Publishing Date: July 2014
Publisher Description: Having committed treason by claiming the Highlands for his own kingdom, Edmund—the one-eyed, stuttering former librarian—decides to stop running and make his final stand. Along with his best friend, Pond Scum, and his manic dog, Becky, he must fight off goblins, magic users, and King Lionel’s entire army in order to protect what he loves. However, his deadliest adversary is the approaching winter, and neither Edmund nor his men have the supplies they need to survive.
Review: Cover art is faintly compelling….again I say “Who is the person in the red cloak?”.
This novel sucked for a couple of reasons. This is the end of a great series from a little known author from a little known publishing company and I have to resist reading this in one night as to prolong the experience.
This author just gets better and better. The story-line has consistent development novel to novel, the character development matures along with our hero and new character introductions are interesting and add flavor to the plot. The plot is superb. As the reader you never lose sight of the end-game and the author uses this to draw the reader into his world. The scene descriptions are so well done that you feel like you are standing there in the bitter cold, stamping your feet, smelling pine and watching Becky play in the snow.
I liked that our flawed hero, Edmund, is still overcoming his self-esteem issues and struggles with his desires in the face of loneliness yet refuses to foul the air with bitterness. Edmund is all too human with self-recriminations, depression, hope and an indefatigable will to overcome. He continues to take the high road, even when “lower” choices could further his own personal advancement. Good life lessons for the reader in our diminished culture.
So, Edmund is the elected Governor of Rood that eschews nobility and their rule. Edmund is organizing the townsfolk to face the cruel winter and an even crueler King (Lionel). Edmund hopes that Rood can one day be free of Nobile rule and serve as a haven for magic users. In order for Rood to win it’s independence, Edmund must take King Lionel into the goblin inhabited mountains so that he may fight gloriously.
The character development was really good. King Lionel of Erin Mas was just frickin’ hilarious. It almost read as a Monty Python skit. He can’t seem to listen to those around him save for his own myopic reasoning. He just wants a good fight some shagging and his minstrels to record his valiant adventures.
It is hard to write a critical review when there is nothing to criticize. My disappointment comes with the death of some characters I have become used to and will miss their contribution to the story-line. Other than that, I recommend that you get this series and enjoy it.