The Emperor of the Annurian Empire is slain. He is survived by his three children: his sons Valyn and Kaden and his daughter Adare. The novel follows each of the three heir’s perspectives in the wake of their father’s murder.
To prep Kaden, the oldest son, for the future ruling of the empire, Kaden was sent to the edge of the empire to train with monks in a remote monastery. There he learns control over himself under the harsh and brutal tests of his masters. But the monastery is too far away for him to know of his father’s death, or the dangers that may be in store for him.
For Valyn, he is but weeks from the completion of the final test that would secure his place in the deadliest fighting force of the empire when he learns of his father’s death. But when a dying soldier’s warning of conspiracy mix with several training accidents, Valyn begins to suspect that his own life, and his brother Kaden’s, is at risk.
Adare served her father in whatever way she could, but as a woman it is difficult for her to be heard in the emperor’s traditional courts. After her father’s passing, the trial for the suspect of his murder is brought to process and Adare finds that the suspect is loved by the people and accusations could lead to civil war.
This was the first book in some time I’ve read that followed more than two character’s perspectives. Although at times I wished to simply be reading Valyn’s story, it was only due to the fact that there are some very tense moments that come with chapter breaks. By the end of the novel I was thoroughly enjoying reading all three sides of the story as they converged to a very intense ending. The story is very well plotted and paced and I felt very well connected with the characters and setting. I look forward to reading the next novel The Providence of Fire soon.
Recommended for fans of both Epic and Grimdark fantasy as the diversity of the three characters will satisfy a large group of fantasy readers.
I liked it!