Published Date: November 23, 2011
Publishing Co.: Orbit
Synopsis link to Goodreads here.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Two books in one, just the first reason for a book wyrm to love this novel.
Book One: The Crown Conspiracy
Royce and Hadrian are hired for a last-minute-needs-to-be-now thieving job. Their first rule is that they don’t take same day jobs. They need time to properly research for every possible outcome and difficulty. Unfortunately for Royce, Hadrian harbors a secret heart of gold and will do just about anything to help anyone. Sometimes that means he accepts a job without talking to his partner about it first.
A job that seems cut and dry but ends with the two of them being caught and accused of the murder of a king.
Royce and Hadrian are very clever but mostly in this case, lucky. They catch a break with the princess who convinces them to kidnap her brother, the prince and keep him safe from her uncle and the church that may be trying to destroy their rule. In their quest to keep the prince safe, they help an all powerful wizard escape confinement by the church. It remains to be seen whether this wizard is good or bad. The church certainly seems to think he’s evil but we all know how much churches love to lie.
From hired to steal a sword, to saving a kingdom, Royce and Hadrian have their work cut out for them.
Book Two: Avempartha
Royce and Hadrian are once again hired to steal another sword. This one magical and locked inside an elven tower with no obvious signs of access. Did I mention guarded by a mythical beast called a Gilarabrywn? Kind of a dragon meets scorpion.
While they try to figure out this conundrum with the escaped (and Church’s most wanted) wizard, Esrahaddon, the Church is converging on the small village they are staying with all the knights and nobles of the kingdom, to present a tournament against the beast and crown whoever wins Emperor. The Church wants to crown an Emperor that they can control and do away with small kingdoms. They claim that the winner can be none other than the Heir of Novron, although in reality, they have what they believe is a magical sword that will defeat the beast with the lord they prefer to control.
Staying out of the eye of the Church is rather hard in a very small village, especially if you’re a master swordsmen like Hadrian. They just can’t believe that one wouldn’t want even the chance of being Emperor.
Overall, I really loved this whole story. From the amount of epic adventure to two protagonists that drip with sarcasm at every turn. What’s not to love? That ending left me dying to get my filthy little hands on the next book.