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.