“Two royal heirs from different racial and cultural backgrounds. One is a visionary leader of an outcast race, determined to unite his people and reclaim their ancestral homeland. The other was long thought dead after the royal family was massacred during a planetary invasion. The recent evidence that the heir still lives, threatens to disrupt the smooth running of the Empire.
David Held, a top agent in the Imperial service, is sent to find and protect the missing heir from agents of the occupying forces, desperate to consolidate their hold on the conquered planet and prevent the heir returning.
The trouble is the Empire (nearly) always fights by the rules. To avoid technological contamination of a less advanced society, Held is denied his usual array of hi-tech equipment and even has his memories altered to fit the local environment. Faced with an enemy unconstrained by such ideological considerations, he has one hand tied behind his back.
As the fates of the two young heirs become increasingly intertwined, can the race to find the one, help to fulfill the ambitions of the other? Or will both be destroyed by a ruthless enemy who has no qualms about bringing advanced warfare to a pre-industrial society?”
What I didn’t like: The book synopsis/blurb is misleading; most of the book is about David Held leading an army and helping a group of displaced people reclaim their homeland in a very traditional fantasy epic kind of way. There are science fiction portions, but not nearly as many as the synopsis would lead you to believe. Similarly, most of the book is more directly about David rather than the two heirs of the title. I personally found that when the author switches between the two different groups (one with each heir), there isn’t any obvious indication that you’ve switched groups until a character name is mentioned to be slightly jarring. Finally, occasionally the writing feels a little dry, almost clinical, with some commas here and there in odd places (a personal preference, but one I felt worth mentioning).
What I did like: Everything else. The setting was interesting, with nods to classics like Lord of the Rings and the legend of Arthur, but different enough to not feel like a re-hash. The battle scenes are detailed enough to be clearly visualized but not to the point that it’s graphic. The characters are engaging and it’s easy to care about what happens to them. David Held is the most developed character and I very much want to know more about him. I also like that Seb is left something of a mystery. It leaves readers wanting to read a sequel without the jarring aspect of a cliff-hanger. I also very much enjoyed the science fiction aspects were woven into the fantasy setting.
Overall, this is a book I would read again and recommend to friends.
Book Rating: 4/5.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.