An action-packed flintlock fantasy book about guns, mages, bards and dragons!
Ulric, former war hero, has been living a quiet life of exile in the frontier city of Quinport and wants only to continue hiding from the mistakes of his past. But then he discovers the invention of a revolutionary new kind of rifle, and worse, the ruling Coalition discovers his identity. Rather than be blackmailed into service, Ulric goes to leave the city with the new rifles, but first he will need more money, or more help.
Enter Dellioph, no mere bard, who just arrived to Quinport and wants only to play his music and to keep his secrets. But trying to do both lands him directly in the path of one of the Coalition Chancellors, who wants to use Dellioph, and his secrets, for himself. Unable to scheme his way out entirely, Dellioph must choose to keep his secrets, his freedom, or his music. But when the choice is between anything and his music, it’s no choice at all.
And Gali, future chief of the Odagna, who wants nothing more than to save her people, even if that means forcing them to change. She disobeys her father, lies to her people, and travels to the Coalition city to learn how to do some of the things they do— making and using muskets foremost among them. But the people of the Coalition are not ready to accept the Teo, and Gali will be forced to learn the hard way that a renegade’s only friend is another renegade.
Meanwhile, two mysterious strangers from opposite sides of the world come hunting a sorcerer who has unbelievable power, a hunger for more, and dragons… but they are nothing like the stories.
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Picture a world full of colonialism, guns, colonials, rivalries and magic. And also singing bards that seem to have a knack for charisma as well as getting into trouble quite often. This was an excellent novel that made me more interested in its world building as I read. Plenty of fights, drinking, a lot, and a lot of swearing, cussing and power plays. This is a world of brutality and harm, but also a world of peace.
This story is accompanied by a wide cast of great supporting characters and great dialogue. Through every second I felt the frustration of the Teo and the anger of the citizens of the coalition. I felt as if I too needed to be there and rally against the injustice. Yet it’s a world of conflicting alliances and I loved Dellioph and Ulric, Gali and Devo and so many others. This dude here knows how to write an entertaining novel.
All in all, a triumphant debut and I can’t wait to read more. Get this while you can. You will not regret