I should have known by the cover endorsement of J.R.R. Martin, I mean, George R. Martin, that this book would have an interesting story that I would have a difficult time enjoying.
War is coming thanks to a landslide of events caused by two squabbling noblemen. Marcus Wester is a retired military hero looking for an easy retirement. Cithrin is a ward of the bank sent out to transport the riches of a free city out of the hands of a greedy prince. Geder knows he doesn’t fit in with the other boys playing at war, but the machinations of nobility put him in a place of power as a scapegoat. The three stories twine together to create a detailed story of a kingdom on the edge of civil war.
I finished it even though I thought I wouldn’t. Abraham’s story is solid but the only character I connected with was Master Kit, who we barely hear from after the prologue. Cithrin was also interesting and kept me guessing but I didn’t have much to keep me holding onto her. Geder led me to hate him for his weakness by the end, but I guess that’s the point of the villain. Bonus points for the different types of humans though. No elves or dwarves to be seen yet the world is densely populated!
If you liked Game of Thrones, you will love this. It’s GoT Light. Less characters to remember and no family tree for reference. The map is okay. I won’t be reading the rest of this series, and that makes me a little sad, but I’m too old to waste my time reading books I don’t love.