The monarchies of the Royal Vispasian Union have been bound together for two hundred years by laws maintained and enforced by the powerful Sun Chamber. As a result, nations have flourished but corruption, deprivation and murder will always find a way to thrive.
Receiving news of his father’s death Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld is recalled home to the ancient city of Tryum and rapidly embroiled in a mystifying case. The King’s sister has been found brutally murdered – her beaten and bloody body discovered in a locked temple. With rumours of dark spirits and political assassination, Drakenfeld has his work cut out for him trying to separate superstition from certainty. His determination to find the killer quickly makes him a target as the underworld gangs of Tryum focus on this new threat to their power.
Embarking on the biggest and most complex investigation of his career, Drakenfeld soon realises the evidence is leading him towards a motive that could ultimately bring darkness to the whole continent. The fate of the nations is in his hands.
I must begin by saying that I did try to read another fantasy series by him and did not like that one at all. But I still gave this one a go and I am glad I did. It was different and really good.
It's basically a murder mystery. Our lead detective is Lucan Drakenfeld, the genre is fantasy and the world is very Roman.
Right another cop story for me, and yet another fantasy book that mainly takes place in a big city. No running around on an adventure here. No, Lucan comes to his home town, says farewell to his dead father and begins to investigate the murder of the King's sister. He and his assistant goes from clue to clue, sees what the city is really about and moves from the highest to the lowest social circles. The whole mystery sure had me wondering and there were just so many suspects. But it all came together beautifully and I would love to read more about Drakenfeld to see what comes next for him. And for the whole empire.
I also liked the whole "Roman" style. Rome conquering other nations, and the whole style of living too. But it still felt fantasy and not just like I fell into another Rome dimension. He made it his.
A cool book and I would love to read more. Well written too.
Hardcover, 429 pages
Published October 10th 2013 by Pan Macmillan / Tor UK