The King Below, Enemy of the World, is dead. Will his successor save the world...or rule it? Jacob Riverson was once the greatest hero of an age. Cut down during what should have been the final battle against the King Below, he was condemned to centuries of torment as a Wraith Knight in the service of said monster. With the destruction of his master, Jacob finds his free will returning and discovers he is in a world torn by civil war between the King Below's former slaves and the heroes who "saved" them. Joining forces with the overly-idealistic but brilliant warrior Regina Whitetremor, Jacob must determine whether he has any place in the new world and whether his destiny is as a hero or monster. Or both. Wraith Knight is book one of the Three Worlds saga by C.T. Phipps.
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Jacob Riverson, Knight Paramount of the Shadow Guard, The Sounthern Kindoms guardians against, after killing Kurzad, one of the four Dark Lords (think super powered Ring Wraiths) in combat, He faces the King Below, the trixter God of Evil, in the final battle of the fourth age. The King below kills him by running him through. 250 years later, he becomes aware again, standing on a mountain top, facing the trixter god in his not battle guise. Jacob is told by the God that he is a wraith and that he replaced the last Kurzad as his Dark servant, and has been a dark force of evil fighting for the King Below against the forces of light. As they speak, two dragons come flying up, with knights riding them, fighting each other. As the smaller dragon is killed, it's rider, a female knight, calls on Jacob to help her, thinking he is a knight of the Shadow Guard. He decides to help her, and uses his powers to kill the other knights and their Dragon. Thus starts his journey with Regina, a current Shadow guard, who have fallen greatly since Jacobs time in the guard. She tells him the King Below was killed by the nine heroes, and then they usurped the rule of the Southern kingdoms. So starts a huge series of adventures and tribulations, as Jacob has to deal with the evil did as the Dark Lord, and figure how he can use that power for good. Along the way, they travel the kingdoms, fight one of the usurpers, meet Sarah, a dark powers witch who isnt evil, and go to The King Belows Kingdom, where Jacob decides his final fate. The final battle of the book is epic, with huge revelations about the forces behind the events of the last 250 years, about Jacobs past, and about future directions of the series. This book has everything fans of epic, dark fantasy clamor for. Flawed characters, deeply complicated politics, falls from grace, chances at redemption. The author also has complicated interpersonal relationships, incluing intimate ones, along the lines of A Crown for Cold Silver. They are as natural as breathing, not something added to create a "message". Watching Jacob's voyage throught this book is great, since he is such a great flawed character, having done aweful things, both for good and evil reasons, and seeing him strive for redemption. His companions are also fully realized, no just cutout props. There is great magic of various sorts throughout, and a surprising amount of snark for a dark epic like this. All in all, a definite 5 star listen. Kevin Collins Narration was great, and I can't wait to check out his other work. If your looking for something to compare this to, the closest thing would be Alex Marshall's A Crown for Cold Silver. I can't recommend it highly enough.
I mostly tried this book because I read the authors other series a parody of superheroes/villians. This was very fun for anyone who is familiar with fantasy and Lord of the Rings. The story starts quickly and keeps you moving along while introducing more new characters and filling in the history and backstory for the world and the characters as you go along at a nice pace. I do think they could have focused on some characters a little bit more to make them feel a bit more real but hopefully that will come with the sequel.
Basically the main character is a goodish guy who did questionable things to fight a war against this worlds equivalent to Sauron and then got killed and made into this worlds equivalent Ring wraiths. Basically the Evil God is defeated and wants the protagonist to take his place and be the evil overlord. This seems comical at first but get more deeply serious as the book goes on and we learn much more about the heroes history and the true history of this world and its gods. I look forward to this books sequel and its surprising dark and bright shades of gray.