Books of the Bronze Knight, Book Four
By John Marco
Available now from DAW (Penguin)
Review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours
Read my review of THE EYES OF GOD
THE FOREVER KNIGHT has been a long time coming. The first three novels in the Books of the Bronze Knight series were out when I reviewed THE EYES OF GOD in 2008, my first year of blogging. Given the wait, some might find it especially slim in comparison to the original trilogy. But THE FOREVER KNIGHT is both a wonderful continuation of the series and a new beginning. A wise move on John Marco's part, to draw in new readers. I think THE FOREVER KNIGHT can be easily read by someone who is totally unaware there are earlier books. (And, well, I still need to read the third book myself.)
Lukien is both the Bronze Knight and the Forever Knight. He's nearly immortal and a talented warrior. Perfect for a knight-errant. But he has his weaknesses. He's brittle and directionless, a hero without a cause. Also, he has a gift for making the worst possible decisions. At least his companion Cricket has the excuse of youth for her bad decisions. I'm starting to think Lukien is not that smart.
THE FOREVER KNIGHT is a quick read. Marco's keeps the story moving. There are several different storylines in play, involving the fate of no less than two countries, but they're all intertwined. The least involved story is that of Cricket, who wants to recover her memories, but it's pretty easy to guess that her memories of Akyre aren't totally uninvolved with everything else that is happening. I do wish her character had been a little more deeply defined, but she's a nice foil to the jaded and overly confident Lukien.
The character of Malator, the spirit in Lukien's sword that keeps Lukien alive, is developed more in THE FOREVER KNIGHT. He can be the typical cryptic mentor, but he's also got a sense of snark. He also reveals a bit of a nasty streak of hypocrisy in Lukien, given how often Lukien treats Malator like a slave when he gets in a snit.