Author: Dan Davis
Genre: Fantasy/Historical fiction
Pages: +- 470
Published: 22nd March 2016
Book two of The Immortal Knight Chronicles
It has been more than twenty years since Richard fought in the Holy Land, became a vampire and returned to the Ashbury manor. It is in the depths of night that the manor is attacked by a group of men.
Soon Richard discovers that these men are loyal to none other than his old enemy and half brother William de Ferrers.
If that isn’t enough; the French attack England and the country is torn when the rebel barons resist against the rule of King John.
Richard has to do whatever it takes to save his country from the forces that threaten to destroy his country.
I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
“Richard,” Jocelyn said. He shook me awake. “Richard, wake up, you drunken sod.”
(Exactly what I would say to a vampire knight who has power beyond imagining right before his home is threatened to be destroyed be strangers. This is not even sarcasm…)
Some time has passed between these books and in that time Richard has returned to England and is joined by the children of his late wife. Jocelyn and Emma are now both grown to adulthood and have lived with him in the Ashbury manor for years now.
All seems to be going quite alright until the manor is attacked by a group of strangers with incredible strength and speed. It doesn’t take long for Richard to realize that his old foe, William de Ferrers, has returned to England and has claimed the position as leader of the outlaws in Sherwood Forest. Now known to be the Green Knight, William has taken the forest as his domain and rules it as the new Eden.
But there is more to worry about than the return of one of the greatest evil Richard has ever seen because the French are invading England and King John is fighting the rebel barons in the north. Before he can even reach Sherwood Forest, Richard is commanded to go south to help defeat the French and he is not alone. Together with Jocelyn, a young outlaw, a young Lady (*cough* lady Marian *cough*), the female bodyguard of the Archbishop of York and a group of Kentish archers with a mere squire as a leader, Richard fights against all odds to defeat the French.
Though fighting for his life and those he loves, Richard can only think of one thing: to defeat the murderous bastard who is his half brother.
This book is set in 1216 and 1217 during the French invasion, the war between King John and the rebel barons and *building tension here by delaying the most important thing by writing gibberish* the legend of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest.
In the first book it was mainly historical fiction and a tiny bit of vampire influence. In this book the vampire angle is a little more out there but this creates a rather interesting point of view on these historical events. Yes, there is the again-all-odds-the-awesome-dude-prevails-thing but that is one of the things that makes me like this book so much. I know that I’ve more than once said that that exact point was one I usually dislike so let me explain why in this case I do like it:
- It is not t0o out there. Yes, it’s there out in the open sometimes but not throughout the whole book and when it is out there the situation suits the epic-hero-moment. I.e. when there is a battle going on and Richard is going in some sort of battle frenzy it results in a pretty awesome scene with tons of blood and loads of pain (often for the enemy).
- Richard is not invincible all the time, in fact he is quite useless half of the time. Sometimes he gets smashed to pulp or he’s locked up somewhere without being able to do anything about it.
- He explains the reason why he, and other knights, might feel invincible (because of awesome armour).
- Richard is not able to do everything on his own and does depend on others on some occasions.
I like the way Davis takes historical events and creates his characters in such a way that they fit with the events and the concept of the book. For example I love it that he took the Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest legend, created the characters to fit with the legend and the concept but altered some tiny aspects. William becomes the leader of the outlaws of Sherwood Forest and the merry men are not the merry men we know from the books, films and series but they become the deadly cruel insane creatures of William. (There is a very nice twist at the end ^^ I will not do any spoiling here but just know that it’s a good twist).
Again I love the historical context and in this case specifically the relationship between the different groups in medieval society. Davis clearly states the mutual dislike between the social classes but he also shows how they depend upon each other in war and in other matters. I also like how he shows how easy it was to corrupt a government. After King John dies the crown goes to the young prince Henry, immediately both factions of the high social classes try to gain access to the boy in order to influence him and by doing so will gain influence in the government of the country.
The characters in this book represented different social classes. There were the representatives of the aristocracy (King John, the Marshal, knights, etc), the clergy (the archbishop, monks) and the peasantry (villagers, outlaws, bowmen). This results in a great overview of society in the middle ages and this put together with the historical events gave the characters an extra dimension, made them real. (If you have any further interest in the background of social classes during the time period you can take a look at my Medieval England series. You can find the posts here).
The use of language was just what I had expected and hit the mark just like the first time. At some times it might be considered a bit harsh and for the weak hearted a little too detailed, but by using the somewhat matter of fact point of view I felt connected to the characters and the time period.
What else can I possibly say? There was not a dull moment while reading this. With enough action, romance, historical events/legends and fantasy there was more than enough to keep me hooked. In this book historical fiction and fantasy are again merge into a captivating novel.
Dan Davis didn’t disappoint me at all with this second book and I am really looking forward to the next one! I give this book four stars 🙂