The Gods are dead – killed by the Magelords who, on their return from the heavens, carved up the world between them and now rule the land and the humans that live on it.
One of those Magelords, Salazar, ruling his lands from Dorminia, ends his war with the Magelord Marius by destroying the city of Shadowport with an incredible feat of magic that leaves him weakened and half of his elite forces useless. Now is the time to strike, and rebels and other Magelords alike seek to take advantage of Salazar’s weakened state.
Among these enemies of Salazar the Tyrant are Davarus Cole – a young man who has been told that he is a hero, and the son of a great hero, for so many years that it is all the truth he knows; two uncouth Highlanders who save the young Cole from an early demise; and a variety of self-righteous rebels, crippled traitors and mercenaries whose only morality is that which they are paid to have.
A deftly crafted work that covers politics, betrayal, assassination, war, and frighteningly believable battles against enormous magical monsters, this is a great story that will keep you guessing right until the end. While not all of the characters are loveable, or even very nice, they are all well-rounded and believable, and their back stories are recounted sufficiently to make them credible as complete entities.
The well-paced narrative is enhanced rather than stalled by occasional flash-backs and the wealth of description. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book for all those who like their fantasy to be gritty, realistic and a little on the dark side.