The second instalment of Fiona McIntosh's gripping epic fantasy, set in a world torn by revenge, love and ancient magic. Ten years have passed since Loethar, the barbarian warlord from the Likurian steppes, devoured the Devona Set with his army of mercenaries, decimating their ruling families and settling in their primary kingdom of Penraven. Believing the Valisar heirs of Penraven to be dead, he has styled himself as emperor and continues his efforts to integrate his people into the native population. But abandoning his more violent methods of persuasion hasn't quelled the undercurrent of rebellion; for the Valisar heirs do live. Hidden from the barbarian's wrath by loyal allies who risk everything for the future of their kingdom, they are bound to return and seek a tyrant's blood for the havoc he has wreaked.
With the stunning opener in this series (Royal Exile) leading readers into a new realm of the fantastical it was always a question of whether the second novel would live up to the pace, the world building as well as allowing character growth to sustain itself after the breakneck speed that Fiona set in the original.
Well after reading this offering I really do add her to the top of my list of fav’s as this tale did all that I was expecting and more. Its pace was simply stunning, the characters as gripping as ever and if we’re going to be honest here the world building is currently one of the best. Back that up with a touch of historical fiction realism and you’ve got a tale that plays for keeps and will be one that will have plenty of readers salivating for the final novel in the series.