And that’s basically the first 100 pages. After that, the pace starts to pick up.
We are first introduced to a thief in the King’s prison by the name of Gen. He is both a masterful thief and a fool. He has gotten caught over a boast he made about a spectacular steal, literally. He is saved from rotting in prison by the magus and the King himself. He is then sent on a mission, which he is told nothing about with the magus, two apprentices, and one solider.
Eventually, the quest is revealed: steal a sacred stone and don’t die while doing it. Then give it to the magus, who will present it to the King, proving his right to the throne of a different kingdom. Simple, right?
I think if I hadn’t been reading so many other fast-paced books, I might have gotten into this one sooner than I did. As it were, I did not so I basically meandered through the first half or so without much interest or action. While I enjoyed the stories of the “old gods”, basically a different version of mythology than the ones I currently know, the first part of the book didn’t really pull me in to the greater story.
Once the quest was revealed and the task got under way, then things got interesting. The character of Gen is snarky, something I highly enjoy, which made me like him. The magus is very highbrow and intelligent but I had no idea who he was or what his job at the palace really was. It felt like random puzzle pieces that almost fit together but didn’t quite make it.
Overall, I think the book is good if you are truly interested in it and make the time to appreciate it (plus look up a different synopsis than the one on Goodreads) but it didn’t quite make the cut for me, despite being loved by Cinda Williams Chima (one of my all-time favorite authors, re: The Seven Realms Series, The Heir Chronicles). I was a little disappointed. It felt like The False Prince but with less action and a lot more talking. I did enjoy the flow of Turner’s writing but the plot progression left something to be desired.
Goodreads rating: 3 stars
My personal rating: 64
- Writing style – 8
- Plot – 7
- Dialogue – 8
- Personality of Main Character(s) – 8
- Love story – 4
- Invokes emotion – 5
- Synopsis accuracy – 4
- Consistent level of interest – 5
- Stays on topic – 7
- Accuracy of genre/genre blending – 8