The Crimson Court (The Realm Reachers #1), by Brendan Noble

21 Jun 2024

The Book

The Crimson Court
Series: The Realm Reachers
Pages: 582
Age Group: Adult
Published on 23 Apr 2024
Publisher: Self-published
Epic Fantasy
Available on:


Spirits haunt the realm of Zekiaz. Flee them, fight them, or wield them. But they bow to no master.

The upstart matriarch of a fallen house, Kasia Niezik has sworn to destroy the elusive Crimson Court who assassinated her father. They are near immortal, wielding the spirits that once ended civilization a millennium ago, but she is a Reacher of the realm of Death. Their worst fear.

But to kill her deceitful foes, first she must find them.

Kasia travels to the capital, seeking allies either brave or foolish enough to help her infiltrate the Crimson elites. Whether spirit hunter, princess, or thief, though, everyone has a hidden agenda. And those with the widest smiles hold daggers behind their backs.

Step into a new world of fantasy intrigue where flintlock guns, epic magic, gaslamp technology, and spirits clash amid shadowy bids for power. Revenge is sweet, but at what cost?  

My Review

The Crimson Court is the first novel in the Realm Reachers series, an epic fantasy series with Slavic inspiration written by Brendan Noble. A fast-paced, multi POV proposal with an ambitious worldbuilding, fights between noble houses and a magic system that pairs perfectly with the flintlock setting; a relatively simple premise that is expanded, drawing the reader into Zakiaz.

The first of our main characters is Kasia, a noble woman, house of the head Niezik; her father was assassinated by the mysterious Crimson Court, a secret society formed by nobles, and she has sworn to get revenge. Decided to take down the Crimson Court, she travels to the capital of Zakiaz, where she plans to use her Death Reacher power (a form of magic that is outlawed in this world) to end them; however, to discover them, she must engage in the complex net of politics and relationships between the different noble houses.
Outside of Kasia's story, which acts as the main plot and as the conductor thread, Noble included multiple characters from different parts of the society, such as a Glassblade warrior, an order that fights against the spirits that haunt Zakiaz; a disabled noble, the granddaughter of the king, and even a street rat that is just looking for a cure for the affection of their partner. All of those contribute to create a choral story, enriching the plot and helping to bring more depth to the world our story is set in.

Despite being a complex epic fantasy, the story advances at a good pace, especially for Kasia; her movements to find the Crimson Court will take her into paths she would have never imagined, and eventually managing to sneak her way into them. Together with the other subplots, Noble sets up for a final avalanche that makes reading the final pages a memorable experience. 

The worldbuilding deserves a mention apart, as Noble has totally nailed it; you can feel the Slavic inspiration, in the own houses and even in the aesthetic, but also it includes an original magic system that even has a margin to bring other worlds to the story. The houses have their own history, their own relationships, and all of that is reflected within the narrative.

If you like big, chunky, epic fantasy, in the style of Sanderson (especially with that final avalanche), you should read the Realm Reachers series; a complex story which promises more in the next instalments. Do yourself a favour and pick The Crimson Court as your next read!

The Author/s

Brendan Noble

Brendan Noble

Brendan Noble is an American epic fantasy author writing epic fantasy with inspiration from his Polish ancestry, mythology, video games of all types, and Dungeons & Dragons. He loves to explore the complexities of politics and the gray between good and evil.

Shortly after beginning his writing career in 2019, Brendan married his wife Andrea and moved to Rockford, Illinois from his hometown in Michigan. Since then, he has published three series: The Realm Reachers, The Frostmarked Chronicles, and The Prism Files.

Outside of writing, Brendan is a data analyst and soccer referee. His top interests include German, Polish, and American soccer/football, Formula 1, analyzing political elections across the world, playing extremely nerdy strategy video games, exploring with his wife, and reading.