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The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle, #1)
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Kitty G Books (kool_kat_kitty) | 671 comments Mod
Discussion of Chapter 1 ONLY please, no spoilers for any other part of the book!

Kitty G Books (kool_kat_kitty) | 671 comments Mod
Okay so chapter one of this book took me a little bit to get into as initially I didn't much like the character of The Red Knight, however as the story has gone on and we learn a bit more about him I get the feeling that I don't have to necessarily like him, but I just have to follow what he's up to as he's a major character (guessing by the title). maybe as the book goes on we will see him evolve as a character but for now he seems to be rather bitter and a bit of a womaniser so I wonder what he's really like and what he will turn out like after the event of this book.
I was instantly interested by the attack on the nunnery and I'm glad that that happened straight away so that the blurb isn't spoiling the book or anything like that. I think it was a brutal beginning and I get the feeling that the book will continue to be a bloody affair (which is fine by me) and I am interested in seeing what will happen with the Red Knight and his company when they go to fight these 'creatures'.
I also wonder about who the traitor for the Nuns is and whether it will be someone within the Nunnery or some external force trying to create strife, although why this isolated nunnery would be an intended target I don't yet know.
I think that the head Nun (I can't remember her name just now) is a fairly clever and unyielding character who certainly seemed more than able to match The Red Knight in terms of wit and cynicism. She seems like she's lived a long time and seen many things and I guess that is why she knows the threat that is posed for them and agrees to the outrageous terms that he's listed for her.
I was also intrigued by the relationship forming between the Red Knight and Amicia and if that is a plot of some sort between the Nuns or if she genuinely like him...
The Red Knight also seems to have some sort of interesting power which lets him put thoughts in people's minds? It sounds like a pretty cool power and sneaking through a room full of people without them really noticing seems useful, although I wonder what the limitations of this are and why he didn't use it on the Head Nun... Hopefully this is something we'll see a lot more of as the book goes on :)

Moving on to the next character we meet I thought that the Bear was a really great character and one I instantly felt for. In this world we seem to have a division between the humans and the Wilds which I suppose contain all the non-human creatures like Golden Bears and Wyverns etc.
I felt that the treatment of the Bear was really horrible and instantly I connected with her plight to try and save her remaining cub because the people of this world all seem pretty horrible (except the young innocent girl who was also slaughtered and I suppose that shows that there is mercy in the world, but mercy won't save you).
I am interested in the religion side of things because we have a Nunnery as a setting for the Red Knight and then we have Priests appearing and orchestrating Bear-baiting demonstrations because they are from the Wilds... sounds like a pretty harsh and strict world to live in if you're not a human!

Then we meet the character of Ser Mark Wishart who seems to be some sort of hunter of things in the Wild and he comes across the horrific scene of tragedy when the Bear has escaped with her cub. He send his assistant to inform the King whilst he tracks the Bear on his horse and whilst I didn't like that he was a hunter of the bear and clearly wanted to kill it, the fact that he had some thoughts of mercy and remorse over what had to be done made him a promising character in my mind.

Finally we meet the magician-type-character called Thorn and he is in league or in control of some of the many creatures within the Wilds and he somehow has managed to bind them to him and make them do his bidding.
I like the demon character of Tunxis who seemed to be really resentful of his enslavement and I wonder what his race is like and what will happen when the 'invaders' fully enter their land (I expect there may be more blood).
Then he summons Sidhi who is a Wyvern and asks her to hunt the men who are intruding and I have a feeling that he's behind the slaughter at the monastery which we first saw too. He seems pretty bad-ass and in control of some very powerful beings so I wonder what his end goal is and what he's aiming for within this book.

On the whole I like the way this is set up with various characters and although it took a little bit to grip me I am interested in where this is going and I like the way it's written so far. I hope this will be a fun book (as if so I will probably continue with the series) and I look forward to diving deeper into what seems like a complex and exciting world!

D.H. | 7 comments It took me a little while to get into the first time as well. However, I personally immediately liked the character of the Red Knight. What won me over even the first time I read it, is that while yes, he is a bitter character, I like characters who think for themselves and sort of don’t care about conventions. This is a mediaeval setting, where people are deeply religious and he just makes those blasphemous comments even though he knows people don’t like it.
But what won me over the most was the fact that he also he hires women, a former prostitute at that, which is unheard of during that time period.
So, though I do have to concur that he is bitter, knowing why after having read book 2 as well, I do understand his bitterness. I agree he is not a sunshine of a character, but please give him a chance. ;-)

I think the perspective of the Golden Bear is one that could have been cut?! I mean, the function of including the Golden Bear’s perspective is pretty clear, but I didn’t necessarily like it. I didn’t mind it either. I appreciate what the author is trying to do.

The nuns are interesting to me as well, especially the Abbess. I also liked the banter between her and the Red Knight.

Do you fully understand the magic in the book? I know it’s based on Hermeticism, but I can’t fully visualize it. I don’t know why because I do think the author describes it so well. So maybe someone can explain it to me. Also, is the Red Knight’s former tutor Prudentia still alive and thinking for herself in his head? Or how is she in his memory palace? What exactly goes on when they "cast a working"or whatever it is called?

Thorn is also interesting, though his parts are my least favorite. Do you guys like the “villains” perspective in books or do you prefer the villain to be this distant enigma?

message 4: by Teanka (new) - added it

Teanka Just finished reading the first chapter.
Based on this, I think I will probably enjoy the book. It has many protagonists and therefore looks epic to me. Needless to say, that's the kind of fantasy I enjoy the most. I also was immediately intrigued by the Red Knight character. Okay, he's not the sort of person I'd like to meet in real life, but he's interesting especially when seen from his own perspective where we get to know his thoughts and emotions. Obviously there are a lot of secrets concerning his past that will be discovered at some point (like how did he become the captain when still so young, what is the nature of his magic or really what is his real name? Right now we only know that he's a bastard son /'bourc'/of some noble).Also there was a good bit of humour included triggered by the contrast of the Red knight's actions and his actual thoughts where we see that he is not as confident or full of himself as he'd like the others to think. He also behaved quite gently towards the nun he kissed - it's not quite as if he raped her or anything, and he accepted 'no' for an answer. And similar to D.H., I also liked him for having Sauce, a woman, in his company of mercenaries when no other company would have her.

As for Thorn, the villain, I have mixed feelings. It'd be interesting to know how he obtained his present unhuman looks and why does he hate the mankind so, does he crave for power or something different? As for liking or not the villain's perspective in books, I'd say it depends. Sometimes it proves fascinating, and there are books where the villain's character grows and develops into one of the protagonists, and that's my favourite kind of a villain protagonist's story. But I don't like the perspective of plain evil people without explaining their motives, in that case I guess I'd prefer a distant kind of villain.

I liked the magic in that it's green in aura and obviously connected to nature and the Wild, and banned by religion. I don't really understand its nature either and would rather assume this will come later in the story unless it doesn't of course :) I don't think Prudentia is in Red Knight's head for real, I think his memory palace is just an imaginary thing that helps him concentrate and cast spells or remember the details of some events, as in some kind of mind technique.

Kaitlin, you forgot one character, ser John Crayford , the captain of Albinkirk who is three times older than the Red Knight, came to his position through the ranks and is 'jealous of a boy a third of his age, commanding a pretty company of lances' . I don't know if he is one of the main characters, but I think the fact that he was the first one to tell us about the Red knight makes it more probable for the reader to dislike the protagonist right on the spot and that was probably deliberate on the author's part, he wanted him to be full of contradictions and that is fine with me.

Kaitlin wrote: "I also wonder about who the traitor for the Nuns is and whether it will be someone within the Nunnery or some external force trying to create strife, although why this isolated nunnery would be an intended target I don't yet know."

Well I think that question was answered already in the same chapter. My belief is that there is no internal traitor in the nunnery as it was Tunxis who shot sister Hamisia from behind and Thorn who probably talked to her at the time. Also, the motif for attacking the nunnery is obviously that of reclaiming the valley for the Wild. But then I am really concerned with why did sister Hamisia have to be shot with a Witch-Bane arrow? How come she had power and the Abbess didn't know about it? And what exactly was she doing in the steading? I'm pretty sure there's more to this case than meets the eye.

Kaitlin wrote: "Then we meet the character of Ser Mark Wishart who seems to be some sort of hunter of things in the Wild"
Well ser Mark Wishart is no ordinary hunter, he is 'the Prior of the Order of Saint Thomas. A paladin, no less'. Which to me creates an instant contrast between what I feel would be the decent thing to do under the circumstances ( leave the poor golden bear be, allowing her to escape to the Wild with her surviving cub) and what our paladin does (following her trails and trying to kill her at all costs even at the expense of his own life). Somehow killing wild animals doesn't strike me as a main goal of paladin's life, but it seems that in this world it's the noble thing to do. Obviously religion is in constant strife with nature and magic. Now that I've thought about this, I am quite probable to come to like the Red Knight, based solely on the fact that he is not religious and embraces magic.

peggylovesbooks | 36 comments The first chapter was hard to stay focused for me. With the introduction of the Red Knight not sure if I like him or his men.

Thought it interesting the animals in the Wild are fighting back, is someone putting a plan in action to take someone out...maybe the nuns since they are getting attacked?

Hope the next chapter is better

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