Author: Dan Davis
Genre: Historical fiction meets fantasy
Book 1 of The Immortal Knight Chronicles
1190 CE. Richard Ashbury is the youngest son of the late Lord of Ashbury and he is a knight. Returning from a night in the woods Richard finds nothing but death at his brother’s hall. His oath to avenge the murdered men and women compels him to follow the murderer into the Holy Land. Here he fights in the Third Crusade with King Richard the Lionheart.
However, the horrors of the war against the Saracens are nothing compared to what the future has in store for him.
First of all I want to thank Dan Davis for a copy of the book I received in exchange for an honest review.
“A young knight. A trail of bloody murders. The horrors of the Third Crusade are just the beginning…”
This is a historical fiction novel, but with a twist. A twist that I definitely liked.
Bringing us back to 12th century right into the heart of the Third Crusade is Richard Ashbury, a young English knight ready to avenge the brutal murder of his brother and family. The man behind these murders, and many others, is Earl William de Ferrers. The Earl returned some time ago from fighting in the war against the Saracens to take back the Holy Land, but somehow he gained incredible strength.
Leaving a trail of corpses for Richard to follow, William leads him to the Holy Land. That is where Richard ends up in the army of King Richard the Lionheart. Murdering his way to prestige, Richard gains the favour of the King of England. But, still dreaming of killing the vicious bastard, Richard follows William’s trail even further which leads him to discover the unimagined truth.
I really like the setting of the book, mostly because it takes the reader back to the Middle Ages (a time period I am practically in Love with).
Dan Davis ticked all the right boxes and I was captured by this awesome story about knights, romance and bloody murders. Taking a great point in history Davis’s interest in history is quite obvious and I think that he did a great job working out his concept.
One of the aspects I specifically liked were the vampires. The reader is introduced to the idea of vampires quite early on in the story, but these vampires are not at all like most vampires encountered in most contemporary vampire novels. These vampires don’t burn/shine in the sunlight, they are not all powerful and invincible creatures…No… These are bloody murderous, cruel, ferocious bastards, lurking in the darkness trying to bite your head of your body (or slice you open… sometimes on a meat hook). A nice touch is that the only real undead being seems to be William because even though he has been expertly murdered by the Saracens, he came back to life. His servants, though they drink his blood in order to get a fraction of his magnificent strength, are able to be slaughtered. The vampires are not too over the top present in this book, the reader knows that they’re there but history is the main attraction in this novel.
Some people might be aware of my personal dislike against books written in first person. This book is written in first person but it was only for the better since it brought me so much closer to the protagonist. First person was the way to get readers more involved.
The way Davis described the scenes Richard was seeing was very well done and it almost seemed as if I was there myself. By giving not just Richard’s story but also more of information on the time period itself, Davis kept things interesting.
The use of language closed the cavity that sometimes occurs between the reader and the protagonist. Sometimes it was quite matter of fact causing the story to seem more real and authentic. But using this language also created fluency throughout the book, it seemed like it was told by a fire and not like I was reading this brilliant story from pages in a book.
The humour was absolutely lovely, sometimes a little unexpected and for some people maybe a bit harsh but I really liked it since it gave the story a liveliness.
Overall I think this was a great novel. Historical fiction with a little twist to the fantasy side. By keeping things real and personal this book captured me and would not let me go until I finished it… I even read it at work in order to finish it within a day… I had no choice but to give into temptation and read.
Giving a reader not just a slice of history and a lot of vampire, Davis did the opposite and it really suited the story. Giving a representative view on the Middle Ages, Davis successfully combined the two genres into one well written novel.
I am really looking forward to part two which is to be published somewhere this month (I believe)! I give this book 4 stars because Me Liky.