Classic fantasy evokes character archetypes, and Katy Rose Pool’s debut fantasy cleverly and subtly subverts them. A gambler on the run, a prince in disguise, an assassin, and a warrior cross paths as a 100-year-old prophecy that foretells an age of darkness and massive social upheaval unfolds in this novel of myth and legend.
Each character in this novel is flawed and complicated, and the story deftly drives them together while exploring each one’s backstory. The world-building is deep and detailed enough to fully realize this fantasy world. The plot has a lot of twists and turns and the momentum compels the reader to race to the end of the story, reaching a satisfying conclusion while leaving open questions that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the rest of the trilogy. There are questions of religion, of politics, of personal morality, and of fate, plus characters you care about (even if they are murderers and liars!). A great reminder that even in times of darkness, one can find hope.
Molly Wetta is the Library Services Manager of the Santa Barbara Public Library.
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