated and much more. Saint Birgit dies after a few days. On the body of Birgit, Falcio and his friends come to a horrible discovery... that Birgit's murder is just the first one, more Saints are being murdered across Tristia and Falcio, Brasti and Kest take it onto themselves to put a halt to this. During this new quest a lot of events are set into motion. 

THis snippet above is just a small recounting of the first few chapter, Sebastien de Castell keeps up ramping the pacing and action of the story one page after another. This is mainly achieved by the focus on the great set of characters. I definitely have to give it to Sebastien de Castell, his characters are a real piece of work. In the best sense possible. Over the last two books we have already seen Falcio, Brasti and Kest in full colors, their funny, dramatic, emotional and tough sides. I thought that I had seen most of it already but I was wrong. Falcio once again is a blast to read about, I really like how Sebastien de Castell writes in the first person narrative of Falcio. This somehow gives a much better connection with him. Falcio story in Saint's Blood is a emotional rollercoaster, he has plenty of funny and witty moments that we know him from already but there is somehow much more. He is beginning to understand that he isn't bulletproof anymore. Brasti's character does fall a bit more to the background but still manages to place an arrow at the right spot at the right time. Kest's character is living up to his Saint role a bit more and actually there is a mighty interesting scene at the end of the book that blew me away, brilliant stuff Sebastien! 

But the best character for me in Saint's Blood was the heir to the throne the little innocent daugther of King Paelis, Aline. I loved her. In the course of a few pages she grew from still playing to the rightful ruler of the country. I loved the scene with the Tailor, I loved the scene where Brasti tought her to how to use a bow, I loved how she showed her wit. Bottemline I loved her. Even Falcio was surprised with her courage and bravado. Aline's character definitely proofs something for the future. 

The general plotline of Saint's Blood is partly continuation of the bigger picture that was sketched out in the first two books but there is also a big part that stands on its own. I like how Sebastien de Castell keeps on building and building this story. Where other authors seem to run into troubled by even the second book, he just adds only good stuff in the Greatcoats series. Expanding what has been told and adding new elements to the story to keep everything exited.

The bottomline is: Read Saint's Blood. If you aren't familiar with this series yet, go read it. quickly. I nominated Greatcoats and Knight's Shadow both in the 2014 and 2015 as best of book of the year and I still stand by it. Even more so Saint's Blood also lives up to this promise. With all the cool stuff that Sebastien de Castell has shown so far I can't wait what he will show us in the conclusion of this amazing series. Make sure you read this book. 


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