cover image Quillifer the Knight

Quillifer the Knight

Walter Jon Williams. Saga, $16.99 trade paper (544p) ISBN 978-1-4814-9001-6

Lively adventure, court politics, and clandestine romance combine in the exquisitely detailed, if occasionally tedious, follow up to 2018’s Quillifer. Knighted at the end of his previous outing, Quillifer continues to build his reputation in the kingdom of Duisland through a series of episodic quests. His exploits, as he recounts to one of his many paramours, include dragon-slaying, duels, entrepreneurial endeavors, and royal intrigue. Many of the friends and enemies Quillifer made in the first novel return, most notably the spiteful nymph Orlanda, who continues to torment him for rejecting her advances. Williams eases away from the picaresque form of the previous installment to provide more of a through line; each of Quillifer’s adventures embroils him further in Duisland’s politics as the kingdom prepares for war and a treasonous plot brews around the queen’s sister, Floria. Although Quillifer’s self-confidence sometimes veers into smug arrogance and his boasting can grow tiring, he is a savvy and skilled hero. Series fans will enjoy checking back in with Quillifer and be gratified by the more cohesive plot. Agent: Eddie Schneider, JABberwocky. (Nov.)