Jill Williamson is my favorite living author. She has an uncanny knack for drawing you into her story. So I was delighted to read this.
This book is the first in a new prequel series to her popular Blood of Kings trilogy. This prequel series is ancient history, taking place hundreds of years before, maybe a thousand years.
Two sons of the king, Prince Wilek and his younger brother Prince Trevn, struggle against the forces who have corrupted their father. Intrigues at court turn deadly, and Wilek must solve a murder: who did it and why? Meanwhile, natural disasters are becoming commonplace, and Wilek is tasked to travel to a ruined city and report back. The quest leads him on a dangerous journey to nearby realms. Could it be that an ancient prophecy of total disaster is near to fulfillment?
I am so glad Jill has returned to writing about this story world. I really enjoyed this book and could hardly put it down. It’s a sprawling tale, with lots of point-of-view characters. So my only complaint is that I had some trouble keeping them all straight in my mind. Despite that, I highly recommend this book and look forward to the coming ones in the series. 4.5 stars.
Warning: The book contains characters who are prostitutes and concubines, and royalty who have absolutely no sense of fidelity in marriage. There is plenty of idol worship as well, including child sacrifice. None of this is graphic. But it is strong stuff, based on the deplorable behavior of the nation of Israel before the exile.