When I started reading the book I had thought it was going one direction, but was very pleased when it went a different direction. I had thought in the beginning the book was moving a little slow, but now realize I was getting a lot of character details which I needed to come to my speculations. These details help me in trying to figure out the bigger picture with the lingering thoughts I have in the end of the book. In all these details are worth it and needed in the end.
The books tell a complete story in themselves so could be read alone. But, to get the full epic feel of the books and what the series is truely driving at I would read them in order from book one, The Crown Conspiracy. I had thoughts on the characters and of the under laying epic story. Some of these have been answered and some suspicion has been added.
You meet up with the characters you started to get to know in The Crown Conspiracy; Royce, Hadrian, Princess Arista, King Alric, Mauvin Pickering, Fanen Pickering, and even a few other characters ~ some were a hope of mine to see again and some were a surprise.
I enjoyed the humor in the book, the characters sarcasm and jokes with each other. Although, I do have to say reading the first book will help in seeing the humor and irony in the jokes.
So, after being framed to take blame for the murder of the King then clearing your name, what would you do? Go looking for the man who sent you in on the fake mission in the first place and have your revenge... right? That is where Royce and Hadrian are. The book starts when they find this man a few winters after book one. While in Colnora you start to get some history on Royce and Hadrian, to learn more of these characters. Also, while in Colnora there is a beautiful young farm girl, Thrace, throwing their names around looking for them. Royce and Hadrian find her being robbed and passing out from lack of food. Royce and Hadrian save her to find that she wants to hire them for a job. A difficult job of breaking into a locked tower to steal a sword.
You maybe asking how a poor, innocent farm girl would know to ask for them here in this city, in which they are not welcome. Well, Esrahaddon is back and guiding people around again.
The cover of this book is a very good depiction of a scene in the book. If you look closely you may see the beast in which is the center of why Thrace has come looking for Royce and Hadrian. But unknown to Thrace there is much, much more going on here than to her visible eye. You are going to have to read the book to see where it will lead you.