Published by Random House Publishing Group on March 31st 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction
The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty.
Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honor and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.
But Arlen Bales, the Warded Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honor refuse. Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a savior, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart.
In the south, Inevera, Jardir’s first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing one another and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for glory enough to make a claim on the throne.
In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late.
Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton—rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.
All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them. Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared. . . .
I honestly don’t know what I was thinking when I one-clicked this one aside from the fact that the cover and synopsis pulled me in but WOW it is over 700 pages long and unfortunately it felt 700 pages long. I usually cap my reads around 400 unless I’m familiar with the author and already love their work. This was the first of Brett’s books I’ve read and I’m hoping it won’t be my last though I may pay a bit more attention to page counts in the future before diving in. What I liked about the book was the ending. That sounds awful but it’s true. I’m personally a fan of cliffhangers so the ending gave me that ‘wait I want more’ feeling which is always a positive. I also enjoyed the overall story and world-building though I think it would have made more sense to me had I read earlier books. There were moments when I felt a little lost. What I didn’t like about the book was that many characters fell flat and it seemed like once they served their purpose, they were killed off. A lot of people died but the deaths weren’t all that dramatic or devastating. It was kind of like ‘eh, so and so died, no biggy.’ Also, page count. I’m sorry I just cant get over that it was over 700pgs. I almost DNF’d it for that very reason because it got easy to put down once I was 400+ in to the thing but I’m glad I didn’t. All in all. It was worth reading and if you’re a fantasy lover, this one is for you.
Raised on a steady diet of fantasy novels, comic books, and Dungeons & Dragons, Peter V. Brett (“Peat” to his friends) has been writing fantasy stories for as long as he can remember. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Art History from the University at Buffalo in 1995, and then spent over a decade in pharmaceutical publishing before returning to his bliss. He lives in Brooklyn.