The King Below, Enemy of the World, is dead. Will his successor save the world...or rule it? Jacob Riverson was once the greatest hero of an age. Cut down during what should have been the final battle against the King Below, he was condemned to centuries of torment as a Wraith Knight in the service of said monster. With the destruction of his master, Jacob finds his free will returning and discovers he is in a world torn by civil war between the King Below's former slaves and the heroes who "saved" them. Joining forces with the overly-idealistic but brilliant warrior Regina Whitetremor, Jacob must determine whether he has any place in the new world and whether his destiny is as a hero or monster.
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Wraith Knight based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Jacob Riverson was once the foremost knight in the fight against the King Below. But when he awakes centuries after his final battle, he is horrified to discover that he has been co-opted to fight for his enemy as the Wraith Knight of the title. On one level, Wraith Knight takes a number of familiar fantasy tropes; knights, dragons, quests, etc. but inverts many of them. Many of the knights are revealed to have been brutal in their objectives, the latter quest is not to destroy an evil source of power but to claim one. But on another deeper level, it also examines themes of good and evil, how difficult it can be to tell one from the other and how you can't really have one without the other. Jacob remembers only fragments of his past but since the story is told in the first person, this works to the book's advantage, since we get to learn the truth about Jacob at the same time he does. The accompanying drawback to this is that it can sometimes be difficult to fully connect with the character. Overall though, he is well enough written to maintain some sympathy. There are relatively few other characters, but each makes an impact on the plot. My favorite was probably the Trickster, a persona of the King Below that exists only in Jacob's mind. Sometimes sarcastic, sometimes creepy but always entertaining. There has obviously been a great deal of thought put into this world, its empires and race but I was left with the feeling that this book only scratched the surface of what there is to know. Likewise, while the book does finish at an appropriate point, there is still plenty of room for Jacob's story to continue. I'm looking forward to more.
The world and characters have been intricately carved so that there's no doubt that the author sees and knows them clearly during the writing. It's a fun plot. There's plenty of action and adventure. There's also plenty of politics and religion if those are your things. The trouble with most fantasy books is that the first book has so much information to give out and there really isn't a good way to do that. Just getting to know the characters and what's really going on takes close to the first half of the book. Still, by the end of the book, I didn't really feel connected. Once I start the second book, I know it will be different. Everything has been laid in place so there's a lot more room for building the reader/character/world connection. Phipps keeps plenty of humor running throughout the book. His dialogue holds plenty of wit and banter. It does a brilliant job of breaking up all of the adventure, revenge, hatred, and fear that are the main components of the book. If you've read Phipps previous works, expect this to be different. The writing style, voice, character and world creation, are vastly different than his other books. Not less, different. Those who enjoy fantasy are sure to love this book. They'll love it even more once it officially becomes a series.