Salvatore (The Pirate King, 2008, etc.) delivers another installment in his Saga of the First King series.
Bransen Garibond (last seen in The Ancient, 2008) becomes embroiled in a power struggle with lairds who seek to rule the kingdom of Honce. When Bransen is suspected of having assassinated one King Delaval, he must go into the warring territories to clear his name; accompanied by the charming scout Jameston Sequin, he dodges swords and arrows along the way. Most readers will wish there was more of the battle action that is Salvatore’s strength. The author is best known for his many novels in the Dungeons & Dragons–related Forgotten Realms series, and during the nimble fight scenes you can almost hear those 20-sided dice being rolled in the background. But much of the book is crammed with scenes of royal-court political machinations, and the stilted dialogue makes for rough going. Also, as is the case with many series, this latest installment may be somewhat difficult to follow without reading the two predecessors.
A standard, dialogue-heavy entry.