In the past I’ve found the promotional bag of books from a con can vary widely in terms of quality. One treasure that emerged from my World Fantasy Convention bag, though, is THE RED KNIGHT by Miles Cameron. I’m about to send my copy off to a friend, and I thought I’d recommend it to other folks as well.
In flavor, it reminds me a little of what I like about Joe Abercrombie – a nice grittiness to the characters, as well as a melange of viewpoints that end up weaving together coherently to deliver a story that pulls you along. The social structure feels medieval, full of knights and squires, but while noble by birth, most are not noble in nature. I like strong female characters in my fiction, and there’s plenty of them in here, including some older ones, which I appreciate. The fighting is nicely choreographed and realistic, without the description ever getting tedious.
It’s the usual some dark mystic force is invading sort of plotline, but it’s enjoyable and tense. I’m a fan of big fat fantasy novels, and this is both engaging and highly satisfactory, to the point where I’m eager to read the next, since THE RED KNIGHT is the first of a trilogy. The jacket says Miles Cameron writes historical fiction under another name, and I’m going to poke around and see if I can’t find his other work, since I enjoyed this so much.