I was very impressed with this novel. It is the first in series, but never at any time felt like being such.
We were introduced to the characters at a nice pace, brisk and well interspersed with a decent level of initial details. The two female leads, Viola and Janessa are friends from mixed pasts; one a (to become) powerful mage, the other a halfling; a thief.
When a traveling band of merchants and pit fighters arrive to set up camp on the edge of town, we are introduced to Berek, the hero of our tale, a strong man, a human with innate powers nobody understands, least of all himself. His uncle a fellow mage and holy man Gilliam soon enters the tale and along the way on the search for a hidden treasure they pick up merchant and dwarf Galin.
I won’t give away the plot, or what happens, but as the character lines are drawn the initial quest is one of freedom.
With Renard set up as the villain of the tale early on, and his gargoyle ‘pet’ Felch the books main antagonist, the plot begins to move along with the only possible outcome finding place in the final pages of the story. Plot points come together nicely, and the few remaining questions you may have are perfectly set for the second installment. The one thing you will be asking yourself when you finish the book is ‘just who is Mern?’ One thing for sure, he is certainly set to be an interesting character in the next book and beyond.
I am not normally a big Fantasy reader, but this book caught my attention and help me the whole way through. I would not only consider reading more in this genre, but certainly by this author.