Wraith Knight is a cross between epic fantasy and grimdark fantasy. Our main character Jacob was a hero over two centuries ago but his soul was enslaved by the Big Baddie and he served as a Wraith Knight committing many atrocities. Now his servitude is over and he has no memory of his time spent as the repellent Wraith Knight. He was a very interesting character. He gave his life fighting the King Below but now that that malevolence is gone from the world, he is sad to see that the world isn’t a cheery paradise. He has a lot of conflicting emotions and the large cast of characters all treat him differently. Some are disgusted by his actions as a Wraith Knight. Some fear him. Some seek him out for his power. It’s a lot for anyone to deal with.
In this epic story, there’s so many characters. Serah, a witch of a sort, stands out for me as well as Regina. Both are powerful in different ways and both have an eye on Jacob. I also liked the interplay between the ladies. There’s a bit of romance later in the book, but in typical Phipps fashion, it’s not your standard epic fantasy romance. Yay!
Trickster was a fun minor character. It’s a disembodied voice that often speaks Jacob’s doubts, making them seem more plausible. Indeed, without Trickster Jacob wouldn’t have been so interesting as I bet he would have had more self-confidence.
Despite all these things the story had going for it, I still found it hard to be fully engaged with it. Parts of the story lagged for me. I really wanted to enjoy this story completely but I found that many of the characters held no interest for me. Also, I think the narration style had something to do with it as well. 4/5 stars
The Narration: Kevin T. Collins put a lot into his performance. While I can appreciate that, it was also tough to listen to this stylized narration for 12 hours. It was like I was listening to a Shakespeare play for all those hours. Every character spoke in this high and mighty style, all the actions were great and thunderous, all the prose had flourishes. I am guessing that Collins was directed to narrate the entire book in this style. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. I found myself quickly becoming fatigued and since the nuances were tiny, everything said and done sounded important. I had to listen to this audiobook in small chunks of 1-2 hours or I would start zoning out. It was exhausting to get through this audiobook. With that said, Collins never sounded bored with his own performance. His male character voices were distinct, though his ladies didn’t always sound like ladies, nor were they always distinct. The pacing was good and there were no technical issues with the recording. 3/5 stars