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Library Journal★ 12/01/2013
Corban, the blacksmith's son, hopes to join the army of King Brenin but knows that he must first learn how to use a sword. Veradis, whose brother rides with the army of the High King Aquilus, hopes to do the same but is elated to join the newly formed war band of Nathair, the king's son. Evnis swears loyalty to the Queen of Cambren and to the dark god she serves. The fortunes of these and of other individuals come together when the High King calls a meeting of all the rulers of the Banished Lands to unite these kingdoms to withstand the dark forces he sees coming. VERDICT Gwynne's debut epic fantasy launches a series that promises the same degree of complexity and depth found in Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" books and George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series. The author skillfully juggles many plot threads, and his worldbuilding is richly detailed and filled with characters who evoke the reader's interest and sympathy.