In a quiet corner of the Imperial City, Investigator Narin discovers the result of his first potentially lethal mistake. Minutes later he makes a second.
After an unremarkable career Narin finally has the chance of promotion to the hallowed ranks of the Lawbringers - guardians of the Emperor's laws and bastions for justice in a world of brutal expediency. Joining that honoured body would be the culmination of a lifelong dream, but it couldn't possibly have come at a worse time. A chance encounter drags Narin into a plot of gods and monsters, spies and assassins, accompanied by a grief-stricken young woman, an old man haunted by the ghosts of his past and an assassin with no past.
On the cusp of an industrial age that threatens the warrior caste's rule, the Empire of a Hundred Houses awaits civil war between noble factions. Centuries of conquest has made the empire a brittle and bloated monster; constrained by tradition and crying out for change. To save his own life and those of untold thousands Narin must understand the key to it all - Moon's Artifice, the poison that could destroy an empire.
I guess cops are the next big thing in fantasy ;) Here we got Narin who is a Lawbringer, so when he "accidentally" knocks down a guy he sets out to investigate what on earth is going on. There are baddies, demons, poison and something that would rock the empire to it's core.
Narin was a good guy, sure he did not make the best of choices (one in particular), but that just made him human. And he really did love working as a Lawbringer and protecting the innocent. It was a true cat and mouse game. Luckily he had some help, very mysterious Enchei who was a tattoo artist. Kesh, a young woman on the run. Rhe, Narin's mentor, whom I really liked. And of course a strange assassin without any memories.
I think that what I liked most was that it was a world where some humans had found a way to ascend and become Gods. I would have loved to learn more. If they were really good at what they did, then they might just become the god of that, like the God Lawbringer. It was also a world that had known it's fair share of war and there empire was made up of powerful Houses who ruled.
And of course I must mention that it's gun powder fantasy. But yes some of the powerful are allowed to have guns. A world caught between the old and the new is always fascinating.
What I liked most was the end, do not get me wrong. There was a conclusion so I was all yay! But at the same time I now want more, so that was bad in a good way ;)
An interesting world, likable characters, and evil baddies ( I love evil baddies)! I look forward to reading more set in this world
Would I read more?
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published November 21st 2013 by Gollancz