Review: The Return of the Knights

  • Title:
    • The Return of the Knights
  • Author:
    • Gregory Kontaxis
  • Release:
    • May 9, 2023
  • Format:
    • Paperback
  • Series:
    • The Dance of Light

The Return of the Knights starts off with a glossary. I’ve never encountered a book that did this, but I quickly understood why. It’s one of those books that expect you to hit the ground running, so to speak. There’s no overly long, introduction to the world, you’re just dropped into it and you learn about it through dialogue. Normally, I’d say this is a brave approach to take, as the reader doesn’t yet have a reason to care. I was quickly intrigued and couldn’t put this book down.

The setting of a nation at war, with sloppy spies around any corner and an insurmountable foe made for an excellent read. Each character was as compelling as the last, and the multiple POVs were an excellent way to get into the head of each character and build suspense in between important moments.

The PoV switches made for great stopping points. Not that I used them for that purpose. I read from page 250 to 394 in one sitting because I just couldn’t put this book down. Often, I’d finish a character’s chapter and desperately want to know what followed, but the story switched PoVs and I just had to go along with it. It didn’t fall into the trap of so many stories where characters only exist when they’re needed for a scene. The PoV shifts made it clear that the world was alive and that it didn’t revolve around the protagonists, despite their importance.

I was invested and engaged from the start. With each reveal, I was in shock. During the tense moments, it had my heart pounding. Even when I was sure the protagonist(s) would be safe, despite the certain danger they were in, I had to know how they made it out ok. Part of what had me so invested was how well each character was written. They all felt like genuine human beings with complex emotions. I followed the subtle romance of two characters throughout the book and I appreciated how it wasn’t the center of attention. Their romance was just another detail that built the world and brought these characters to life.

I’m unsure if I should call this a slow-paced book or not. In the grand scheme of things, not a whole lot happened. That being said, it never felt slow. It felt like a journey that was being played out, with the important moments being on the page, and the otherwise dull moments being glossed over or skipped.

The Return of the Knights is one of the better fantasy novels I’ve read. I really didn’t have any criticisms of it while I was reading it. I enjoyed every aspect of it from cover to cover. I’m super excited to return to this world whenever the second book releases.

Note: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a physical review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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