Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: The Blood Knight by Greg Keyes

Having finally learned of her uncle Robert's coup of her father's throne Anne Dare sets about gathering a force strong enough to challenge him. However there are those who may wish to use Anne as a figurehead to further their own ambitions. Strange forces are at play and Anne begins to realize that she and her unique new powers may be pawns in a much larger game. Stephen meanwhile is embroiled in a rather delicate situation of his own. Forcibly separated from his companions the foundations of his understanding of the world is tested again as he learns that different factions are in operation in the church. Stephen finds himself charged with the task of recovering the dairy of Virgenya Dare herself. Aspar and Winna set off to try rescue Stephen. This soon turns into a fight for their own survival when a chance encounter with Fend and a woorm lead to them being poisoned by the beast.

Keyes uses the same technique as the previous two installments of ending most chapters on a cliff-hanger before switching view points. Again I feel that this works well in terms of pacing and you can't really complain about it when the next chapter addresses an earlier cliffhanger. The focus is very much on Stephen, Anne and Aspar on this book with Muriele and Leoff, and to a lesser extent Neil and Casio taking back seats. All three characters are forced to confront aspects of themselves that they don't necessarily like.

Having laid the ground work in the first two novels Keyes takes this one in a bit of a different direction; turning some aspects on their head. Where before it seemed obvious where good and evil lay in these books I'm now left wondering whether the 'good' characters are in fact doing the right thing and visa versa with the 'evil' characters. I am certainly anxious to see where Keyes takes this in the final installment.

Overall yet another strong offering from Keyes. 8/10.

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