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AncalagonTheBlack

The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron

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Just finished The Red Knight and in was very impressed. Enjoy this immensely. Most fantasy I read just doesn't have that special something that grabs you and keeps you turning pages into the wee hours of night. This did. I see the last book just came out. 

So, question, and please don't spoil me at all. Do the books just keep getting better and better? I see so much room for mystery and intrigue, which the first book had me craving to go straight to the 2nd. How did you guys feel about the other books?

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The second book has some pacing issues that put it a bit below the first (but partly, it's coz Cameron's playing the long game and it pays off later in the series), the third book is fucking awesome, the fourth book is a little below that but still really good and the just-released fifth is absolutely bonkers.

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On 10/31/2017 at 5:16 AM, polishgenius said:

The second book has some pacing issues that put it a bit below the first (but partly, it's coz Cameron's playing the long game and it pays off later in the series), the third book is fucking awesome, the fourth book is a little below that but still really good and the just-released fifth is absolutely bonkers.

Now that the series is over and i'm assuming you're about to finish this soon,where would you rank this among all the other top epic fantasy series you've read?

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Dude I finished it a week ago.


I rank it very high. Malazan is above it, but not much else (and it ends stronger than Malazan, at least on a first read). Objectively there are other series that are better written or have a few less pacing issues, but for the sheer enjoyment I got out of it, it's right near the top.

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I'm half way through the last book and I have to say I just love this series. It's absolutely one of my favorites.  

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Finished The Fell Knight, and as @polishgenius said it did seem more of a set-up book. But, I am very interested in this series. To a break to read Deadhouse Landing, but onto the 3rd tonight. 

This series, so far to me, has the potential to be something really special.

Edited by Michael Seswatha Jordan

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Ducked into this thread on a whim. Sounds really intriguing. Kindle price for the first book is $2.99. So I gabbed it. 

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2 hours ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Just starting The Fall of Dragons, super excited to see the ending of this story. I'm actually surprised there isn't more discussion on these books. Maybe there was though, I am late to the game with these books.

Pretty great that you've managed to almost finish the series in a month! :)

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6 hours ago, AncalagonTheBlack said:

Pretty great that you've managed to almost finish the series in a month! :)

I can't put it down. I have the advantage of getting some reading time at work also. But, yea, some of the best stuff I've come across.

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And to think I just said in the monthly reading thread that I was surprised there was no dedicated thread for this series.  I just needed to look harder.

I've read #1-4 within the past three months.  It just flies along.  I'm really enjoying it, although it has some flaws, notably the gary stu main protagonist and that the treatment of the main characters feels like a mix of Harry Potter and Rand al'Thor -- lots of coupling off, everyone has their own special niche in the team that supports and never over-shadows the star, will he die or not, prince-in-waiting trope plus lots of convenient allies to give him massive power-ups.

But I shouldn't focus too much on the flaws.  I'd rather enjoy the positives: great focus on tactics and logistics, very good details on arms and armor, innovative magic system that doesn't overpower the story, good breadth in world building that does a very nice job of using familiar geography & history with just enough of a twist to make it an alternate world, enough factions to add interest beyond the simple dark lord trope.

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Posted (edited)
On 10/23/2017 at 11:23 AM, polishgenius said:

Well, I've finished it. That was a lot to process. Worthy finale, though.


Some thoughts and questions for when all you slowcoaches catch up.

MAJOR SPOILERS HERE ENTER AT YOUR PERIL

  Reveal hidden contents

Weird setup. All the major peril happens before the final confrontation so by the time they actually face down Ash, it's more or less a foregone conclusion and the text makes that explicitly clear. It'll probably read less weird, Malazan-style, reading the series in a shorter timeframe as one thing than as a series of individual novels over time, where this entire book will be the final act. I didn't dislike it but it did make for less tension than it might have. Individuals were still in peril, so it wasn't absent, but the overall goal was by then safe. That made

sense, because it was the entire goal of the plan, and then making it a desparate last stand anyway would have felt artificial, but still... odd.

 

That said, the book as a whole was... awesome. Just relentless. Was kind of hard keeping track of who's where and doing what to who and why and who's dead and who's alive and who's gonna be mourning who, but that's been sorta true in all the books, just amped up here over what was, essentially, an 800 page battle sequence. And it kept me on my toes. I prefer needing to pay real close attention and have material for rereads than the text heavy-handedly pointing things out to me.


The one thing I was a little unhappy with was that the epilogue wasn't long enough. Cameron does an excellent thing in battle scenes of killing people totally at random, truncating perfectly good character arcs just like real life would, but because of the way he writes them and how many characters there are, he's always needed that comedown to process who's died and how it affects (1) the characters and (2) us (or at least, me). He's done it well till now, but here it was just a little too quick.

That said, it was nice to see Morgan doing the creative thing at the end.

I'm assuming I'm not the only one  thinking he's coming back to this world. I mean, I think he's said as much at some point? But this seems to make it really likely The main plot is done but there's so many hanging questions with regards to (1) the dragons, especially whether Lot can be trusted, and (2), apothesis, and what comes of it (that isn't a question that needs an answer but it seems like the text promises that they'll come, and then they don't). It probably wouldn't be done in this era/place with these characters, but it seems like there are open questions about the worlds that he was setting up to answer.


The world of the dead dragons and remnants of the original Empress reminded me heavily of the warren of dead Dragons in Malazan. And that also seemed setup for future ideas, given that it took a literal detour from the plot just to show us this.

Question: have we seen Gabriel subsume anyone in the books? The question of why him and Amicia go through apothesis and not Mort has one of two answers, for me: either it's the growth of power via personal practice and improvement leads to it whereas by subsumation doesn't, or the  theory that Dragons are what saints/apothesists (I think I made that word up) come back as dragons holds true and is caused by the blood of Lot running in Gabriel and Amicia's veins that leads to it.

Question: is Lot the father of Gabriel via the rape of Ghause? That's what's implied but doesn't seem to fit the king's reactions to Gabriel earlier in the series (plus, why the fuck would Smythe disguise himself as the king)? Unless it was that the rape happened as we thought but Gabriel was concieved at a similar time but separately, with Lot.

Question: where the fuck was Tar in all this? Have I forgotten something about what happened to her in earlier books? Seems like the alliance could really have used more of those who work against negative outcomes. Or at least those lot couldn't have expected the alliance to be successful without further help once Lot seemed to go down.

Question: is it just me, or was there the merest hint that the dead world with the poison grass that turns out to be an entire city planet is (1) the original human homeworld and (2) us, in the far future? The main thing dissuading me from this theory is I don't really like the Arthurian, and real world national and geographic, parallels if this world comes from us. I'd much prefer the implicit notion that Arthurian legend and the similarity of the worlds is a leakthrough of form between spheres. Tbh I don't think it is meant to be true, but it seems like it could be.

 



I'ma need to do another series reread. Once my Malazan reread is done.

I took a few of your spoilers, and threw in some of my own thoughts. I ate through the series at a pretty fast clip. He did very well with increasing the scope of "epicness" without it becoming too cartoony (which I thought Malazan did towards the end to a degree). Very well done series, and I hope he comes back in some fashion to the world.

Still a few editing issues would pop out randomly, but not as many as the first two books.

Very fun adventure, lots, LOTS of fighting. Some of the seemingly over focus on what I considered bland characters resolved (for the most part).

I do think he's poor at describing points of area's. I almost never understood the relation of where armies were relative to their opponents. Ridges, hills and the like, I couldn't visualize the movements or strategy at a top-down level.

 

 

 
Quote

The world of the dead dragons and remnants of the original Empress reminded me heavily of the warren of dead Dragons in Malazan. And that also seemed setup for future ideas, given that it took a literal detour from the plot just to show us this.

Same, was kinda cool IMO.

 

Quote

Question: is Lot the father of Gabriel via the rape of Ghause? That's what's implied but doesn't seem to fit the king's reactions to Gabriel earlier in the series (plus, why the fuck would Smythe disguise himself as the king)? Unless it was that the rape happened as we thought but Gabriel was concieved at a similar time but separately, with Lot.

I don't think so. I think Gabriel was a culmination of 100's or 1000's of years of small-drip dragon-blood breeding. However, I think that was a pretty dropped ball by the author NOT giving some more detail on Ghause, the King (her brother) raping her (who was a pretty "stalwart" character up until the Gaille's came in). He also really left Gabriels origins hanging in the wind. I thought their would be something much darker given the lead up until the "big reveal" on how he's the brother of Gavin, son of Ghause, etc. 

Also, he was pretty damn close with his brothers in like 2-3 months despite the "god hates me" stuff of Gabriel. But, Gavin being able to punch a mini-dragon to death with his hands made more sense in retrospect (he also had dragons blood).

Then his origins, and barely brushed on "I was bred to the the lord of the wild" comment he made was too open ended for me. That line was in books 2 or 3, then disapeared, then we had the Lot reveal, so, maybe your assumption is correct, and Miles didn't write it as clearly as could be.

Quote

Question: where the fuck was Tar in all this? Have I forgotten something about what happened to her in earlier books? Seems like the alliance could really have used more of those who work against negative outcomes. Or at least those lot couldn't have expected the alliance to be successful without further help once Lot seemed to go down.

Tar, Amicia dropped off. I think her and Tar were referred to by Lot as "creatures to me, as I am to you" (in reference to how powerful he is vs humans, same such things with other "entities" being more powerful then him), but then it never went anywhere. Except, maybe the weird dead-golden folks lining up to kill Ash at the end.

 

I also disliked the Princess story. It never went anywhere with Aneus.
 

Quote

 

Question: is it just me, or was there the merest hint that the dead world with the poison grass that turns out to be an entire city planet is (1) the original human homeworld and (2) us, in the far future? The main thing dissuading me from this theory is I don't really like the Arthurian, and real world national and geographic, parallels if this world comes from us. I'd much prefer the implicit notion that Arthurian legend and the similarity of the worlds is a leakthrough of form between spheres. Tbh I don't think it is meant to be true, but it seems like it could be.

 

 

 

I was worried he would drop that type of a twist, I am glad he didn't. I read an interview with him, however, that "this is NOT earth!" to his fans. 

 

The Jacks, I didn't care for.

 

The Sossag, I barely cared for, and don't know if I would have missed out on much if these lines had been torn out. Very hard to keep track of the characters at some point, but thank god their was a glossary at the end of the book!

 

I also wonder if Traitor Son refers to Gabriel killing the power of the Dragons vs being a reference to his human royal family.

Edited by redjako
Added some more spoilers.

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I'm about halfway through book 2.  Sometimes I'm bored, sometimes I love it.  Right now it's actually the Red Knight's thread that I'm least interested in....I'm really enjoying some of the side threads that develop at a much faster pace.

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Huh, some of the buzz upthread does make me want to continue the series having just finished The Red Knight today.  

I thought this one was a slow starter but certainly was stronger in the second half.  I thought that the action was strong and the plot became more interesting as it went along, but I did think that the whole thing felt a bit too wooden.  Wooden both in many of the characters and also in that it rarely felt very dramatic.

Question for those who have read it (maybe hinted at upthread):

 

Was the archangel that visited de Vrailly the Wyrm at the end, and is the Wyrm a traditional dragon's form but a being that can take other forms? 

[\Spoiler]

 

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On 4/10/2018 at 8:02 PM, Triskele said:

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Was the archangel that visited de Vrailly the Wyrm at the end, and is the Wyrm a traditional dragon's form but a being that can take other forms? 

[\Spoiler]

 

No.  It’s something else entirely.  The cast of antagonists expands, especially in #5 but you see some of it in #3 and then get hints in #4 of what will develop in #5.  

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Huh, I thought the "archangel" was just an adversarius/daemon/warden/whatever they want to call those beasts.  That's just what I assumed at the time; I don't know anything else.  

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6 hours ago, End of Disc One said:

Huh, I thought the "archangel" was just an adversarius/daemon/warden/whatever they want to call those beasts.  That's just what I assumed at the time; I don't know anything else.  

If you read the remainder of the series then it's fully revealed.

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I’m partway through book 3 and enjoying this. I get thrown a bit because I feel like there are some inconsistencies from book to book on the magic system and frankly on the names (eg, Gawain/Gavin, Pye/Pyle, Jehannes/Jehan). 

 

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