A somewhat strange book. Describing it it seems to be like a RPG game, where our protagonist completes tasks, each getting harder and more implausible as it continues. We start the story from the viewpoint of a slave on a ship where he is shackled beside our hero. Apparently he’s been a slave for five years at this point and from here the adventures begin. It is a rich and detailed world and as a this book is a standalone it is almost a shame that there are not more stories to come from it as I would like to know more.
Why I described this book as strange is that our protagonist Korendir is basically insane. I have no idea why there is a friendship between Haldeth (the aforementioned slave) and Korendir as it is not really reciprocated. We are told of the great compassion of Korendir but there is very little evidence. He’s been obviously broken by a great tragedy in his life (which we find out about) but he is quite hard to relate to. He does mellow somewhat as the story progresses but still, I would not have stuck around.
Now this seems like I did not like it, I did. It has elements of sword and sorcery books but written extremely well. Janny Wurts is a master of the written word. The glimpses we have of the world are very engaging and I liked all the characters except kind of the main one. This is not an issue as much as it should be as most interactions we get of him are external. The ending is also beautiful and sad. There is a sense of melancholy running through the book that I really enjoyed and the fact it is a standalone is kind of refreshing even though I would like more stories set in it. A beautifully written, deceptively simple book.
4 stars out of 5