Phantom Stag is a Novella written by Mark Hayden as part of the King’s Watch Series. Set in the middle of Tenfold although going into the book I thought it was supposed to be just after.
Phantom Stag starts with Vicky getting woken up by Conard’s housekeeper Myfanwy with an important phone call from Hannah. She tells Vicky that there has been a killing in the Forest of Arden and that the King’s Watch has been asked to go in and help solve the mystery.
The story is a nice change because it keeps the pace that I’ve come to expect from the King’s Watch series thus far but see’s Vicky take centre stage. Where now that we’ve had Conrad’s view for so long it was nice to see the world from Vicky’s eyes and it was also nice to see Conrad put his trust in Vicky as she’s forced to take the lead in this investigation.
The case itself was quite straight forward and to the point which was perfect for this style of story. The fact that it was a Novella not because the main role was Vicky. However, that did tie in while with her being an Officer and Captain in training. I thought that was a nice touch. As its in keeping that as she’s working towards the promotion that we know Conard and Hannah want for her in the main story that she takes on a more straight forward case.
While the conclusion to the case was well written and put together as we rushed through this story some times the names could mix into each other. This meant at the end the story didn’t flow quite as well as I had hoped with the need to think about the links for some of the new characters.
Overall I gave Phantom Stag 5/5 on Goodreads because I did enjoy seeing the duo from Vicky’s side and I also liked how the story ended not wanting to give too much away however it did leave an opening for a couple of characters to re-appear in the main story.
‘You do realise I haven’t slept for twenty-four hours?’ he said.
Hayden, Mark. Phantom Stag (A King’s Watch Story Book 1) (p. 34). Paw Press. Kindle Edition.