Publishing Date: February 2016
Publishers Description: Fooled by the treacherous King Aidan, Fallon has shot down the one man he trusted to save his beloved nation of Gaelland. And yet, when the King could grind Fallon underfoot, he draws the simple farmer and fighter closer, making a hero of him.
Review: I had a great time reading this novel, the latest in the Arbelester triology by Duncan Lay. Fallon makes for a great reluctant hero as he wends his way through palace intrigue with a malignant evil that seeks to annihilate humankind.
The world building sweeps you up along with a directed story line with the characters developing along with the movement. For me Bridgit, Fallon’s wife, was/is a little too good to be true and suffers from self-inflicted righteousness. She plans and leads a slave revolt, stands up to slave masters, beats the crap out of ruffians more than twice her size and cares for all the little slave children while being pregnant. While not believable, the setting in the Kottermani desert is fantastic. Duchess Dina is a great character that builds her innocence into an orchestrated bid for the throne and complete control of Berry by manipulating events and those around her. Fallon’s supporting cast is a great group of individuals that stand out with their disparate personalities.
There were some grammatical hiccups and the dreaded “said softly” used 47 times to expedite the dialogue and scene progression but very minor in the overall scheme. Get this if you enjoy a long read with events transpiring quickly under a veil of intrigue.