**I received a free digital copy of this novel from a Goodreads giveaway**
I’m a fan of Oliver Pötzsch, especially when he writes historical fiction; his Hangman’s Daughter series is a delight and wonderfully immersive. When I happened upon this novel, I wasn’t entirely sure what this was going to be: what exactly were the Black Musketeers? Well, in answer to that question:
“The Black Musketeers were the best fighters in the Reich…trained in the use of all sorts of weapons and fear by everyone. They served as bodyguards to the Imperial General Wallenstein … We fought and shot like the devil, with swords, pikes, daggers, muskets, and pistols, and drove the Danes and their allies back across the Elbe River.”
Admittedly, not at all what I was expecting. Perhaps this is because when I hear the word “Musketeer,” I associate it with Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan. I associate it with blue cloaks, silver rapiers, King Louis, Cardinal Richelieu, and the immortal phrase, “All for one and one for all.”
So, no, you won’t find any of that her dint his book — okay, small lie there, as the phrase itself does pop up in a brief, but delightful, homage to Dumas’ original tale. But what you will find is a wonderful story of a young boy forced to come of age very swiftly while in pursuit of revenge; you will find some magic, both good and evil; you ill find a whole host of characters, some worth rooting for and some very much not.
You will find adventure, the love and loyalty of family, war, friendship, and a promising start to what looks like a great series. It is definitely a Young Adult book — something I hadn’t realised when I snapped it up — but there is enough in here that adults can (and will) enjoy as well.