This short story is really really short – and includes an excerpt from the first book as well. I admit, it was short enough that I almost had a little tantrum about it – but then I double checked how much I actually paid for it and put the tantrum aside – it’s also very very very very very very cheap.
And it’s perfect for what it is – little introduction to the first book included. If you have not read the Black Knight Chronicles (and it is a series I recommend) then this story gives you a perfect taster. It would work really well in an anthology of other short stories to bring in readers – but as a cheap little introduction it’s also ideal for people to dip their toes in
Of course, the problem from that is that my review is also really really short. This is painful for someone as long winded as me.
It does everything an introduction should do. You get to meet the three main characters getting a basic sense of who they are, what they do and how they interact with each other. In a few short scenes we really get the feel of James’s voice, his hopes towards Sabrina and his deep friendship with Greg and his wryly amused, self-aware look at the world.
You also get some neat exploration of the world – the various creatures are hinted at, some of their contacts are touched on without taking up an undue amount of space or time. You can see how they generally move through the world, deal with whatever comes their way
It also gives a great sense of tone, humour and writing. It’s almost exactly like one of the full books in miniature giving you a great taster of what the main storyline is really like.
For people who have read the original books, I won’t say it adds anything in particular. It doesn’t advance any storylines, it doesn’t bring any new revelations. It does add, perhaps, a few more angles in some cases but, at the same time, it has a rather dodgy continuity error which was rather annoying (James was surprised by a revelation that he already knew about in a previous book).
But it is a fun little adventure, in a style I love and if you liked the other books in the series it’s a fun diversion.
If you’re curious about the Black Knight Chronicles, this is an excellent book to give you a taste of what makes them fun and what makes them worth reading. If you already read the series, it’s a nice little addition.