cover image The Red Knight

The Red Knight

Miles Cameron. Orbit, $16.99 trade paper (746p) ISBN 978-0-316-21228-1

Fans of hefty adventure epics will enjoy this dense, intricately plotted historical fantasy debut, which launches the Traitor Son Cycle. A medieval Europe threatened by the chaos and magic of Wild creatures turns to two dubious civilizing forces: the church and bands of cutthroat knights for hire. Normally the Wild are powerful, semi-intelligent animals and magical beings without direction or discipline, but a rogue sorcerer named Thorn is summoning the Wild to fight the forces of church and law and sees taking the fortress nunnery Lissen Carak as the first step in overrunning the kingdom. The abbess of Lissen Carak reluctantly hires the Red Knight and his group of mercenaries to defend the abbey, but she isn’t sure which is worse: the Wild forces, or the mercenaries’ threats to her nuns’ virtue. Cameron, a pseudonymous author of historical fiction, packs this thick volume with enough magic, violence, and intrigue for three books, flavoring the story with period detail and earthy dialogue. (Jan.)