Great start to an epic series
Sixteen year old Alexander may be the heir to the throne, but he knows all too well where the true power lies. In this world of Aesarian Lords, dark magic and betrayal, he has a lot to prove. Then he meets Kat, from Erissa. The two share a deep, inexplicable connection that supersedes romance. But Kat has her own secrets and her own mission to accomplish.
There are a few truly unique aspects to this book that make it stand out. The first, is the history. Clearly, great effort has gone into researching and writing scenes that are historically accurate, right down to the textures and smells. This was perhaps also the one downfall for me. At times, I felt that there was just a little too much detail in some of the scenes, and this affected the pacing. There were also times, in the beginning of the story, when I wondered what the end game or goal of some of the characters were (most noticeably Alexander) and this left me feeling somewhat lost.
The second ‘stand-out’ feature, was the POV and tense. I think this is the first book I’ve read that is written in a third person, present tense. At first, I found it a tad disconcerting, but really, it works for this story. The tense drives the action forward and the POV allows the author to delve into the motives and emotions of the pivotal characters. The alternating POVs also works well in this story as there is clearly more than one person’s story to tell here, and the various POV’s helped me to connect to the characters.
Thirdly, the writing style of the author is poetic and beautiful, with a decidedly dark edge to it. I love reading every sentence and relished each description. Herman has managed to create a world of darkness, magic and death, injected with fierce pride and intrigue. This is a fantastic start to what promises to be an epic series.