Author's note: The following story takes place in the same world as my novel Blood Song, the first volume in the Raven's Shadow trilogy. I wrote it because I wanted to more fully explore characters who appear in Blood Song and the sequels Tower Lord and Queen of Fire. Readers familiar with my work are sure to recognize a certain pale-eyed, raspy-voiced Sword Master of the Sixth Order, and those curious as to the origins of the Tower Lord of the Southern Shore will find answers here. The tale takes place at the midpoint of the timeline described in Blood Song, a time when King Janus, with typical ruthlessness, is in the process of further consolidating his grip on the Unified Realm.
Loved the jaunt back into the unified realm, especially with brother Sollis. The tie in to the Hope killer was unexpected and welcome. The only reason this gets 4 of 5 stars is that I found the price a bit steep for a short novella. I paid the same price for the entirety of Blood Song. Still, didn’t really mind paying for more of Anthony Ryan’s epic and Steven Brand’s now wonderfully familiar narration.