The Red Knight by Miles Cameron (5 stars)

The Red Knight by Miles Cameron

(Five stars out of five.)

“Do well. Act with courtesy and dignity … because it is the only way to live. And that is as true for my kind as for yours.”
The best fully realized high Medieval fantasy since Tolkien. Chivalry, courtly love, feudal politics, the art and logistics of Medieval warfare. So detailed it borders on fussy. But wait, there’s more. Complex, deeply realized adversarial culture, too. (the Wild) Ooo. All seen from the “inside.” Divisions, doubt, love, sacrifice—it’s got them all. (The only things missing were festering wounds and filth. Okay by me. Yes, healing magic is the best.)
The use of Arthurian names is unfortunate because it mislead inattentive readers to mistake this for another Arthur redo. No, though it shares the same cultural moment as The Faerie Queene and Idylls of the King, The Red Knight is a new culture with a new history and magic.
This can only be compared to Tolkien. Robert Jordan did less in eleven volumes of the Wheel of Time that Cameron crams into 700 pages. But wait, there’s more. The Fell Sword (AKA Book Two) continues the Traitor Son Chronicles. (Sign me up.) In fact, imbedded in the story are hints of the future, including an unsubtle foreshadowing of the development of gunpowder weapons. (You’ll be surprised who is hastening that technological innovation, which is certain to be a game—if not world—changer.)
Cameron’s fuzzy-focus, ambiguous treatment of religion versus technology versus magic—not to mention the Red Knight’s true identity—allows the reader to insert her own spin to what she is reading.
Yes, the point of view and locus of the tale changes quickly and often, but Cameron is meticulous to inform us whose head we’re in and where he is.
Quibble: There may only be one Power but not all values are relative, as highlighted by the opening quote. (If I tell you who says it, it would spoil the fun.)
Glad I tightened my scoring this year. Makes giving five stars to this freshman fantasy effort (by an accomplished historical fiction writer) all the more meaningful.
Read and enjoy.
“Man and the wild, while being two sides of a coin, can live together…. Nothing about a coin is separate.”


2 thoughts on “The Red Knight by Miles Cameron (5 stars)

  1. Best Read in recent Memory! Burned through in 2 1/2 days. Lot’s of Blade Work and quality done. Immediately ordered ‘The Fell Sword”. Upon finishing “The Red Knight!”. There’s no dawdling and dragging like Martin, this is a rollicking good read! Equestrians note these mounts aren’t mere props in this tome. If I can name drop another favorite, this reminds me of Steven Pressfield, and that’s as good as it gets.

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