A book, set in a world inspired by the conflicts and dramas of Renaissance Europe. Against this tumultuous backdrop the lives of men and women unfold on the borderlands—where empires and faiths collide.
From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request—and possibly to do more—and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy. The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the accomplished younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he’s been born to live. And farther east a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif—to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming. As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world...
This is a terrific read and I loved the fact it was set in the Renaissance period, one of my favorite historical periods. The world is beautifully imagined with numerous characters, both political and regular citizenry - military and religious leaders, priestesses, farmers, and many, many more. Because of the number of characters, it required a bit more concentration to keep track of them, and I did not bond well with any of them, but the storytelling and plot overshadowed this fact to make the book well worth reading. The author's writing is flowing and easy to fall into, seamlessly moving from one scene to another. The plot brought out my emotions as I read - shock, sadness, anger. The story is definitely plot driven rather than character driven, with plenty of action and twists. This was the first book by this author that I have read, and I definitely am interested in reading more. Definitely recommended for fantasy lovers.
Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.