I love fantasy novels.
Let's get this out of the way here and now; you're never going to read a review that isn't biased one way or the other. Anyone who tells you otherwise either doesn't know what the word objective actually means, or is trying to sell you something.
So in my first review, and god willing nowhere near the last, I'm going to let you know which side my bread is buttered on.
If I'm ever paid for this, or if someone ever sends me a book to review, I'll be sure to say that right from the get-go.
Enough of this housekeeping meshugas, let's get literal.
Sebastien's quartet of novels that comprise The Greatcoats are all fantastic. The final installment in the series was given to me as an early birthday present and being the kind of idiot that reads until 3 in the morning when he works at 6, I finished it in ~28 hours (not of straight reading, work got in the way of that, and I threw a handful of hours to the great god Sleep).
Tyrant's Throne is a character-driven experience that takes you on an emotional journey and leaves you conflicted once you're finally through the adventure. Like all my favourite books, I was sad when I was done because I had to say goodbye to the characters I love. When I re-read the series I'll be elated to see them again, but I always judge a book based on how much I regret finishing so soon.
A less mature person than I would stick in a dirty joke here...I'm not much better though, seeing as I drew attention to it...
Anyway, the journey was unbelievably enjoyable, exactly what I've come to expect from Sebastien. Excellently crafted sword fights balanced with humorously witty banter; sinister plots hatched by Machiavellian minds challenged by a cast of empathetic, memorable characters.
It's not all fun though; Falcio, Brasti and Kest, hell all of Tristia, have a dark heart and in Tyrant's Throne their world is collapsing around them. Sebastien's insights into human nature and the frailty of relationships, even bonds of friendship older than time, will rattle you.
You feel every triumph and every setback viscerally; a fantastical setting filled with everything the real world has to throw at us.
Tyrant's Throne is filled with life; and, if you haven't read the previous three novels in the Greatcoats series, I implore you to stop wasting your time reading my nonsense and immerse yourself in an incredibly vibrant world.
I was enraptured the moment I picked it up and my only solace is the tease at the end.
Falcio, Kest, and Brasti will return...
This is one reader, who cannot wait!