When Inda hears that his home country is about to be under attack by the Venn, he immediately abandons his piracy to his friend, the Fox, and heads home to warn everyone he knows that danger is imminent. He takes just a few friends with him, unsure of his welcome; little does he know that his close friend is king and he is about to take charge of the army in the face of the Venn’s arrival. The stakes have never been higher as Inda prepares to adapt his sea tactics to a battle on land and in the process sets about winning the hearts and minds of King Evred’s men.
I am definitely not used to reading fantasy chunksters these days. I really enjoyed this book, but there were times when I wished it was going by just a little faster. In large part, these sentiments occurred when we saw what was happening with Fox and Inda’s former ship crew; it seems I still don’t get on particularly well with books set on boats, for whatever reason. I was much more interested in what was happening on land, with the characters that I’d genuinely come to care about.
Of primary interest to me here, of course, was the tension between Inda and his lifelong fiance, Tdor, and his current lover, a Venn dag (or sorceress). Inda and Tdor have to rediscover one another, which I really enjoyed watching, and decide where their relationship is going to go in the future – whether they will adhere to tradition or choose to go their own way. I won’t tell you what happens; for the very few of you who read this blog who also enjoy epic fantasy, I don’t want to spoil it for you.
I would say that I preferred this book to the last one, because I much preferred the war-like atmosphere and tension this one had to the last one, which if I recall was spent mostly on boats and with Inda engaged in piracy. Inda’s steady growth as a person and a leader, his relationships with those around him, and the perceptiveness of the other Marlovans were all more interesting, for me at least. Quite simply, this book suited the reader I am, and has me looking forward to Treason’s Shore, which I think is the conclusion of this series.
I would recommend King’s Shield, and the rest of the series (starting with Inda) to those who enjoy epic, doorstopper-sized fantasy. It’s a great world with some intriguing characters and I’m looking forward to spending a little more time there.
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