Stephen's god died on the longest day of the year…
Three years later, Stephen is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. But all that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery, beset on all sides by spies and poisoners, while a cryptic killer stalks one step behind…
From the Hugo and Nebula Award winning author of Swordheart and The Twisted Ones comes a saga of murder, magic, and love on the far side of despair.
Uplifting Fantasy Romance
Is a heartwarming fantasy novel by T. Kingfisher, which is the pseudonym Ursula Vernon uses for her works for adults. It takes place in a medieval alternate world that features magic, knights, and various gods. Chief among those in this work is the White Rat, whose Temple is central to this tale.
Stephen is the titular Paladin. Unfortunately his god, the Saint of Steel, has died. This unexpected loss has left him and the remains of his brotherhood empty inside and bereft of purpose. The Temple of the White Rat has taken them in, given them a home, and attempts to help them heal.
Grace is a perfumer who comes from a difficult past. She has finally carved out a small life for herself, she has a small shop and a decent business. The main excitement in her life comes from the adventures of her landlord and friend who might be a spy.
Then these people get caught up in unexpected intrigue, involving the poisoning of a visiting prince. Meanwhile, murders are occurring on a regular basis. The heads of the victims are being found in the poorer quarter of the city. Both of these things will bring danger and the possibility of redemption.
Ms. Vernon says in her epilogue that she set out to write a fluffy romance, but it didn’t turn out exactly that way. Certainly, there are some horrific elements to this story, but there is a romantic subplot as well. It’s a overall uplifting novel, which has warm characters, dry humor, and a positive outcome. Definitely recommended!
A Great Read
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as I’m not a fan of romance, but the world and the characters were all so great. The paladins are a charming group, and Grace and her friend are fun and intriguing. The world had a great blend of substance and fantasy. The mystery that serves as the main plot arc aside from the romance is fun and well-paced. Overall just a great read.
Thank you for creating a character who is a straight male knitter. We are a vastly underrepresented group, and it was nice to see.
Looking forward to seeing Grace again. Forensic Perfumery could totally be a thing.