Review copy provided by Tor Books.
This is the second book in a series. The first one, some of you will recall, was a bit disappointing in that it focused on the two brothers who were fairly standard fantasy novel archetypes and gave very little space to their sister who was a princess who was also Minister of Finance.
Well! You will be pleased to know that Adare, the princess in question, appears a great deal more in this book.
She is no longer Minister of Finance. She acts very little like a former Minister of Finance. I don’t really understand why Brian Staveley came up with a POV character who was Minister of Finance if he didn’t want to write about one.
Also in increased content over the previous book: torture. Lots and lots more torture. General misery, despair, and definitely torture.
Oh, and also phoneticized “peasant” dialect. You know, for the
scum common people.
And yet I read this volume all the way through, so there have to be some good things about it. I was mostly invested in a handful of secondary characters, honestly, and the prose style is readable (when not doing phoneticized dialect), and I was hoping that the spoilerific means of getting from place to place would have some interesting stuff attached to it.
I’m not sure this is grimdark proper, but I suspect that people with a higher tolerance for grimdark than I have would enjoy it more.
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