Tristan’s Folly is the second book in The Gifted and the Cursed series by Marcus Lee.
Thank you so much to Storytellers on Tour and Marcus Lee for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Tristan’s Folly and sending me a free Advanced Review Copy, in return for an honest review.
If you haven’t seen it yet, I have also read and reviewed the first book in The Gifted and The Cursed series, Kings and Daemons, and the third book, The End of Dreams. I also recently interviewed Marcus Lee about his inspiration for the series, and what’s next for his writing career.
Tristan’s Folly picks up right where we left off in Kings and Daemons. Maya, Taran, Rakan and Kalas arrive at the Tristan’s Folly fortress to meet King Tristan and Astren, a wizard who can also spirit travel and invited Maya to join them. Straight away we are thrown into the action — the aftermath of Elender’s betrayal at the very end of the previous book. And, of course, the Witch-King’s epic siege of Tristan’s Folly.
The battle of Taran, Rakan, Kalas and Tristan’s men against the Witch-King Daleth built on the tension of the previous book and it certainly didn’t disappoint! Once again, there’s non-stop action, and I couldn’t put this book down. I read it in one sitting. While there is a lot of violence (as you might expect) and it is a darker book, it also has lots of twists between each bout that kept me wanting more.
I loved that the previous book showed some humanity to Daleth, and this continues in Tristan’s Folly. While he is clearly the villain, we see his vulnerability. He confesses to himself that he cares for Alano, his second-in-command and his only friend of 50 years. “If his only friend was a daemon, what did that say of him?” Daleth is loved by his men — for example, he eats with his soldiers to earn their loyalty (if only because it means they will fight harder for him).
This made for the perfect contrast against King Tristan. We expect him to be a kind, benevolent ruler, as he has given Maya, Taran, Rakan and Kalas safety and citizenship. Instead, Tristan is selfish and will do anything to get what he wants: “He’d lean upon any expertise he could lay his hands on, and that was his strength; using those around him to the best of their ability for his own personal gain.”
Marcus Lee’s writing has developed and grown in this, his second ever novel. I enjoyed reading more about our heroes — Maya continues to gain confidence, and I enjoyed her cheeky sense of humour. In addition, both Maya and Taran’s powers grow stronger through their love of each other, which I also really enjoyed reading and added a lot to the story.
The siege of Tristan’s Folly certainly didn’t disappoint after the build up in the previous book. I always love desperate last stands and this was no exception! Tristan’s Folly has non-stop action, switching between combat and moving, dramatic scenes. Marcus Lee pulls no punches, not shying away from writing about the horrors of medieval combat, while still managing to balance character development and an exciting story. I am now super excited for the third book in the series, The End of Dreams — hopefully Marcus Lee won’t keep us waiting long!
Book blurb for Tristan’s Folly
Tristan’s Folly. An ageing fortress built over fifty years ago to repel the invading hordes of the Witch-King, Daleth, an invasion that never materialised – until now.
Now the stronghold is a crumbling reflection of its former might, with a mere fifteen hundred men all that stands between Daleth’s savage horde of a hundred thousand, and certain doom for the Freestates.
As Kings and Daemons face one another, there is but one shining light that pushes back the encroaching darkness, but even her flame is slated to be extinguished thanks to Tristan’s Folly.
In this epic tale of a battle against the odds, the best and worst of humankind collide … sacrifice, bravery and love, set against betrayal, greed and hatred.
About the author, Marcus Lee
Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me… but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.
As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.
Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.
So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.
However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be the first of many. I genuinely hope so.
Who knows, now these creatives juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.
Epic fantasy has been my favourite genre since I first read The Odyssey and The Illiad as a seven-year-old. Now it’s my turn to see if I can bring another world to life in the imagination of others.
About the blog tour, organised by Storytellers on Tour
I was sent a free copy of Tristan’s Folly to review by Storytellers on Tour as part of a blog tour — you can view the full tour schedule below. Check out these amazing bloggers and Instagrammers for book reviews, guest posts and extra content!
29th November – The Welcoming
5th December – The Encore