-Award-Winning Fantasy Author-
Keith W. Willis
Specializing in fantasy / medieval romance fiction.
www.keithwillisauthor.com | Albany, NY
Reviews for Traitor Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This Entertaining Tale! It's a MUST READ!
ByTegan Wren on May 16, 2016
Entertaining and engaging from the very beginning, TRAITOR KNIGHT is a rare gem. Though I pride myself in reading across a wide range of genres, this one took me a bit farther afield of what I typically read. And how delighted I am that I ventured beyond my usual reading comfort zone to experience this well-told story with a witty heroine, a noble-yet-flawed hero, and a colorful set of secondary characters. And a dragon! Let's not forget the dragon!
I suppose the thing I most loved about this book is its ability to bring together in a magical way so many aspects of fiction that I love: you get plenty of humor, suspense, and romance. It's clear from the beginning that you're in the hands of a master storyteller who weaves a tale that's unlike so many of the heavily marketed books on the market. I really tire of those. TRAITOR KNIGHT is like a breath of fresh air. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be swept away to a place and time where dragons fume, damsels toss out witty barbs, and heroes have plenty of foibles.
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully-crafted tale with an unexpected plot
ByDeborah Kaminski on June 30, 2016
A beautifully-crafted tale of heroes and villains and the occasional dragon. The unexpected plotline keeps you guessing while the characters charm you. I laughed out loud time and again. The author is not afraid to throw in well-disguised anachronisms that point to failings in our own society as much as in the medieval times he couches his tale in. The romance was just a bonus, and a very pleasant one.
5.0 out of 5 starsHumor reminiscent of The Princess Bride!
ByKendra Y. on October 17, 2015
Keith Willis wields his unique brand of humor like Morgan wields his sword! I laughed out loud more than once, I mean, it takes a lot of guts for a writer to give a dragon a case of the hiccups! And what's even better, it worked! There simply aren't a lot of writers who could pull that off without yanking the reader right out of the story.
But it doesn't stop there. While Willis does employ the damsel in distress trope, she's anything but a simpering miss. I loved it! Can't recommend this book enough!
4.0 out of 5 starsGood Reading
ByLAS Reviewer on May 27, 2016
Will Marissa ever be able to trust Morgan?
Morgan is everything a good hero should be. He’s loyal, honest, smart, and brave. Despite all the good he does for Kilbourne, he has a horrible reputation. I must say that I was baffled by how the majority of people treated Morgan when it is clear to anyone who spends any length of time with him that he is completely devoted to his country and king. His situation is certainly an indication of the kind of damage rumors, even unfounded ones, can do to a reputation.
Morgan had no idea the direction his life would take when he rescued Marissa from the dragon. Morgan and Marissa have good chemistry and would definitely make a good couple, but unfortunately the terrible rumors about Morgan hang like a black cloud over any possibility of romance. After Morgan rescues Marissa, she agrees to dine with him. Morgan’s true personality shines through wonderfully, so I was very disappointed when Marissa doubts her instincts and persists in believing the worst about him. Granted, some of Morgan’s actions are very suspicious, so I can understand Marissa’s confusion. Despite the rocky beginning of their relationship, their encounters never fail to be entertaining, and I have high hopes for their future.
Just when Marissa is beginning to trust Morgan, he finds himself firmly on the wrong side of the law, and she is forced to take matters into her own hands. Her plan to reveal the true traitor is clever and well thought out, but will she be able to expose the true traitor in time to save Morgan?
I truly enjoyed Traitor Knight. Morgan and Marissa are strong characters I had the pleasure of getting to know. I recommend Traitor Knight to anyone looking for a good fantasy with just a dash of romance.
originally posted at long and short reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend - great read.
ByAmazon Customer on December 11, 2015
I just completed Traitor Knight and what a great read. Keith has created several compelling characters, but his heroine really stands out. She is strong, funny, venerable and not cliched. Really, an outstandingly great character. Her foil, likewise, is top notch and the cast of supporting characters are rich in humor and drama. Keith’s style is light, clever and funny, but he also has a deft touch at creating and maintaining threads of suspense. There many scenes that come to a closure due to events in the plot that make you wish those scenes could have stretched out longer because they are that good. I highly recommend Traitor Knight and I look forward to seeing how Keith follows a few threads I detected as leading to the next book, and the dragon: I am looking forward to spending more time with the dragon.
5.0 out of 5 stars A twist or three
ByEmily G. Moore - Writer on September 11, 2015
Oh the intrigue, the words, the twists! I bought this book hoping it wasn't predictable or overly authurian. I was greatly satisfied. The love interest is unexpectedly witty and brash, the main character very life like, and the world building, well-crafted. It had me laughing and turning pages often. You want cliffhangers that keep you up all night? Buy this book. Bravo on the author's first published work. I look forward to more!
5.0 out of 5 stars Never once following the mold of hero saves the damsel and lives happily ever after
ByB.E. Van de Veire on January 13, 2016
Rarely does one find a hiccupping dragon, a witty damsel or a sword-wielding hero with such flair. Willis has the ability to portray every character with such ease and clarity, you leave the book believing you lived the story with them, bringing about the resolution in thanks to your own efforts. Not only is every scene seen with clarity and believability, but with humor and suspense. Never once following the mold of hero saves the damsel and lives happily ever after, he leaves you on the edge of your seat in excitement until the very end! My only complaint? Having to wait for the sequel! Which, it truth, will give me more time to reread Traitor Knight again and again! An excellent read I would recommend to anyone who enjoys romance, humor and fantasy!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great debut novel!
ByLori Lesko on January 28, 2016
Finally, a fun fantasy novel for adults as well as teens. Filled with humor and witty characters, we are taken along the adventure with Morgan as he tries to live a double life. It gets complicated. But you'll have a great time figuring it out. Basically, Mr. Willis polishes a new twist on an old swashbuckling genre. And that's not an easy task for any first time novelist. Well done sir!
ByGerald R. Crawmer on September 25, 2015
Fantasy novels are not a genre I frequent, but this author may change my mind. Mr. Willis has combined an entertaining cast of characters, including a proper dragon, that move along a fast paced story with a deft touch of tongue-in-cheek fun. Set in an imaginary olde sort-of-England, the hero must face and overcome some modern-day marginalization as a half-breed, and the heroine would fit in any woman's rights movement. The author's choice of words, situations, and names all contribute to the humor throughout the novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
ByAmazon Customer on June 9, 2016
I purchased this book as a gift for my nephew's 13th birthday and he read the entire thing in a couple days! I received a text from him saying that it was one of the best books he's ever read.
Now I'm going to have to give it a read myself. Congrats Keith!
BTW, my nephew is looking forward to the sequel.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun adult-size fairy tale layered with intrigue and satire
ByL. M. Bryski on October 1, 2015
Traitor Knight by Keith Willis is a fun ride in the fantasy genre. It's a witty look at the difficulties of being a modern style champion in an old fashioned fairy tale. I especially enjoyed the pacing of the plot with its intriguing twists. The chapters are meaty and take you headlong into a story where iconic roles of hero, villain and victim are turned on their heads. I look forward to more, Mr. Willis!
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun-filled romp in fantasy land
ByPeter G. Pollak on August 29, 2016
Keith Willis’ debut novel offers a fun-filled romp through a fantastic world filled with dragons, dwarfs, eligible maidens, and spies. His protagonist finds himself up against it again and again, suffering a knife wound, cut feet and bruises galore not to mention slaps in the face from a certain young lady who he rescued from a green dragon or the fact his friends started a rumor that he’s about to betray his own country. Until an all-hands on board ending clears things up, Willis keeps us guessing whether the traitor knight will escape his predicament and discover the real betrayer or end up losing the woman, his title and his life. My only complaint: the cover image doesn’t match the protagonist’s description as a dark-skinned man in his thirties.
ByRebecca Parrish on September 12, 2015
I should first say (with great pride) that I am the author's sister. And rather than knowing from the beginning, as a good sister should, that it would be a fantastic work of literary genius, I approached the reading of Keith's first novel with some anxiety. I read fiction voraciously, know what I like, and am a very bad liar. But having finished the last page a short while ago, I can say with absolute certainty that I loved this book. It is by turns--and sometimes all at once--clever, heroic, humorous, fantastic, suspenseful, and romantic. I appreciated certain details that less capable writers might have deemed unimportant, but which added dimension and texture to plot, place, and character. And while the romantic aspect of the plot closely adheres to a time-honored formula for successful romance writing, the characters are fully realized and believable. With even the minor characters, it is clear the writer knows these individuals well--no costumed cardboard cut-outs filling in the scenery of this novel--and they are the industrious, courtly, stubborn, greedy, loyal, opportunistic, brave, witty, weary, kind-hearted, noble, cruel, and otherwise flawed and colorful mish-mash of humanity. I won't focus on plot details; for that you'll just have to read it! This has all the elements of successful fiction, and kept me turning pages well into the Knight (see what I did there?). It even ended well, and I am amazed at the number of otherwise capable writers who end their novels in clunky, unsatisfying ways. My only complaint is how long I will have to wait for the next one. Well done, you!!
5.0 out of 5 starsAmazing book
ByDarry fairy on June 16, 2016
I purchased this book over the weekend started reading it and got attached i love it if you like dragons and damsels in distress and heros you will love this book please read it you wont be sorry
Kate Coe · May 30th, 2016
It all starts with a knight rescuing a damsel-in-distress from a dragon – but luckily for McRobbie, Melissa isn’t the type to swoon and congratulate him. She does agree to a date, but soon finds that she’s got caught up in the political turmoil surrounding the Knight-Commander of the King’s Legion, who is trying to discover the traitor attempting to betray the country. Unfortunately for McRobbie, the plan involves the Knight-Commander himself being labelled the traitor and then waiting for contact from the real villains. The downside is that due to McRobbie’s personal background, everyone is far too willing to believe the rumours. In addition to fighting political attempts to overthrow him and dodging gossip, the Knight-Commander ends up hunting for a dragon and a master assassin, all while definitely not conducting any sort of romance with the lady he saved…
I have to admit to prejudice – just based off the cover and title I thought this was going to be a classic fantasy, possibly with some grim and dark thrown in. I’m pleased (at least with the grimdark bit) to have been completely wrong. This is a witty and action-packed page-turner that takes the classic fantasy land and adds depth, character, romance and political intrigue to brilliant effect.
The first chapter sets the tone wonderfully; a knight charging to the rescue of a damsel with attitude, and a dragon with hiccoughs! The rest of the book is in the same vein; a love story mixed with a tense adventure, intrigue and politics tangling with action and wit. It’s one I didn’t want to put down; every chapter provides something interesting and even though most of the focus is on the characters and their personal struggles, there’s enough action and outside drama to make the book an entertaining read.
Willis treads the fine line between serious and amusing with a light touch; the book has some serious themes, but never bogs down. The world is classic fantasy, but with enough detail that it seems more real than fantasy; the politics and problems are real-world, with challenges those you could believe would be faced. The characters are excellently done; even the baddies are fully rounded and have a brilliant set of alternative motivations – no clichés here! I warmed to Melissa’s forthright and self-possessed style immediately, and I’m definitely a fan of McRobbie. He’s complex, interesting, and definitely not your average heroic knight; he’s dropped in enough situations that he’s fighting something every step of the way, even with the addition of his continuous screw-ups when it comes to dealing with a woman he’s mostly definitely not interested in, nuh-uh, no way…
The only thing that occasionally let the book down was that there are occasional points when the character and plot motivations aren’t clear, particularly during the political manoeuvring; it was hard to understand why someone acted as they did, or their reasoning doesn’t fit what we know of the character. It never detracts from following what’s happening or spoil enjoyment, but it did sometimes leave niggles that chased through the next few pages. However, it’s a minor point; McRobbie’s motivations are excellently brought out and overall, the plot is exciting and fun.
There is a sequel in progress, Desperate Knights (publication tbc), which looks like it has more ofWyvrndell (the dragon), continues the plot thread of the dwarves, and generally has McRobbie causing more chaos…so I’m eagerly anticipating that one!
Jeffrey rated it really liked it
If you are interested in a fantasy story that has the playful sensibility of a 1980’s matinee, then you should seriously consider adding this to your list.
I do not generally read new fantasy, as it is very hard to get right. The ground is littered with writers who have tried too hard to emulate J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin instead of living in a world that they have created, that demonstrates their own personality. This book knows exactly what it wants to be, and is more Dragonslayer than Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones.
The tone is set early, with a hero that is kept in check by – well, almost everyone. Even when a damsel needs to be rescued from a dragon, she is not so overcome that she fails to point the hero’s inability to talk with a girl. He is also aware of his own shortcomings, frequently giving himself the narrative version of the facepalm, stopping short of doing so literally, at least while he has a sword in his hand.
This is a book to have fun with. The chapters are short, so you can pop it open whenever you want to spend a few minutes, but you can easily read several chapters in a sitting. The author provides a lot of banter and some clever wordplay, but does not stretch it too far, so it is neither as intensely comic as Robert Asprin, nor as intensely dark as Jim Butcher.
Recognize that the characters do not take themselves seriously, and enjoy the journey.
Mary Yarde rated it it was amazing
The book open with a ferocious dragon, who's plans are thwarted - not so much by the brave heroic knight who is intent on rescuing the maiden - but by a bad, and appallingly timed case, of the hiccups.
And if that does not get your fingers twitching to turn the pages of this book, then I don't know what will!
This book was so much fun, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The protagonist, Morgan McRobbie - the commander of the Kilbourne Military - is everything a fine commander should be – Brave. Loyal to a fault. Honest. With a dubious reputation? Hopeless romantic ( and I mean hopeless). Traitor...okay so he is a complex character, with one or two issues to work through. But for what it is worth - I really liked him!
Lady Marissa, is just great fun. She isn’t one of those maiden's who is prone to a fainting fits when a spider runs across the room - she bravely faces down a dragon, a network of spies, Morgan and her cat! Of all the characters in this book, I think she made me laugh out loud the most. She was so much fun to read about and boy, as a love interest she was more than a match for Morgan! I even felt sorry for him on occasions - because ouch, that must have hurt!
Through out the story there is a 'real' traitor in the bosom of the court, whose secrets are as dark as his plots. But thankfully, The Watch (a police force) knows how to deal with men like him - if only the scoundrels would stop escaping from their dungeons, they would have everything in hand.
I would like to congratulate Willis on the very believable world he created -think medieval England meets fairy-tale. I soon felt at home there. All of the characters in this book had flesh on them - their individuality shone through. There was plenty of action, romance, suspense, a murder or two, a chase across the roof tops and a dragon - did I mention a dragon?
All in all, a really enjoyable read. I Highly Recommend.
*I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.*
Alicia rated it liked it
Without the humorous Marissa, I probably wouldn't have continued with the story, but the opening scene in which she ribs Morgan and he back at her for not being the tried-and-true damsel in distress, makes this a romp and entertaining.
Willis then engages the traitorous doings from within the Kingdom of Kilbourne to make it a true fantasy with dragons as well as the betrayal in the court. Luckily with men who know a thing or two about how to ferret it out and put a stop to it, yet one wrong move might make him look like he's on the wrong side.
At points it seems like Morgan is questioning his own position, aside from being terribly distracted by a possible romance when she is so offput by him that it has the right mix of both the cunning and the funny. Marissa, won't you give Morgan a chance? It seems like you might...