Author: John Marco
Publisher: DAW Hardcover
Pub Date: April 2, 2013
Lukien is the Bronze
Knight, beloved by his kingdom and renowned in battle throughout his
world. After betraying his king and losing his beloved, he wishes only
for death, but rather than die, Lukien is given a chance for redemption:
to be the protector of the Inhumans—those fragile mortals who live deep
in the desert, far from the prying eyes of their world. These
remarkable individuals have been granted magical powers in exchange for
the hardships and handicaps life has handed them. And Lukien, now
immortal himself, must be their champion. But how can one man, even an
immortal warrior, protect hundreds from a world of potential enemies? (Synopsis from Goodreads)
Though it was the fourth book in a series, I didn't have trouble following Lukien's journey in this book. His back story was made clear without slowing down the narrative (in fact, I'd be interested to go back and read the first books), and the plot clipped along with the adventure and some heart-wrenching events.
The thing that drew me in from the beginning was Lukien's spirit protector, Malator, who resides in Lukien's sword. Lukien seems to be close to immortal because of Malator, and this is something that the knight struggles with. At points, he just wants to give up and die--or he thinks he does, until he is brought face to face with that option.
One thing I didn't buy was Lukien's choice to bring a little girl, Cricket, along with him to a dangerous land to act as his squire. Lukien is brave and honourable, and clearly struggles with things like right and wrong, and life and death. I feel like a knight like him would never, ever bring a young girl to certain danger like that, no matter how much she begged to come along.
However, Cricket's involvement in the story is key, so I have to overlook that fact. She is my favourite character in the book, bringing cheer to Lukien's darkened heart. And the fact that she can't remember her past keeps me curious throughout their journey.
The Forever Knight was an entertaining read, well written with a tragic twist. It could be read as a stand alone, but I'd suggest starting at the beginning of the series if you are interested in following Lukien's transformational journey.
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