Book Tour Review: The Forever Knight by Jon Marco

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Title: The Forever Knight
Author: John Marco
Genre: fantasy
Series: The Bronze Knight #4
Pages: 282 (ARC edition)
Published: April 2nd 2013
Source: TLC Book Tours for review
Rating: 3.25/5

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?

The Forever Knight is the fourth and latest fantasy volume in John Marco's long-running fantasy series centered around Lukien, the eponymous Forever/Bronze Knight. I have unfortunately not had a chance to read the first three, and jumping into a series at the fourth stop isn't the easiest or best way to get a handle on the world, characters or plot. However, The Forever Knight is somewhat able to work as a standalone novel for new readers, if those readers are at a slight disadvantage. Some terms and creatures used in the novel are the hardest to understand, but the rest of the novel flows easily and reads well.

Lukien is the Bronze Knight, a man imbued with talent for swords, longevity, and making some bad decisions. Like many male protagonists in epic fantasy, Lukien has a past that haunts him and a life that isn't exactly what he had imagined or wanted. I'm not privy to the character's development from the earlier novels, but Marco does an admirable job of making this hard-bitten and warlike man compelling and believable here in the fourth. For all his flaws or maybe because of them, Lukien is an interesting and well-rounded character. His complexity, and his tangled history, make for a character that is much more than he seems. Throughout the novel, different sides of the Bronze Knight emerge and help to portray the title character as more than just muscle-with-magic.

The world Marco has created has the benefit of four novels to create a solid and strong foundation. Their are well-defined lines of antagonism, between characters, between countries, and they come into play pretty seamlessly here in the fourth novel. There's political intrigue, subtle magic, monster hunts and plenty of battles and fights to keep the pace moving at a nice clip. The Forever Knight is an entertaining and fast read, and the worldbuilding laid out during the novel enhances the overall experience. I do wish that there had been a map provided to help me envision where Lukien's various treks and fights take place, but it's a small issue.

John Marco is an author that is clearly talented at writing authentic fight and battle scenes. Amidst a well-drawn world with well-defined characters, the violent intechanges are the most invigorating. Lukien is an interesting protagonist at all times, but in the midst of fighting to save his life, or for revenge, he is at his best. I also loved the inclusion of Cricket, a mysterious young woman with no memory of her past, as a female squire for Lukien. There are far more men depicted in the novel, but the few that are involved play important parts in the overall plot.

The Forever Knight is a dark epic fantasy novel - there's a lot of death, necromancy, cannibalism, and even rape - so the lighter moments are few and far between. Despite the bleak tone and outlook of the novel, I can see why John Marco's series has endured this long. All I can wonder is how it took me so long to find out about him and this creative series. Fans of other dark fantasy - George R. R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, R. Scott Bakker - may find another ongoing series to love and inhale with The Bronze Knight books.


  1. And to make things even better, John has another trilogy, Tyrants & Kings, that's totally unrelated to this series. It's excellent as well and I would highly recommend giving the first book, The Jackal of Nar, a shot.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this one in spite of the darker tone.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.


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