A wrongfully imprisoned storyteller spins stories from his jail cell that just might have the power to save him—and take down a corrupt government.
Arrested on accusations of witchcraft and treason, Chant finds himself trapped in a cold, filthy jail cell in a foreign land. With only his advocate, the unhelpful and uninterested Consanza, he quickly finds himself cast as a bargaining chip in a brewing battle between the five rulers of this small, backwards, and petty nation.
Or, at least, that's how he would tell the story.
In truth, Chant has little idea of what is happening outside the walls of his cell, but he must quickly start to unravel the puzzle of his imprisonment before they execute him for his alleged crimes. But Chant is no witch—he is a member of a rare and obscure order of wandering storytellers. With no country to call his home, and no people to claim as his own, all Chant has is his wits and his apprentice, a lad more interested in wooing handsome shepherds than learning the ways of the world.
And yet, he has one great power: his stories in the ears of the rulers determined to prosecute him for betraying a nation he knows next to nothing about. The tales he tells will topple the Queens of Nuryevet and just maybe, save his life.
Rowland (In the End) spins an impressive and thoroughly entertaining fantasy that isn't afraid to pull back the curtain on its craft, providing an insightful commentary about the art of storytelling and the dangerous, enchanting power that stories have to change reality itself. Arrested on charges of witchcraft and spying, a travelling storyteller known as Chant is imprisoned in the northern country of Nuryevet and thrust into the complicated network of information and deception that exists among the country's five elected rulers. Chant is determined to save his own skin, so he begins sharing information with his captors, spinning tales in order to ensure his ongoing value. But stories have power, and soon Chant and his small band of allies become enmeshed in a plot that could topple the delicate balance of power in Nuryevet for good. Chant's caustic wit and clever prose make him an ideal narrator for this tale, and each character's voice aids in creating a world of words that readers will be loath to leave.