Book Review: The Forever Knight

The Forever Knight (A Novel of the Bronze Knight, #4)The Forever Knight by John Marco

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fourth Lukien novel John Marco has published, “The Forever Knight” is a break from the format and story of the previous books, giving new readers an excellent opportunity to dip into this saga. Cursed with immortality by the spirit living within his sword, Lukien begins this novel restless and aimless. He’s a man who lives a life without consequence. When the ancient spirit in your sword can heal you of any wound, mortal or benign, what challenge is there in living?

Despite the teaser for this book, this book does not dwell on the Inhumans or Lukien’s roll as their protector. With the usual grace of a fantasy novel, Lukien is cast out into the world on a quest, sword in hand and companion at his side. While the stated goal of the quest is to find answers to his companion, Cricket’s, past, it’s obvious what is really the objective – to find a purpose and challenge to satisfy an immortal knight.

In my mind, two things set this novel apart from many fantasy novels. The first was the decision to present this tale in the first person. For new readers especially, this can be daunting in second world fantasy, where there is no frame of reference for understanding the environment and cultures around the POV. Marco succeeds here by painting with broad strokes, sketching a world and people we can almost see, without lingering on the details that aren’t relevant. Not a common choice, but the first person worked well for this story.

The second factor that set this novel apart from so many other epic fantasy novels these days was breadth. At 282 pages, it’s a relatively light contender compared to other tomes available. I would continue to argue that this isn’t a bad trend to see in books these days. Presenting readers with a single, well drafted adventure can be so much more satisfying than a collection of adventures sewn together for the sake of bulk.

In both efforts I think Marco succeeded with “The Forever Knight.” An entertaining adventure story that was extremely accessible for a first time reader, and a well written introduction to a new chapter in this character’s journey.

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