Acclaimed Inda series within Sherwood Smith's epic fantasy Sartorias-deles universe • Military fantasy woven with courtly politics, vast worldbuilding, and diverse characters
As the second son of the Prince and Princess of Choraed Elgaer, Inda was fated to protect the realm his older brother would inherit. Forced to flee his homeland before his thirteenth birthday, he finds himself on the perilous decks of a pirate ship, forcing himself never to think of all he has lost.
But his military skills and inborn natural leadership ability cannot be erased, and four years later, Inda has become head of his own mercenary marine company, with a reputation for protecting merchant vessels against the marauding bands of pirates that plunder the waters.
Meanwhile, after the untimely death of Inda?s brother, his parents are desperately searching for their second son—for Inda is now the heir to Choraed Elgaer.
In this lively, accessible follow-up to Inda (2006), Smith dares to resolve several plot lines, in defiance of fantasy sequel conventions. Young prince and military genius Inda, forced to turn mercenary after conspirators engineered his exile from Choraed Elgaer, is gathering allies for a sea campaign against the piratical Brotherhood, while the Sierlaef, heir to the kingdom of Iasca Leror, savors Inda's banishment and plots multiple intrigues. Inda's attention soon shifts toward the ambitious Venn Empire, which wants to use him as a political pawn, and the increasing role of magic in these complex international conflicts, but home and family are always in his thoughts. Smith deftly stage-manages the wide-ranging plots with brisk pacing, spare yet complex characterizations and a narrative that balances sweeping action and uneasy intimacy. Occasional asides in the voice of later historical scholars are a bit disconcerting, but the device is very lightly applied and further demonstrates the depths of Smith's world-building.