The Gift Knight’s Quest by Dylan Madeley
Publisher: Troubador Publishing
Publication Date: March 2015
Welcome to Kensrik, a world vividly imagined by Dylan Madeley, in which his debut fantasy novel The Gift-Knight’s
Quest is set. His book follows the youngest descendants of two families that have traditionally been enemies: the
Kenderleys, who now rule the world’s largest empire, and the Wancyeks, who have been reduced to common status.
“Chandra had yet to fathom why Jonnecht could not have lived and ruled for many long years, or why it was so urgent that she ascend immediately.”
Chandra never asked to rule Kensrik, but fate took a strange course. Known as a usurper and sorceress by most and traumatised by all that has transpired, she is forced to make use of the few loyal allies she has in order to hold together her restless empire. In an attempt to identify and defeat the conspirators who inadvertently landed her in power, Chandra risks putting the lives of many in mortal danger, as well as her own.
Derek is an aimless wanderer – the youngest in a lineage that has long fallen from nobility. He finds himself summoned by tradition to serve a family historically considered his bitter enemy. As he journeys down the same path a fateful ancestor once travelled, he struggles with personal demons and begins to reconsider his loyalty to the mission.
Duke Lenn found one true cause in love and it cost him everything. His legacy shaped the present in which Chandra and Derek find themselves. Now their choice will shape the future of Kensrik…
The Gift-Knight’s Quest is set in a new and vividly imagined world, written with delicate prose that will allow the reader to explore with their imagination. Inspired by authors such as Michael Moorcock, J. G. Ballard and Roger Zelazny, it will appeal to fans of fantasy and historical fiction.
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
The Gift Knight’s Quest features Derek, a young soldier who has been sent on a mission to the royal court. He is a descendant of a rival dynasty and is torn between revenge and honour. On the other hand is Chandra, a young woman whose parents recently died, leaving her to take up the task of running the kingdom alone.
Reading this book left me with conflicted feelings with regards to whether I like the story or not. The author is a good writer, especially when it comes to descriptions and such, but I found myself getting frustrated when the descriptions turned wordy and simply excessive. There’s a lot of switching between characters and time periods, so much so that I started to lose focus and interest. The fact that these switches don’t come with clear warnings only made matters worse.
The plot is actually quite fascinating and much better than average, as I usually love a good medieval fantasy with plot twists and murders and a little action. Sadly, I wasn’t as invested in this story as I could have been, and I think it’s partly because The Gift Knight’s Quest has a lot of politics going on. I normally wouldn’t mind the presence of politics, especially in view of the fact that Dylan Madeley is very good at world building, but coupled with the wordiness of some parts, it just became too much for me.
I do like the realness and depth of the characters, and even though the story is not exactly what I expected, it’s still a good one from a debut author.
Overall, The Gift Knight’s Quest is a pretty good fantasy story with the works; but it’s just not for me! The end of the story leaves the reader open to the possibility of a sequel, so be on the lookout for more from this author.