Tristan's Folly by Marcus Lee

Some Facts about the book:

  • Author: Marcus Lee
  • Title: Tristan's Folly
  • Series: The Gifted & The Cursed #2
  • Publisher: Self Publisher
  • Pages: 331

Tristan's Folly is the stunning sequel to the acclaimed Kings and Daemons, and the second in The Gifted and the Cursed trilogy.

Tristan's Folly. An ageing fortress built over fifty years ago to repel the invading hordes of the Witch-King, an invasion that never materialised - until now.

Now it’s a crumbling reflection of its former self and set against Daleth's savage horde of a hundred thousand men are a mere fifteen hundred defenders, who are surely doomed to fail.

As Kings and Daemons face one another, there is but one shining light that pushes back the darkness, but even her flame might be extinguished thanks to Tristan’s Folly.

In this epic tale of a battle against the odds, the best and worst of humankind will show itself ... sacrifice, honour, bravery and love, set against depravity, betrayal, greed and hatred.

Tristan's Folly is a Dark Fantasy with a light romance to offset the darkness, set in a dystopian world where those who are gifted by the gods with one hand, are cursed with the other.

Daleth's army is at the gates of King Tristan's mighty fortress which is the sole obstacle in his plan to overrun the Freestates.

A beacon of resolve in his quest for dominance.

However, things are not as it seems. As the Witch King batters the wall in his attempt to crush the resistance, dark forces are at work within the fortress. Who will be left standing as the mighty fall.

Tristan's Folly is the second in The Gifted & the Cursed Trilogy by Marcus Lee and is very much a continuation of the story begun in Kings & Daemons, and I think Tristan's Folly is best regarded as a continuation rather than a separate book.

In this second chapter, Maya and the rest of the party have made their way to the Freestates and have pledged their services to King Tristan to attempt to stop the Daleth's invading hoardes.

The story revolves around the siege of the fortress and is very insular in its setting and not as expansive as Kings & Daemons. However, this provides a sense of claustrophobia and focus, which increases in the second half of the book.

The book is very definitely a game of two halves. Initially, the book has a sense of hope. However, as the siege becomes more protracted, this dissipates as tensions within the fortress become increasingly fraught.

Marcus Lee conveys this really well and does a masterful job of introducing plots and subplots that adds to the mounting tension and puts strain on the relationships between the party.

I have to say that I enjoyed this book immensely and this second book moves the story on in ways that I didn't expect. As I said earlier there is very much a darker tone than Kings & Daemons. Whilst the previous book is dark fantasy there was always that corona of light, and whilst this continues initially in Tristan’s Folly, the tone becomes much darker towards the latter part of the book

One of the standout points in Marcus Lee’s work is the depth of the characters, and this continues in Tristan's Folly. Each of the characters develop in some way and what I found to be the most interesting is that the characters will move between good decisions and pretty bad decisions depending on the events that affect them individually. This is one of the things that I like about Marcus Lee’s writing. He writes realistic characters that do have faults, that will make mistakes and thus making them more human and multi faceted, making you care for them more. Even Daleth, the Witch – King is not omnipotent, but has the ability to make mistakes and show bad judgement.

One of the themes that caught my attention is duplicity. And this theme seems to run throughout the book. Even the title is duplicitous in its meaning. What exactly is Tristan’s Folly? However, this is not something that I will go into – Plot spoilers! And I want to stay away from those.

I really liked Kings & Daemons and thought it was excellent. Tristan’s Folly develops the story of Maya and the rest of the party so much more and I found everything to be taken that one step further. Not just in relation to the the plot, but in the development of the characters and even in the writing. Marcus Lee has always had a unique voice, however in Tristan’s Folly everything is honed to absolute sharpness.

If you haven’t read The Gifted & The Cursed, I really recommend that you do as it does not disappoint, and I am really excited to be reading the third instalment of this enjoyable series.



  1. Fantastic review! And YES to tour sense of claustrophobia and focus!


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