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Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.

Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern's jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men - or worse, a company of mercenaries - against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.

It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.

The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he's determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it's just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can't deal with.

Only it's not just a job. It's going to be a war. . .

667 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 1, 2012

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About the author

Miles Cameron

20 books2,371 followers
Miles Cameron is an author, a re-enactor, an outdoors expert and a weapons specialist. He lives, works and writes in Toronto, where he lives with his family. This is his debut fantasy novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,251 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
688 reviews46.1k followers
October 1, 2020
I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRjh...

2.5/5 stars

Great siege battles and incredibly detailed on how weaponry and armor works, but not gonna lie, I have mixed feelings about The Red Knight.

The Red Knight is the first book in The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron. This is one of those series that’s so often recommended to me by many fantasy readers, but I have always found the works of Miles Cameron, a pseudonym for Christian Cameron, to be quite intimidating to go start. Cameron is a prolific author who has written SO MANY books across multiple genres. I’m not kidding, look up his bibliography; he has written at least 40 novels! However, the praises towards this series and the amazing cover arts by Kerem Beyit definitely managed to finalize my decision to start this series. I mostly enjoyed reading The Red Knight, but I can’t help but feel that this could’ve been so much better for me.

The Red Knight follows the story of The Red Knight, most commonly called as Captain, and his group of mercenaries in their mission to protect an Abbess and her nunnery in the battle against the cunning and deadly creatures of The Wild. I had a lot of difficulty getting into The Red Knight. This is a thick book, it’s almost 800 pages and 300k words long, and I had to really push myself through almost the entirety of the first half due to several reasons; that’s almost 400 pages long of struggling through the narrative.

“Men were born without talons, but the claws they forged for themselves were deadlier than anything the Wild might give them.”

If you’ve heard of opinions/reviews on The Red Knight, it is very likely that you’ve heard that this book featured a LOT of POV characters, and yeah, this is true. We’re talking about at least 20 POV characters here. However, my main issue with this isn’t in the numbers itself—I don’t mind a lot of POV characters; I’ve read plenty of epic fantasy series with a huge number of POV characters that I thoroughly enjoyed—but in how so many of these POV characters felt redundant, unnecessary, or even useless to the plot; they didn’t make the book better, they instead slowed down the pacing immensely. The only characters (out of so many) that I found to be interesting and worth reading about were The Red Knight, Bad Tom, Jean de Vrailly, Thorn, and Harmodius. I didn’t find the rest of the cast of characters compelling, and I honestly think the book would’ve benefited if many of them were completely cut out from the story. Also, the romance sub-plot between The Red Knight and Amicia was, in my opinion, so bad; it’s like the romance was there because a romance MUST exist. Every moment in which The Red Knight told Amicia he loved her out of nowhere made me eye-rolled so hard.

“Love only those worthy of your love. Love those who love themselves, and love all around them. Love the best—the best in arms, the first in the hall, the finest harpist, and the best chess player. Love no man for what he owns, but only for what he does.”

The second half of the novel was, thankfully, miles apart better than the first half. Once the story starts shifting to the Siege of Lissen Carak, I was so much engrossed and immersed with the narrative. The biggest reasons behind this is that Cameron knows how to write great battle scenes that felt believable and gripping, and I certainly loved reading the development and revelations behind The Red Knight’s character and background; there’s still so much to learn about him, and I think the next books will reveal more interesting about him. However, it was the incredible focus on a smaller number of POV in the second half that increased my enjoyment of the book, and my god I hope the next installment and further will adapt this storytelling decision from the start.

One last thing before I end this review, I don’t get why people are calling this a high fantasy. The setting felt like medieval England with Christianity as the people’s religion. Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, and Judas are actually religious figures in the story. Am I missing something here? The world-building felt distracting, and this book, to me, felt like alternate history/historical fantasy rather than high fantasy which usually take place in a completely fictional world.

‘“Jesus and his disciples,” Harmodius added. The captain gave a lopsided smile. “Which of us, I wonder, is Judas?”’

As you can probably guess, I am so conflicted with my feelings on The Red Knight. I mostly enjoyed what I’ve read here, but it could've been amazing if it wasn’t bogged down by some frustrating issues such as too many unnecessary POV and (personally) not inspiring world-building. I hope the next book will fix these issues because when Cameron focused the narrative on fewer main characters, the quality of the storytelling improved dramatically for me.

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Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
614 reviews764 followers
December 21, 2018
Lightning did strike twice. What a ride.

What. A. RIDE! *internally screaming*



After the exciting and glorious journey with The Thousand Names, here’s to hoping lightning strikes twice in a week.🥂🤞

I don’t know about you but a book with a Knight holding a spear, duelling with a flying dragon on the cover is already off to a good start.👌

My brain demands I stop dragging my feet and get on with it.

... I shall obey.

Profile Image for Jody .
202 reviews141 followers
January 12, 2018
Full review now posted!

The Red Knight is the first book in Miles Cameron's The Traitor Son Cycle. If you have been searching for a medieval fantasy read, look no further than this series. Mr. Cameron has the knowledge and background that most other authors can't bring to the table when writing this type of fantasy novel. He has a BA in Medieval History from the University of Rochester, is a dedicated reenactor of historical battles, and participates in medieval tournaments as a knight. So, it's safe to say he is very competent in the ways of the sword....and the pen in this matter.

The Red Knight is the captain of a group of mercenaries that travel the land looking for people to protect, and all kinds of baddies to kill. Whether it be people, or the many monsters that roam the land known as The Wild. The Red Knight and his companions have been hired to discover a murder outside the convent in Lissen Carak. What seems like a normal job quickly turns into a battle that humanity and the creatures of The Wild are not soon to forget.

"Honestly, Captain, I have prayed and prayed over what to do here. Bringing you to fight The Wild is like buying a wolf to shepherd sheep."

This book contains a lot of characters, a compelling magic system, and all kinds of mythical creatures/monsters to satisfy almost any fantasy lover. I enjoyed most of the characters, but The Red Knight and Bad Tom probably stood out the most. The former because he is the MC and gets most of the page time, and the later because of his strong personality. There are other stand out characters, but to keep this review short I will only mention the two.

The magic system was quite fascinating. It is referred to as hermitics, or hermitical magic. When a mage or witch casts a spell it is called a phantasm. I've never heard it called this before, and felt the term fit quite nicely. Also, each magic user has a place in their mind know as their memory palace. This is where they derive their powers and store magical energy. In a magical battle a mage or witch can link up with other magic wielders to increase their power, or steal energy (potentia as it's called) from an opposing magic wielder.

Now, on to the creatures of The Wild. There are quite a few, and Mr. Cameron does a nice job describing them all and listing the wide variety of races. There are boglins, wyverns, golden bears, irks, and daemons just to name a few. They are all very scary and menacing in their own way, but are also part of this world. Their interactions with humans are not always violent. Although, to face them in battle would be a pretty terrifying event to witness.

"Out beyond the walls are creatures who would crack your armour to eat what lies within - or to drink your soul."

I only had a couple of small complaints with this book. Mr. Cameron's writing style is very good, but I was lost on some of the terminology. He is so well versed in medieval history that I had to look up some of the descriptions. Be it something about a knights armour, or some form of expression made by a character. This didn't take away from my enjoyment, and I mainly looked them up out of my own curiosity. Second, some of the characters are referred to by more than one name. With this story being told in third person that sometimes got confusing in the beginning. These are small things, and only slowed me down at first. Once I got used to Mr. Cameron's writing style I was fine. So, don't be put off if you run into this same problem. Push through and you should be satisfied with a great story.

I had so much fun with this book. It is a great introduction into this dark and unforgiving world. I am excited to see where this series can go and looking forward to the adventure. Another positive is this series has been completed. The final book was released at the end of 2017. No waiting around to get the full story. So, if your looking for a fantasy tale with a medieval setting, memorable characters, and a cast of mythical creatures that will make your head spin...this is for you.

"Victory and defeat are for amateurs"......"For us, there is only life and death."

4.5 stars ****
Profile Image for Edward.
377 reviews1,013 followers
January 21, 2020
Check out my review for this fantastic book on Grimdark Magazine at: Grimdark Magazine

“Listen up, then. Evil is a choice. It is a choice. Doing the wicked thing is the easy way out, and it is habit forming. I’ve done it.”

The Red Knight is the first fantasy book I have read (listened to) by author Miles Cameron. I have read his entire Chivalry series (one of my favourite series), which is some of his historical work under the name Christian Cameron. There are similarities between Chivalry and The Red Knight, being set in a late medieval land filled with awesome sword fights, epic battles, a vast display of medieval knowledge and authentic grit.


The Red Knight has Wyverns. And Boglins. And Irks and many other forms of creatures part of the ‘Wyld’. Although it has a feel similar to his medieval writing, it also had it’s own completely fantastical feel, with added world-building that displays hours and hours of thought and planning into. The world The Red Knight is based is ripe with life, mercenary companies, foreign knights, courtly competition and a convent of nuns.

“To the captain, piety came in three brands—false piety, hypocritical piety, and hard won, deep and genuine piety. He fancied that he could tell them apart.”

The book begins with a fast pace and it carried that on for over 600 pages (30 hours of audible). Though, through all of the action set-pieces, battles, confrontations and duels there are plenty of opportunities to get to know each character and voice. This book has multiple POVs, some used more than others and it does take a little bit of time to adjust to the style. But from the first meeting with The Captain, I felt hooked.

The description of medieval inspired villages and lives is fantastic. Miles Cameron definitely brings his experience of re-enactment with him to make the reader understand the clothing of the period, weapon details, horse-riding and what it really feels to be in a battle. It is in these moments that the characters show their uniqueness, and through that display Cameron’s character’s developments.

“His sword took the nearest neatly, because killing fleeing infantryman was an essential part of knightly training, taken for granted, like courage.”

The Captain is a fantastic character, full of humour and humility as well as martial prowess that I personally love to read about. Members of his company standout, like Bad Tom and Sauce, and I really enjoyed Michael’s parts. They all had moments of joy, sadness, anger and blood-lust. They all felt real. There were characters I could empathise with, and character’s I grew to detest ().

5/5 - I cannot recommend this book enough. If you take a while to adjust to the multiple POVs at the beginning, then keep going, You won’t regret it. I look forward to delving deeper into the Traitor Son Cycle. Read it!
Profile Image for Ivan.
436 reviews284 followers
February 10, 2017
Edit: Winter cleaning isn't over yet. I'm reducing rating from 5 to 4 stars. It's sequel remains 5 stars.

Me and this book had some ups and downs, and early on I even thought of DNF-ing it but in the end I am giving it 4 stars.My biggest problem was that book keeps jumping form PoV to PoV in very short chapters and I often feel it unnecessarily slows down pace and needlessly prolongs the book.I never really gotten used to it but as soon as I found it tolerable I could focus on good parts and there is lot of good stuff.

While it is actually our world with Christianity as main religion it's one that is hardly recognizable.There is no mention what happened to old world and there are no sci-fi elements, this is high fantasy through and through.While this world is not as complex or fascinating as Roshar or world of Malazan book of fallen it's well built stage that doesn't take spotlight from main stars and those are characters, dialogs and combat.

No matter how long or short their PoV is all characters, from Red knight to local wench, are very well written and feel real except maybe the bear(or not?I can't guarantee since I don't really know what bears think). Since this is military fantasy, military stuff is important and it's done superbly.All from battle tactics to magic use and personal combat is done in great detail and in as plausible way possible (mostly) without info dumps.
Battles between mages are some of the best I read.They are very different from Sanderson's (whom I consider king of magic systems and combat) magically enhanced physical combat.This are true duels of magic, a bit abstract but detailed and very well written

Overall not flawless but nevertheless great piece of military fantasy maybe just few notches bellow Malazan book of fallen.
Profile Image for edge of bubble.
248 reviews155 followers
June 26, 2017
My rating for Red Knight fluctuated throughout the book, but even if it had ended up as 3 stars, it would still go into my favourites shelf.

I've used author's own picture, because this deserves a nod and why the hell not..

Story starts a bit confusing and the numerous PoV characters doesn't help with it at all. I was enjoying myself from the 20th page, despite the hard push into this foreign world. And I've come to love the rapid PoV changes with a wide spectrum of characters, from knights and queen to merchants and nuns.

But, the true beauty of this book lies in it's amazingly worded details. Nothing feels unnecessary yet you get to see the ordinary aspects of the surroundings and characters' situations. This works wonders with especially battle scenes, which are described in minute details sometimes. Yet, reads somehow magical.

Speaking of magic, the magic system here, is something I've never seen before. Unique and intriguing. And you are not shoved information about it. As the story progresses, author gives up bits and pieces when it is needed.

I loved the main protagonist, Red Knight. He is cheeky, driven, not perfect and in 5 to 10 years, will be in my harem. For now, the emo in him is too strong for my tastes. His sometimes whiny attitude with the annoying af romance going on in the background was two of the reasons my rating lowered. Another reason is the repetitive religious banter, his God is mean, we don't get along boooo and others' God loves everyone, even you weeee speeches got annoying fast, yet never ceased.

And there was a Dragon! At the very end and quite brief story time, but still... DRAGON!

All in all, this was a great read. Towards the end, in one battle scene, a song started playing in my mind and I'll leave you with it.

Profile Image for John Gwynne.
Author 38 books11.2k followers
March 5, 2013
What a fantastic read. I can't remember when I've enjoyed a book so much. Loved the blend of historical with fantasy, the realism of medieval life combined with absorbing characters and a driving plot.
I didn't want it to end, and can't wait for book 2.
Profile Image for Experiment BL626.
209 reviews351 followers
January 2, 2013
The Red Knight (TRK) was a mixed bag surprises.

Great writing

I love the succinct writing. I love the subheading of the character’s name and their location every time the plot shifts in POV. TRK is a big Fantasy book, and I expected to be lost in a wall of text at some point, but I never really was.

Too many POVs

What I did not love was the boatload of irrelevant POVs. It took me a couple long chapters to realize the book was plot-driven given the focus on the large cast and how an unexpectedly small amount, about less than a third of the book, of the plot was told from the eponymous protagonist’s POV.

I never felt that the book attempted to make me feel attached to the characters. Many times I wanted Thorn, the main villain, to succeed and kill all the good guys because I was bored silly with their inanities, especially with 2-3 characters I wanted dead already. So bored I ended up skimming the middle of book; I wanted to be done with the book already and read something else. It would have taken a miracle for me to pay attention to the book again.

Amazingly, a miracle did happen, which was the biggest surprise of the book. I skimmed for a couple minutes but I stopped once the good guys and bad guys were finally duking it out. The excitement regained my attention. TRK shined for me in those battle scenes, and finally there was a purpose to all those POVs.

Lack of misogyny

More importantly, TRK didn’t have that tone of misogyny I usually see in Fantasy. There were usual references of rape, but it wasn’t done as gritty-realism fluff. All the female characters were strong. None all of them played second fiddle to their manly man partners, be they a romantic interest or a fellow warrior. Not even the queen was secondary to the king. Speaking of the queen, it was refreshing to read a Fantasy where the queen and king are alive and in love, and to see that one trivial character of a douchebag who threaten rape got quickly chastised. They were peripheral details but they made a big impact in my reading experience.

The lack of misogyny greatly compensated for the disappointing revelation of The Red Knight (the character), the secret for why he went by the moniker and hid his noble background. I thought it would be something more tragic and devastating, not something that happens in almost every normal noble family I have ever read in Fantasy.

Accessible world building

The world building was quickly graspable. I didn’t actively keep track; passive immersion was enough. The setting took place in a medieval kingdom walled against the Wild, similar to The Others in GRRM’s series, with a reference of a faraway kingdom that have French named knights. It didn’t take long for me to imagine TRK’s kingdom as a faux-England.

TRK had Christianity but TRK’s Christianity felt more like paganism; never once did the story feel religious or portray the religion in a black and white manner. I really liked how naturally interwoven the spiritual/magical element was with the religion.

Not a black and white book

It would have been easy for TRK to portray the Wild as bad guys who are destined to be defeated by the end of the series if the book has any intention to make the series’ ending satisfactory. Many times I empathized their plight, and I would have been okay if they won. I liked how diverse the Wild was with some as beasts and some as humanoids. It was not straight out demons who destroy for evil’s sake; in fact, it was strongly suggested that the Wild was of nature, and that there was a theme of nature vs. civilization at play in the book.

The Wild also have human allies called Jacks by their enemies. These Jacks weren’t barbarians or criminals that no human civilization would accept but the Wild. They were people who wanted freedom and the end of slavery and the monarchy, leading to another theme of divine rights vs. human rights.

In Conclusion

I rate TRK 2-stars for it was okay. While I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I wanted and skimmed some of it, I can plainly see why frequent Fantasy readers would. I liked that the book can be enjoyed as a simple adventure or a critical read. I would have liked TRK to have a tighter plot by doing away with the multiple POVs and move faster towards the big showdowns between the humans and the Wild.

I may not have enjoyed the book much but I would recommend frequent Fantasy readers to try the series out.
Profile Image for Orient.
255 reviews211 followers
February 5, 2018
3,5 🌟

A BR with my wonderful comrade at arm and a great kick-ass lady, Nils 💜

'I will be what I will, not what anyone else wills, as can you. Be what you choose'.

I saw The Traitor Son Cycle series in updates/reviews quite a lot when my GR friends read it and I was the one who was determined to wait. I should have known better 😆 So when as usually stalking my GR friend Jody, I saw him reading this series and read his awesome review, I felt the right kick to start this series at last.

At quick first sight “The Red Knight” has all the things for a fantasy read I like a lot.

1. Interesting, medieval plot with knighthood and stuff ☑

2. Memorable characters I can root for ☑

3. Magical creatures and magical world in total ☑

But why 3,5 stars then? Well, not all went as planned for me!

Interesting plot with knighthood and stuff.

I liked “The Red Knight”, I really did. The writing is detailed, the story twists and turns are well planned and hard to guess and it left me excited for the next book. The fighting scenes are brutal and full of technical stuff (I could clearly imagine all the fights in my mind, the author even added the various parts of armor as a treat). The story is centered on one timeline, which spreads into multiple storylines. The chapters in “Red Knight “are quite long and it was confusing a bit for me as they contained several POV’s. It certainly helped that each POV part in the chapter was presented with a name and location. It’s interesting to follow and….stumble on grammatical errors. I am not sure if other editions had it, but mine clearly had. At first I was so interested that I didn’t notice it. But when some things started wearing me off, I added the grammar issue to the main complaint list. This is something I hope the sequels won’t have!

Memorable characters I can root for.

“The Red Knight” is a promising fantasy read with quite a big cast (oh bro, I wished it had a cast list for real). One of the most important parts of reading a great book for me is enjoy it without going back some pages to find who was that or this important character. And to my great disappointment some characters were just cast aside for 100 pages or so. It felt like losing a thread as when the character reappeared after being missing for 100 pages I just forgot who he/she was and again got a bit lost in mix of different POVs. It was like that for almost half a book. Also I felt that one character was totally unnecessary in the book. I am eager to be proved wrong in the sequels!

Putting that aside, I think, the characters’ personalities and names are really great and I enjoyed them greatly. There are heroes, villains, some both and some simple nice people to root for. Names like Cuddy, No head, Wilful Murder, Sauce and Bad Tom gave interesting spices to characters and helped to tell their story. The story mostly centers upon the fight between good and evil. Nasty and gripping even more than you can hope!

’Hope in one hand and sh*t in the other and see which one smells most.’ Hector

War is simple. That’s why men prefer it to real life Hywel Writhe

Bad Tom slammed his fist into the thing before it was done moving. ‘I name you – meat!’ he shouted.The mercenaries laughed. Some of the men-at-arms were even applauding and the guildsmen began to realise they might live. They began to cheer.

‘Never use this power on your emotions, boy. Our humanity is all we have.’ Harmodius

The camp of the good is well-formed, having a bunch of well-fleshed out personalities to root for. Apart from the Captain, the Red Knight himself, a born leader with wonderful powers and crappy past, there is my Tommy Boy, Bad Tom, an admirable kick-ass pal with amazing humor. The crew is worth their captain! Though, I must admit, I missed some great kick-ass heroines the biggest part of the story. I literally needed to wait for two thirds of the book to get some! Hah, but it was totally worth waiting! My love goes to Sauce, Amicia, the Abbess and Mag 💜💜💜

’We are strongest, we mere humans, when we unite. Together we can resist. As individuals – we are no stronger than our weakest.’ The Abbess

'Captain, I intend to pray. Try not to vanish in a puff of smoke,’ said the Abbess.

The evil side is supported by various creatures like boglins, irks, daemons, wyverns and so on. Of course, not forgetting the greatest evil ever – humans. They all have their own plans, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Not leaving aside the very top villain Thorn, a real thorn on the butt of the goodies.

Magical creatures and magical world in total.

The book is packed with various creatures, beautiful and ugly, they are well-written with details and their way of life. The magic system is new to me, l haven’t encountered such in other reads and that is a huge plus!

The beautiful creatures of the wild 💜

To sum up, I think “Red Knight” is a great read. A fan of fantasy genre will find a great treat with interesting battles, gripping magical system and memorable characters.

‘Victory and defeat are for amateurs,’ Tom said. ‘For us, there is only life and death.’

Profile Image for Stefan.
178 reviews223 followers
November 21, 2017
„Is this the real life?
Or is this just epic fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
Altogether with medieval history?
Cover your eyes
Let loose all those vivid images in your mind and see

Mama, just bought me this book
Put it in my hands
I’ve opened pages, and now I’m as good as dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I’m stuck with it, thrown my social life away“

Alright, alright, I'll stop butchering Bohemian Rhapsody. :D

So, what exactly is a book The Red Knight?

The 100 Years’ War VS Swamp Thing.


Well, it's not like I'm wrong... :D
On one side there are knights, mercenaries, Kings and Queens, nuns, pages...
While on the other different forces of nature.
Abundance of uneven battles, sieges, betrayals...
But also reflection on the fact how organisation, preparation and finance are one of decisive factors of every conflict.

The Red Knight is a combination of everything best from Glen Cook's Black Company and Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, primarily.
With the world set on foundation on which Mark Lawrence build his trilogy The Broken Empire.
Characters in this world get to explain their actions, so, as you venture deeper into the story, you realize how there's actually no evil characters, just... bad ones and those who are slightly less bad than others.

Chapters are very long, sometimes even 100 pages long, and they usually cover events throughout one single day.
In them we follow all characters, so reader gets an impression how they change too quickly, so that's something he needs to get used to.

Author's prose is really stunning, and his attention dedicated to details is really fascinating.
I admire his ability to describe you surroundings in which characters are and their mood; ability to develop a plot, a plot that's everything but static, and yet you don't get downpour of information nor description.

Dialogues in this book are probably the strongest part of it.
How can I explain...
There are writers who use their dialogues to explain their plot, or history; to reveal motives of their characters, leave political messages or simply say something that you could find under 'quotes' on places like this.
And that's completely fine.
Then you have writers who drown you in their descriptions because that's how they write.
And then you have writers like Cameron, where you simply cannot know, nor anticipate, what will characters say next in their communication with each other, and yet he doesn't deprive you of that, seemingly, clearness where the story goes.
And when on top of all that you add great characters diversity, you'll catch yourself, more than once, reading same dialogues because, well, they simply are really fun to read.

„Hector took a deep breath. ’So, it’s war then.’
The Keeper looked away. ’I hope not.’
Hector took another pull of ale. ’Hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which one smells most.’“

Probably not the best example. :D

All in all, it was such an enjoyment reading this book.
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,144 reviews1,851 followers
July 28, 2015
Here we have the beginning of what seems to be another fine, readable, highly enjoyable epic fantasy. The story draws us in and if it has a weakness (and what book doesn't?) it may be that the story (again) strings out into several viewpoints. Of these most of us will probably become more interested in one "storyline" than we are the others (I know I did). Still when it boils down to "a" climax (actually there might be said to be "multiple climaxes") the author weaves all his threads together and pulls them into a tight bundle.

I've read a few lukewarm reviews that said things like "well it's a good story but there's nothing new here." Awwww, so sad." Or maybe, so what? How many truly original novels are there out there that use plot lines and story ideas/points that haven't been used before? Very, very few. Yes you will see some character "types" here. The plot is not some original new never seen before idea, there are wizards, knights, men at arms, fantasy creatures, monsters...but they're handled very well. The world is dark and gritty with as much "real world feel" as you can get into a fantasy novel. This is a version of medieval Europe (or thereabouts) with a somewhat twisted version of said "medieval" church (yeah, I'm a Christian and found it a little annoying but you can live with it as a story I think). So yeah, good story, good characters, very interesting novel...I look forward to the next installment.

I rate this one a 5 star read if only barely...4.5???? 4.6, 4.7, 4.8??? I don't know, but wherever it falls it rounds up to 5 stars. Recommended, enjoy.
Profile Image for J.P. Ashman.
Author 9 books412 followers
July 20, 2017
Wow! A friend recommended this to me and oh how well he knows me.

The Red Knight is a must for fans of fantasy and medieval history both. Cameron's knowledge of armour and weapons and knightly accord comes from his historical fiction work as Christian Cameron and it shows. I truly felt like I had stepped back into medieval Europe, but a past of ours that included all the mythical creatures and beings from all those heraldic devices. Wyverns and hulking trolls, demons and wyrms.

The battles are gritty and real, the characters more so. From knights to squires and nuns to priors, the way the characters interact is sublime. There are a lot of POVs of all classes and personalities and abilities - and I like that.

If you like your knights traditional and authentic, your beasts powerful and horrifying, and your magic system unique, then The Red Knight is for you! I highly recommend it and cannot wait to get the next in this awesome series.

Profile Image for Samir.
111 reviews177 followers
March 12, 2018
DNF @ 22%.

I couldn't get into it.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,275 reviews227 followers
July 12, 2017
Warning: Goodreads has this as a 650 page paperback. I'm sure that is the case, but I'm also sure the font used in printing must be tiny for this to come in at that. Calibre counts this as 286,000 words. In comparison, The Name of the Wind comes in at 257,000 words.

That translates into a 30 hour audiobook which is mostly how I consumed this. (The narrator Matthew Wolf is superb, handling an enormous cast of characters with distinctive voices and suitable accents).

The world is an alternate version of ours set during medieval times with Christianity and Feudalism, but also with magic and magical creatures. The Red Knight and his band of mercenaries have been hired by the nuns of Lissen Carak, a fortified Abbey and town in the North West of Alba, a part of the country that has been steadily reclaimed by the Wild. The mercenaries have been hired to deal with a monster rampaging through the region, but it becomes quickly obvious that this is only the first attack in the largest incursion by the Wild in generations.

Soon, Lissen Carak is under threat of siege and the whole North of Alba is under attack by an enormous and varied army of the Wild led by a fearsome sorcerer. The Red Knight and the Abbess stand firm as the forces of Alba rush to reinforce them. What follows is a long build up to the actual siege and a back and forth of advantage and disadvantage between the two forces.

There's much to recommend in this book. There's also much to criticize. Quite frankly, there's just much. I'm a little out-of-practice at reading the tree-killer tomes that epic fantasy is so well known for. What we have here is a story told through well over thirty different point-of-view characters, although it does concentrate mainly on a few favorites. Where the rest of the bulk comes from is the endlessly detailed description of the weaponry, armor and battles associated with the siege.

Another issue with the book is around world-building, and the basis of much of it in our world. There are world-building shortcuts that don't make a huge amount of sense. In a world with magic, and a world where resurrection and healing is possible through magic, how does Christianity work? What sets the deeds of Christ above those of your average sorcerer? In this book Christianity seems to be very similar to how it is in our world. There's anti-witch prejudice as well, but people with Power are very common especially in the Church itself. How does that work? The whole presence of magic feels tacked on, or a vague homage to something like Camelot.

Or more specifically, the author seems to have created the world he wants to play in and given only vague thought to how that world came about.

I also struggle with how women are treated in this book (and in much of epic fantasy to be honest). Women can be soldiers in this world, although we only get one named character who is a female soldier. But every other female character in the book fits pretty neatly into categories of wife, nun or whore, with a far greater variety of characterization among the male characters. And there's at least one of the female characters that's just horribly written with the male gaze just dripping off her and her very cynically aware of it.

But all that being said, this is an epic story that mostly achieves the goal of showing all sides of a siege battle in a fantasy world while making it very clear that even this sprawling conflict is only the first part of a much larger war. I'm hoping some of the issues I've come across here improve markedly in subsequent books.
Profile Image for Conor.
148 reviews315 followers
February 5, 2017
3.5 Stars.

Promising start to a fantasy series I've heard a lot of good stuff about. The actions was really well done, especially in how detailed and faithful to historical accuracy it was and the general pacing of the book was strong, especially for 600+ pages. There were also several interesting subplots and mysteries and some cool secondary characters. The frequently shifting POV has been criticized quite a bit however I rather enjoyed it although I see how people could be frustrated by it, especially in a first installment in a series which is generally more focused. The main POV, the eponymous Red Knight was overall a pretty strong lead character although he had some whiny emo tendencies that annoyed me a bit ("This thing that's happening reminds me of my badass secret past. I better not say what that is though as it's too badass and secret to reveal, even in this internal monologue" every other page).

Probably my biggest complaints is the focus on the generic, half-arsed magic system and how it had such a central role in the story. I also would have liked to see more focus on some of the interesting secondary characters and plots, especially the Queen, Jean De Vraille and their plotting and I would have liked to see some other characters like Amicia fleshed out more. As it was I thought too much time was devoted to the siege which while generally exciting and with lots of interesting stuff going on I felt dragged on at times and became repetitive in places (mostly in the monster fighting/magic places. If it had stuck to the military fantasy/plotting and intriguing inside the fortress parts it would have been much more compelling imo).

Overall though this was a good start to an interesting series with some of the best and most realistically combat and strategy I've seen in a fantasy series (dragons and magic aside).

Full review to come....
February 27, 2023
This is a chunky book with a lot of characters, world building and action sequences. It felt like an epic fantasy but it read really easily too.

I wouldn't say the writing is lyrical or anything but it does have those lyrical moments which I loved. Where this authors writing really shines is in the battle scenes. It almost felt like a historical fiction in parts because of the level of detail and explanation taken in these scenes.

I think character wise there are a few stand outs, of course The Red Knight himself is such a lovable characters and the more I found out about him the more I loved him. We also have a number of strong women in this book, women that are in charge of their lives and their sexuality which was quite refreshing. There wasn't a great deal of romance or smut which suited me too.

The Wild element of this book was epic, every moment we spent with a creature of The Wild was so beautiful and enchanting. The descriptions of creatures and animals was so well done. The author also manages to create a emotional connection between the reader and The Wild very quickly too.

The 'bad' characters in this book made me so angry! Some characters - well most were morally grey but the ones I knew were just rotted to their core were written so well. We had a lot of character development too in this book which I enjoyed a lot and knowing there are more books in the series really excites me for what is coming next.

Some twists and turns were very obvious but it didn't take away any of the enjoyment for me, others were a welcome surprise. This is a high stakes fantasy, so don't expect all of your characters to come out on the other side is all I will say. The battle scenes in the last quarter of the book really were incredible to read, I much preferred them to other battle scenes I've read in much more popular books.

I can't quite give this book 5 stars for just a few reasons, one is I think that our main 'bad guy' could have had more action, and we could have delved into their story more, but this might be coming in the next instalments. Another reason is that there was some repetition. Lastly, I would have like a character list just to keep refreshed.

Overall a fantastic read and hopefully the start of an epic series! On to the next!
Profile Image for Kitty G Books.
1,564 reviews2,937 followers
May 5, 2015
I'm giving this book a 4.5*s and I really really enjoyed it which is great as I've heard very little about it and wasn't sure what I would think of it. I don't know why this book is not more popular, because it's a brilliantly executed and well-written story with some very wonderful characters and great moments within its pages!

This book focuses mostly on the epic large scale battle of the Humans vs The Wild. The world where these people live is mostly dominated by strange and scary creatures who come from The Wild and have magical and mystical powers. There are various outcroppings of Men and inhabited lands which are ruled by a King, but as the years have gone on the Wild has slowly spread and the number of Men has decreased leaving them more and more vulnerable at the boarder between the Wild and the men's territory.

We focus on a lot of different characters over the course of this story but of course (as the title suggests) the main one would be the Red Knight. The Red Knight is a young Captain at the head of a large band of sell swords. He is in command of various types of people, some of them criminals, and he and his band hire themselves out for various skirmishes and defensive jobs around the Kingdom. When we meet The Red Knight he has come to Lissen Carak where he meets the Abbess (another major character) who offers him a contract to defend the Abbey after a vicious attack has happened on one of the further holdings. The Knight and the Abbess discuss the details but of course he takes this on and from then on he's engaged in much bigger battle with the Wild than he could ever have anticipated.

The Red Knight is a kind, honourable and very mysterious character. We don't know who he is, where he comes from, or how he's achieved his current status at such a young age, but these are all things which get revealed slowly over the course of the book. He's a very interesting character as you never truly know exactly what he can do and the full extent of his power over his men and himself. He's also a very fair character as he also employs women within his group and he has no toleration for people acting up whilst under his reputation.
I found him to be a character who grew steadily across the book and learned and developed a lot. He's someone who I was a little confused about how to feel at the beginning, but as the story went on I found I connected with him, rooted for him and looked out for his sections.

Next we have the Abbess as I mentioned before. She is also a very mysterious character who we don't know a huge amount about, but who seems to have her own secrets she doesn't wish to share. Again we slowly get glimpses into her secrets and her past over the course of the story, but one element of her personality I really enjoyed was her intelligence and witticisms when she sparred with The Red Knight. They are both intelligent and have both lived to see some of the dangers of the world, so their teasing and banter was hugely entertaining and we learned a lot from the Abbess as everything went on.

Amicia is a novice at the Abbey and she's another really interesting character because she immediately gains the attention of the Red Knight and many others in the Abbey. She's a fairly quiet and calm character at first, but as the story goes on we get to see more of her personality, and she slowly became one of the more intriguing characters for sure.

I liked seeing Harmodius too who is the King's mage and when we meet him he's doing some very interesting experiments with the limits and extent of power within this world. We learn a lot of the magic and the way it all works from watching Harmodius and he becomes an integral part of the story as it goes on. He was a really intelligent and knowledgeable character who really helped many of the others discover their full potential in the book. He also is a great adversary for the enemy in the book and is pretty powerful!

The Red Knight's Squire is called Michael and he made an impression on me because of how sweet and loyal he is. He really cares about his master and he wants to do his best in order to make a name for himself and become something after having left his family before. He's a very caring and loveable character and I certainly connected more with him as the book went on and his story became more interesting.

Thorn is a really interesting character who is actually not on the side of the Men. He's a very powerful person and he's the bad guy of this book for sure. He was awesome, inspiring, dominant and terrifying at various points of the book and his goals and aims are truly scary. He's a very powerful adversary, and he commands some very scary and creepy creatures. I would have to say he made an excellent bad-guy and as we learn more about who he is it all becomes very interesting and the plot thickens!

We also get glimpses of others around the Kingdom such as the King and Queen who both feature in the story in their own way. I certainly connected more with the Queen in this book and I felt that her personality was somewhat feisty and exciting, but she was also very caring and careful in how she looked out for her King and her Kingdom which I loved seeing. The King was also an interesting character, but he just didn't feature as much in the story so I didn't connect as much with him.

Jean de Vrailley and his cousin Gaston are characters who don't actually come from the Kingdom they come from the East and they are both really intriguing because not only do they bring trouble wherever they go because they don't know the customs of the land, but Jean in particular is easy to anger and gets into lots of fights. They believe they are being guided by a divine being and that their quest will lead them to glory unparalleled, and I didn't love them as people, but I liked seeing their story unfold.

Peter is a young boy who ends up kind of in the midst of everything and not really knowing what's going on in the larger picture. He finds himself is some tricky situations meeting some new cultures and having to adapt and blend into their customs and ways. I liked seeing him slowly learn more about his situation and what he had to do to fit in, and I think he may be a character to watch as his story seems like there's more to come.

We do have various other points of view too and whilst I realise that this is already a lot, it's very easy to keep track of each of them because they're all so individual and unique with their actions and thoughts. I think that this book is excellent at dealing with characters and giving them believable and connectable roles within the story. Each part was interesting, and no one was a boring one or one I didn't want to read which was brilliant!

In terms of this world and the creatures, magic and religion I felt that it was really well done. The story is largely focused on the battle between Man and the Wild, but that doesn't mean it's all guns and fighting, there's many scenes where we learn about the enemy, learn about the world and learn about the characters. I personally am usually not a fan of books which deal with a lot of large scale fighting, but that wasn't even a slight problem in this book as it was so brilliantly paced and well done with all the elements you could want to see in a great fantasy. There are also some very unique and awesome magic and creatures which I'd not seen or heard of before but could still vividly imagine and that's a great quality of the book.

Miles Cameron is actually Christian Cameron when he writes Historical fiction books (which is what he's done prior to this series) and he's a trained Historian which really comes through in the writing style and brilliant portrayal of this book. I would certainly be interested in potentially picking up his other series too, but this one was wonderful!

On the whole I would highly highly recommend this book and I cannot wait to move on with the story because it's left with some excellent new threads that I want to follow and see where they lead. Book 2 is already out and I have it already waiting to be read some time very soon. Also I believe book 3 will be out fairly soon so I will certainly be picking that up very soon too once it's released (as I believe this is a 5 book series).
Profile Image for Terry.
366 reviews79 followers
May 19, 2020
I bought this book more than a year and a half ago just knowing I was going to love it, but I kept looking at all of the other series I have started and kept telling myself I shouldn’t start yet another series until I finish some of those. Flash forward to now and I still have all of those series to finish (yes, I am terrible at finishing series - even ones I thoroughly enjoy). As the recent craziness has been going on around me and I‘ve struggled focusing on reading instead of constant news updates, I looked at this book on my shelf and felt that it might offer the right comfort for me, a throwback to that feeling of wonder a great fantasy story can bring. Boy was I right! This book hit all of the right buttons for my love of heroic fantasy. Timing can be everything, but I know I would have loved this no matter when I picked it up.

I will admit, I agree with so many of my other friends who struggled with the start of this book. You are hit with a lot of character POV’s and a lot of seemingly disconnected storylines, all while it is being told with very quick cuts between people and places. It was very hard to keep any of it straight, let alone figure out how they were related. It felt sorta like the author was so excited to get you into the main story that he rushes to tell you about all the parties and places involved without giving you quite enough background, or time to catch your breath.

However, with some patience, it all finally works itself out, and that excitement of the author in all that rush catches on as the story gains its momentum. The characters really start to grow and fill in. The places all start to paint a picture. By the end, that excitement truly reaches a great crescendo with both a resolution to this book and tantalizing storylines for its continuation.

I think this book has many strengths. First, the characterization is great. There are so many characters, but they’re all so well fleshed out that I really wanted to know them all. I felt them, grew to love some and hate some. I Truly wanted be a part of The Red Knight’s mercenary band and stand at their side and share in their camaraderie.

Second, the setting and world building are great. It all felt like a place I could easily imagine and like a place I could be a part of. Richly detailed without being too much so.

Third, there is a very good magic system. It was easily believable and felt realistic. It made sense and was used very well in the storyline.

Fourth, the battle scenes were Awesome. This author definitely knows what makes a battle feel believable and how to describe it well enough to bring the tension to the forefront. His knowledge of weaponry and armor is definitely on display.

And finally, my favorite thing is the setup of our antagonists and protagonists. For any of you who have read some of my other fantasy reviews, you might notice my love of the idea of chivalric knights. This book is filled with a very richly descriptive knighthood. On the one side, we have knights with order. On the other, the Wild, comprised of every different monster and creature you can think of - just about everything makes an appearance, usually in a gruesome way, all lead by a truly evil power. A great setup for me as I very much prefer stories that pit man vs something else rather than man vs man.

So, this was an overly wordy way of saying that this was a terrific heroic fantasy, very much along the old school style that I love so much. Easily 5 stars and recommended for fantasy lovers who can stick with it and have patience for the payoff.
Profile Image for Shreyas Deshpande.
160 reviews11 followers
April 13, 2021
The Red Knight is the start of an epic tale, set in a world pulled askew by monsters and magic that is eerily similar to our own. Cameron excels at blending the familiar and unfamiliar, giving you something new to discover about the creatures, people, the world and the history on every page. The story itself is well-rounded, setting up mysteries very well and hinting at a much larger struggle yet to come.
All-in-all, a great start to an epic fantasy series.

Ratings:- 🌟🌟🌟🌟���
Profile Image for Bogdan.
908 reviews1 follower
October 20, 2017
This is a medieval fantasy world with some influences of K.J. Parker, more visible in the second volume, but the magic system it`s something new, not fully explained, but similar on some levels with the one of Parker`s.

I like it because the story unfolds very good, with each step we have a small piece of the whole history puzzle of the mysterious past of the Red Knight captain.

The battles are very fierce, bloody and numerous, and here I had a little problem. For me this novel was way too long, with some moments that could have been skipped and let`s not forget the whole affair with the secret spy, that our characters haven`t had much interest to investigate, thing that has bothered me for a long time. Because he had a clear impact on the evolution of the story and our heroes are totally neglecting him.

There are a lot of pov`s, but, interesting thing (maybe it wasnt a bother because the writer knows how to build and to make attractive his characters), I liked this aspect of the story, especially when there is a pov from one of the numerous wild things.

Overall it feels like a new fantasy piece with some fresh ideeas, true, also with some old ones, but in the end, despite some minor flaws it was an entertaining novel with a good pace and action.

After finishing it I had in mind to give it a three stars rating, but now, at the beginning of the second volume, and finding here some other threads in the evolution of the action, new ideeas and characters, but also some of the old acquaintances, i will give it a fully four rating.
Profile Image for Sam.
236 reviews32 followers
November 19, 2016
I was so close to giving this 5 stars, because by the end, I definitely couldn't put this book down. Looking back at it overall, there are just a few things keeping it from being perfect, but I'm adding it to my favorites shelf anyway.

This book is a bit hard to get through in the beginning but the struggle is worth it. Cameron is big into historical enactments and it shows. At first it seems like a good thing, but after about the second time the buckles on armor are explained or the different weapon poses are described, my eyes were glazing over. There's just a fine line where that information is pulling me into the story and where it's not. The writing definitely smooths out as the book goes on, I just wish the beginning had been edited a bit more to match. I will say that the level of experience he can bring to a battle scene is definitely fantastic. His understanding of how a horse actually moves instead of making them a just a block moving forward was perfect and there were tons of other little additions to really make everything come alive. It read a bit more like a historical novel than a fantasy because of this and I think it's just that extra element of experience and research behind the writing.

The second big thing dragging the book down in the beginning is all the POVs. For a long time, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to them. They could be a paragraph to pages. It could bounce around the people at one location or fly across the map to a whole different town. There were two men with R names and I'm still not sure I could tell you exactly who did what in the beginning but at least by the end I could separate them. I'm not sure all of the POVs are necessary although some I didn't understand in the beginning definitely became important by the end. I did get used to all the flipflopping, it just took some time.

Characters! I seriously think the Red Knight is one of my new all-time favorites. Just when you think you have a handle on him another nuance to his story comes up to make you excited about the character all over again. He's just... such a mixed bag that completely works. It's weird to explain. He's honorable yet a mercenary. The reader is in his head yet he's such a mystery. It took me a long time to realize I didn't even know his real name!

Some of the other characters did fall a little bit flat in comparison. A lot of the mercenary company reads as the same person just a different name here and there. There are some decent female characters. I did really enjoy the Abbess, but Amicia fell horribly short for me. I thought there was zero chemistry between her and the Red Knight. I had no idea why he was even chasing after her except she's pretty. He even acknowledges "wth am I doing?!" considering he's in the middle of defending against a siege which I liked, but then for no reason at all, he'd be right back after her. She's also supposed to have a lot of mystery but I just was never that intrigued in her character. I'm sure she's going to be important later on in the books, but her part felt forced for now.

I really loved the magic system especially the different mental palaces people use. I wish we had gotten to go a little more into how exactly it works as each person seems to have a slightly different system while using the same power. I'm definitely interesting in seeing how that plays out later and if it gets explored more.

This book is an easy recommend for me. The plot is really interesting and I want to pick up the next one right now but it's sadly not in stock anywhere in town. If you pick it up, try to give it 100 pages or so before giving up. I know that's a lot, but I promise it quickly becomes worth it after that.
Profile Image for Tosh.
163 reviews39 followers
December 14, 2017
Historical fantasy brilliantly set in an alternate medieval Europe!

I’m having a hard time getting my thoughts together. There were so many POV’s, lots of battle action, a few surprises, even more secrets, a complex magic system, a religious system based in Christianity, a slew of creatures looking to eat, kill and destroy, and Powers manipulating events. Not to mention, there’s another side to the Wild that’s only been briefly touched upon. I’m not even sure where to begin, so this could be a little incoherent.

The POVs changed frequently, which 1.) slowed character development and 2.) slowed the plot. I considered DNFing, because my schedule was preventing me from reading as much as I wanted, and I felt like I was getting nowhere in the book. Thank goodness I didn’t, because I would have missed out on a brilliantly written story. About a third of the way in the merging begins, the story picks up and those who don’t fall into the main action have stories I can’t wait to explore. And there will be five books total as it stands, so plenty of time to get to those.

The captain: He turned out to be more vulnerable, more caring, and more of a surprise than I expected. Obviously it’s his book, but he started out so dull - badass or no.

Bad Tom: I was expecting him to be the reason I had to stop reading, but instead he ended up being one of my favorite characters.

Jean De Vrailly: He’s still an a**, and I still want to see him knocked off his high-horse lame pun intended, but I have a new respect for him.

Harmodius: Can’t say I didn’t see his fate coming.

There were lots of great characters, some I didn't care for too much, and others I really loved, but for sake of space and time I've limited it to the few above.

A good portion of this book is spent in battle in some form or another, but whether it’s a one on one or a full scale battle the details are fantastic. The author definitely highlights his knowledge of medieval warfare and hand to hand combat. It feels like you’re part of the action. Sights, sounds, smells – you are there!

Two authors came to mind while reading: Tolkien and Bernard Cornwell. I’m not suggesting the story is anything like either of them has written, because it’s not. There were subtle things about it, namely battle scenes and characters that brought them to mind.

So anyway, I guess it's fair to say this is a must read!!


Side notes for myself:
Christianity is based off medieval Roman Catholicism
Lot of f-bombs
Hermeticism: Wikipedia
more info here
the short answer
Profile Image for Sad Sunday (Books? Me?!? NEVER!!!) .
358 reviews178 followers
October 22, 2016
This is embarrassing, and I am turning into a picky prick, but I haven't finished this one too. Don't worry, it's not the book - it's me (10 Karma points for honesty, -52481 points for not being able to finish a book for a long time).


To tell the truth, I am cursed. The moment I announce the world of Goodreads that I am enjoying the book (fingers crossed - I promise to never do it again), it turns into crap. It happened with "The Red Knight" - the beginning hooked me, but everything else is "meh". "The Red Knight" might not be a crap, but when I opened it again, I just couldn't force myself to read further. The construction of "The Red Knight" is almost like "Game Of Thrones" - each chapter is dedicated to a character. But they felt too generic (queen - beautiful, knight - funny and strong, The Bad Guy - really bad and evil and etc.). But the stories felt too much apart, without any connection. I know, that is called world and character building, but as action turned into long meaningless dialogues I lost interest. I had 0 interest in was will happen next to the characters. Maybe I am just more into sword and sorcery fantasy than war military epic fantasy? (I learn so much about myself with every book I don't finish...) "The Red Knight" sound like my jam, and I might go back to it since many people said it was awesome (even some parts were teeth shattering), but I am wandering to find a next book to read (hopefully, hahahaha)...
Profile Image for Liviu.
2,284 reviews638 followers
July 23, 2014

i read 100+ pages out of probably the most expected remaining book of 2012 for me, The Red Knight by Miles Cameron and it is very good though it is not quite what i expected so far; the setting is truly medieval with small cities at least so far in the Nord/West - the world may be something like Earth ~1000 so the east may be much more developed; the Wild is out there and it has its denizens, its sentients, its allies and its manipulators but there is also the Church and God's magic as well as more secular human magic; violence and casual brutality abound and life is cheap, but things, especially well made such like armor and weapons are expensive
many pov's and quite a few strands of action, while the narrative flows - if there were a quick comparison for now, a mix of CS Friedman Coldfire and Zoe Oldenburg famed medieval life novels (like The World is not Enough) with a lot more violence

the setting is either an alt-earth or a post-apocalytic one and if this keeps up i could see this one going to #1 for 2012 for me; the book also has images of various characters (at least so far) and these are the first lines

"The Captain of Albinkirk forced himself to stop staring out his narrow, glazed window and do some work.
He was jealous. Jealous of a boy a third of his age, commanding a pretty company of lances. Riding about. While he sat in a town so safe it was dull, growing old
Don’t be a fool, he told himself. All those deeds of arms make wonderful stories, but the doing is cold, wet and terrifying. Remember?
He sighed. His hands remembered everything – the blows, the nights on the ground, the freezing cold, the gauntlets that didn’t quite fit. His hands pained him all the time, awake or
The Captain of Albinkirk, Ser John Crayford, had not started his life as a gentleman. It was a rank he’d achieved through pure talent.
For violence."

I finished Red Knight by Miles Cameron and while I loved it quite a lot and will be in my top 25 of the year, I think that Anthony Ryan's Blood Song (which is still the number one debut of the year and also the best fantasy debut since Name of the Wind) is a stronger debut, while David Hair's Mage's Blood is another one which I may rate slightly higher, though i may rate this one higher...

Red Knight tries and mostly succeeds to combine three things:

- a very historical fiction approach to medieval fantasy as for example appearing in authors like Maurice Druon and Zoe Oldenbourg (I am pretty sure there are such from the UK/US but none come to mind, maybe Pillars of the Earth to some extent would qualify; one characteristic is that life is cheap, but things are expensive); this means the writing is very unsentimental, quite brutal on occasion and is much closer to historical fiction in many ways than it is to fantasy even of the "gritty" kind

- a magical system based on the power of the wild nature, green rather than dark so to speak and embodied in various creatures and people versus the power of the sun, light embodied in the Church and people; this system reminds one strongly of CS Friedman's Cold Fire while the memory chamber approach also reminds of KJ Parker's "rooms"

- a military component as most of the book is war; this gets a bit tiring at the end when slaughtering "boglins" by the thousands becomes tedious, but it has a lot of great moments where the combination of medieval weapons and tactics with modern such given by sorcery (eg aerial bombardment by wyverns, but much more) brings something new to the table; this part is done very well, only it is a bit too long in the end

The structure of the book is in short chunks from multiple POV's and it works mostly well with narrative flowing though I can easily see it leading to confusion in parts. There are a ton of impressive characters of all kinds, most notably the title hero, The (mysterious) Red Knight (about whom we find out in due time most everything about parentage and upbringing with the rest being implied), the real bad boy "Bad Tom" Lachlan, the two sorcerers Thorn and Harmodius, the abbess who hires the Red Knight to protect her important convent/fortress, Queen Desiderata, some local and foreign knights, a few daemons - these are powers of the wild and guardians of the outwallers, an escaped slave who becomes a member of the Sossag one of the "outwallers" indian like tribes and not least a wise and very powerful Dragon.

Where I have reservations is in balance and integration of these quite disparate elements, integration that does not fully work so the book occasionally is less than the sum of its parts, while as mentioned the military aspect becomes somewhat repetitive at the end; also as in most fantasies, the separation of the main hero and his love interest looks really artificial (but this is true to some extent in Blood Song and Mage's Blood, only LE Modesitt not shying away from married heroes with children...); the end of The Red Knight is actually superb as it goes beyond solving the main storyline and setting up the next book The Fell Sword (about which Miles told me he is on page 423 as of a few days ago), but also brings new main players into focus and has a "conversation" for the ages.

Overall, an excellent debut that I hope will find its audience as it combines a few things that usually stay separate in fiction, while I am convinced the technical aspects will only get better as the series progresses.

You can see excellent artwork with all characters on the author's page HERE


FBC Review here; mostly the above with more detail and of course much more coherence

Profile Image for Anton.
302 reviews90 followers
July 31, 2017
I have been answering some questions from my fellow GRs about this book. So I am posting my fullest reply here as a book review.

In summary: 5/5 (well, 4.9/5 if you want to nitpick)

The Red Knight has definitely some faults, but the language, the setting (a clever blend of fantasy and history), the memorable characters, combat sequence and magic system are all top notch. Highly creative, very unusual and deserve the highest recommendation. Despite its faults (e.g. way too many POVs, some with no major bearing on the plot) I keep this book on my 'best of all times' shelf.

Oh, I probably should have made a disclaimer that I really like Christian Cameron (aka Miles Cameron) for his Chivalry series. There is a lot Red Knight has in common with The Ill-Made Knight and it is another gorgeous piece of writing (that I strongly recommend).

My slight grudge though (and I think you should be prepared before you take on a series) is that I feel that the series got too long (5th and final book due in November(I think)) and as you go along it changes from low-magic gritty realistic novel (alt Earth historical setting circa 14CE with magic) into a high fantasy realm. I did not enjoy this transition too much. I reckon it should have been a trilogy, 5 books is a bit of an overkill and it should have stayed closer to the spirit of the 1st book. But this is just me... I am sure people may feel differently.

The good news, on the other hand, is that The Red Knight totally works as a stand-alone as well. It has a sufficiently good resolution of core plot lines at the end.

So my ranking for the first book is 5* - it deserves every one of them.

If you rank the entire series (and I haven't read the last book, of course - perhaps it will remediate my score a bit) it would be 3.5* - 4* territory for me. Still very good, mind you!
Profile Image for Twerking To Beethoven.
391 reviews66 followers
August 16, 2018
"The Red Knight" is Christian Cameron's fantasy debut under the pen-name of "Miles Cameron" (who's also the author of a bunch of thrillers as Gordon Kent) and it's MAGNIFICENT.

I'm really not into long-ass reviews, let me just say that there are knights, wyverns, dragons, warlocks, sorcerers, nuns, weird creatures (daemons, irks & boglins) and... bears. And it's basically the story of a siege.

Structurally, TRK reminds of George Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire", only "The Traitor Son Cycle" has been finished so you won't have to wait God knows how long to read the whole thing. That's all you need to know, I guess.

Highly, highly recommended.
Profile Image for Solseit.
350 reviews81 followers
March 3, 2018
Great book. Absolutely incredible cast of characters (attention to details for both the main character’s side and the opposite), interesting story, fight details that are always captivating. I would even say that the book provides for a straight forward introduction of all the elements and what initially appears to be a good vs evil battle, turns out to be significantly more complicated than that.
I am also impressed by the approach and rendering of spirituality and religion in this book (and again, not portraying only one side of the story).

Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews235 followers
March 11, 2018
DNF 25%

This book started off so well. I instantly grew attached to the knight and his mates. I loved the banter between him and the nun. I also liked that the author made me feel empathy towards the bear. Then he started flipping character perspectives back and forth between several different characters that the book lacked continuity and I wasn't attached to any of the storylines and couldn't really see where this was going.

After twice taking a few days off to see if a change of perspective would help I gave up wanting to read several other books I am fully engaged in.
Profile Image for David.
29 reviews42 followers
April 4, 2014
So I was walking through the library looking for a fix and my eyes fell on this book. I didn't recognize it so I picked it up and glanced at the back. The premise seemed really interesting, and I thought, “hmm, Then, I was dropping my son off at school and someone had it sitting on their front seat. I thought again, “hmm,” I'm going to read that when I get a chance." When I saw it at Barnes and Noble over the weekend I stopped in my tracks and waited for Ashton Kutcher to appear. When, that didn't happen I chocked it up to fate really wanting me to read this book. After all it's unhealthy to go around thumbing your nose at the Moirai.

For once the fates happened to be smiling on me, because this novel was fantastic. I read all six hundred pages in about three days, and every time I put it down I was just itching to pick it back up. The prose is decent, the dialogue just felt right, and the story was very interesting. It's about a mercenary company under a new leader, who prefers his identity remain a secret. He goes by Captain, or the Red Knight. The company is hired by an abbess to track down a creature of the Wild that attacked an outpost. Notice the capitalization of the Wild. The Wild in this novel is a conglomeration of nomadic human tribes, orcs that are not like our traditional Tolkien breed, wyverns, daemons, and a host of other wonderful creatures. All being led by a mysterious magic wielder named Thorn, who wasn't born of the Wild but is a power of the Wild. Cameron's Wild is not populated by dense fauna being incised into frenzy by Thorn. These aren't lions and hyenas being unleashed on an unsuspecting village. Nope, contrary to the popular belief of the populace around the abbey and the country as a whole this is no random incursion. This is war; these creatures have desires and cultures and are rising up against man. And the only defense is a crew of mercenaries made up mostly of murderers and criminals, being led by some bastard noble alone at an abbey. So much awesome!

What I loved about Cameron's story was first the detail put into it. The details on medieval warfare, knights, the world building were awesome. The personification of the wild, giving the hordes a goal was great too. The world building was great because it was like an onion. I wasn't told about it in some long narration but shown through characters.

The dialogue had a wonderful feel to it, and the so called hero, The Captain was awesome. A little like Jorg Ancrath to me, but not so jaded and a little less angry (also not what most consider psychotic). All the characters were rich though. The captain's story was a bit of an underlying mystery too. This novel wasn't a coming of age tale as much as it seemed to be a "Who am I really," tale. These characters are adults; at least as much of an adult as you can be in your early twenties, but this is medieval Europe-esque, so people were matured earlier. The “Who am I,” question seems poignant to today's society, with the disillusionment of the millennial generation, and the lack of jobs and picket white fences available in the country.
Anyway I digress. The secondary characters are not to be ignored, there are a metric buttload of them, but each has a story and I loved that. Everyone is a hero in his/her own story. Lastly, the magic system, hermeticism, was new to me. I liked it, and it wasn't told through theorems and diagrams, but shown.

The only thing that could be a problem to for readers is the multiple POV's. I mean there are a lot of POV's. I think 65% of the populace showed their point of view. Cameron rivals George RR Martin on the multiple character point of views. Some people might get lost. I personally enjoyed the novel regardless, and only had a little trouble at the beginning remembering who was who. But if you can get around that, then this novel will be great for you. This was great fantasy, not grim dark, not high fantasy, just an awesome story. Read it, you'll enjoy it.
Profile Image for Connor.
694 reviews1,661 followers
March 4, 2016
[4.5 Stars]

I read this one with a ton of other BookTubers as a buddy read, and I really enjoyed it. It follows a big cast of characters which all have to deal with a central problem that arises when the Wild decides to fight back against man. It was not pretty. One thing I really loved was that if follows characters from both sides of the story, so you have people on both sides of the conflict that you're rooting to win which obviously can't happen. Our main character, the Red Knight, is the leader of a group of mercenaries that's hired by an Abbess to protect the land she controls. I think the characterization in this book is well done, and each character that you meet and/or follow definitely felt distinct. I never had a tough time keeping them separate in my mind which was something I worried about because it doesn't have a list anywhere. The prose is solid and clear. The world building was fantastic and creative. I loved seeing how Cameron used the creatures of the Wild to both show contrast to man but also similarities. The battle scenes were also done extremely well, and you can certainly see that Cameron has researched them thoroughly. I really had fun learning about the magic in this world slowly as the story went along and figuring out how it worked and the limits that it had. I also appreciated that there is a lot of magic. I think most fantasy I've read recently has been slacking in actual magic, and it was refreshing to read one where it's used on a daily basis.

Some things I didn't like was the pacing. In some sections I was totally flying through the story, excited to see what was next, and then in the next, I would be slogging through hoping it would be over soon. I would have liked to have had it more consistent. Slower reads are fine as long as I don't feel like I'm trudging through snow uphill just to move on to the next POV switch. Also (And this is only for the American edition) there are SO MANY errors in the text. How was this published? It's as if an editor went in and actually made more mistakes than Miles Cameron would have had originally when submitting the script. It was insane, and it definitely pushed me out of the story at some important parts like battles and whatnot. That being said, the good definitely made up a lot for those two things I didn't enjoy. I've seen some people complain about the treatment of women in this one, especially at the beginning of the book. But a bunch of the characters are in the aforementioned mercenary group. They are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to people from this world. They're cheats, thieves, whores, and murderers. If you're expecting them to be upstanding gentleman, um, think again. Don't get me wrong, it's really not that bad, but the men in this book are definitely rough around the edges before they get under the eye of the Abbess.
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