Born illegitimately to a commoner and a prince, Fitz has both the ancient ability to talk to animals and the noble Skill of influencing other’s minds. At a very young age he’s chosen and trained to be the king’s assassin. This puts him in a position to defend the kingdom both from vicious Outislander raiders and from attacks closer to home.
This is my monthly read for the Sword and Laser group on goodreads. Most of the books they’ve selected have been exceptionally well written, so I went into this one with high expectations. Unfortunately, the writing was only decent, not exceptional. Nothing in the world building or plot set up was especially novel or outstanding either. You’d still probably be reading a much more positive review, calling the lack of novelty “classic epic fantasy”, if the plot had delivered anything epic. Instead, there was frequently building excitement, mounting tension and then… our hero gets called away somewhere else before he really impacts events in an exciting way! Disappointing every time.
There were aspects of the book done very well. I particularly enjoyed the author’s vivid descriptions of places as well as the tone of the narrator, which was believable and true to the character. The very ending did finally have a climactic show down driven by our protagonists actions. But it was too little too late. The story was also a little too sad for me (warning: puppies were harmed in the plot of this book). However, I may give the next book a try just because there was so much unused potential here. Based on this book alone, it’s not a series I’d recommend, but I’ll let you know if the others change my mind.
This review originally published on Doing Dewey