A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Fantasy books rarely take the side of the bully. They’re usually all about orphans or outcasts or hobbits overcoming great odds and showing the value of the little folk. Instead, this Russian import kicks off with a rollicking, womanizing, egocentric hero, Egert, who’s completely oblivious of the people that are drawn to his charisma. There’s definitely a light Three Musketeers vibe to these early chapters, until Egert’s ego drives him to a vicious act of murder. What follows is a thrilling duel, a crisis of confidence, and a long road to redemption.
It’s a complex story, told with a nod to fairy tales, yet a certain disregard for fantasy tradition too. There are some dark, supernatural elements and an unsolved mystery at the heart the novel. There’s some wonderful world-building that somehow feels both familiar and new. There’s also romance and plenty of swashbuckling action, but you’ll still close the covers feeling like you’ve read something of consequence.
Highly recommended for Fantasy readers or those who like an adventure with a little bit of artistry behind it.
Review by Matthew