The Palace of the Dawn will soon be stormed. The most ruthless man of all time is one step away from assailing on Iovbridge and dethroning Sophie Delamere. The Queen of Knightdorn is now alone, with neither allies nor an army capable of rebuffing the enemy which is approaching her city. Everything appears to be over, until a mysterious young man, Elliot, makes his appearance.
Entangled in a web of lies and politics, Elliot will try to draw Walter away from Iovbridge and face him in the stronghold of Wirskworth. He will attempt to rekindle relations and revive the old alliance between the Queen of Knightdorn and Syrella Endor, the Governor of Wirskworth. Elliot’s mission will take every fibre of his will and if he fails, so shall the kingdom.
Game Of Thrones meets Greek mythology in this explosive epic fantasy story, packed with war, medieval lore, magic, loyalty and bravery. The first book in the series, The Dance of Light, will take you on an epic journey to a fantasy world of men and mythical creatures which will keep you spellbound till the very end.
The Return of the Knights is the debut novel from Gregory Kontaxis, the first installment in The Dance of Light series. Pitched as Games of Thrones meets Greek mythology (from a Greek author, something that gives more value to it), I was super excited to read it, and found a great story, epic fantasy as its best mixed with political intrigue, one of my favourite elements in the genre.
Knightdorn has been at war for over twenty years, and it seems that finally Walter Thorn, the local governor that started the rebellion against the Queen of Knightdorn, is close to winning the war. After getting control over Rammerstorm, assaulting the Palace of Dawn is the last step in order to fulfill his objectives.
Sophie Delamere, Queen of Knightdorn is between the sword and the wall, as seems Walter storming over Iovbridge is just a matter of time; but this is when Eliott appears, the main protagonist of this story. A character that represents the classic trope of the chosen one: a boy that grew up in a humble village, trained by the last Grand Master; he seems to be the only hope for Sophie, proving his skills just at the time of reaching the court.
Entering into a web of politics and lies, Eliott will try to bring Walter's attention to the Wirksworth fortress, and in the meanwhile, revive the old alliances between Knightdorn and the governor of Wirksworth, their only hope to beat Thorn.
Eliott as a character was a mixed bag of feelings for me, because while you can see archetypical hubris that characterizes some Greek heroes, at the same time, it is possible to see that he's actually really skilled, and it's doing everything in order to keep Knightdorn safe. He evolves alongside the book, learning more about how in reality the government works, and how complicated is to keep a kingdom united.
Alongside Eliott, I would like to highlight two characters more, Sophie and Walter. Sophie, despite seeming to be a well-intentioned character, with the passing of time, we get to see how she is, in reality, closer to a grey morality. Walter is the perfect villain, somebody who has a clear motivation to instigate the rebellion, a brilliant commander; having him as the counterpoint to our heroes reinforces them.
Knightdorn as a world is extremely interesting, mixing together some of the classic fantasy creatures, such as elves, with more related to Greek mythology (Pegasus play a rather important role), creating what we could call the perfect classical mix (classic fantasy with classic culture).
While the relatively short length of the book only let us explore some of the locations in Knightdorn, we get to appreciate the complexity of the world that Kontaxis has created, and honestly, I hope we get to visit more fortresses and cities in the next books.
Kontaxis weaves marvelously classic fantasy with Greek mythology elements, giving them his own twist. A complex story with several layers that are unveiled step by step, always making you want more, especially recommended for classic fantasy lovers. I want to return to Knightdorn soon.
Gregory Kontaxis is a Greek epic fantasy author who writes about medieval wars, mythology, politics and epic adventures. His characters are ordinary and at the same time complex living with many challenges to face.
The Return of the Knights is the first part of his planned pentalogy The Dance of Light.
Gregory was born on 17th December 1989 in Athens. He studied Informatics and Finance in Greece and the United Kingdom and he has worked as a Financial Analyst in Vienna and London. He currently resides in London, where he is occupied with investment risk management and writing. (less)