The High Kingdom is facing its darkest hour. Its King has been weakened by illness and many are discontent with the Queen’s regency. As rebellion rumbles throughout the land, new threats are massing forces at the realm’s borders.
Desperate, the King decides to free Lorn, who has spent the past 3 years locked away on trumped-up charges in the citadel of Dalroth. Acting on the advice of a mysterious emissary of the Dragon, he dubs Lorn ‘Knight of the Onyx Throne’, making him the upholder of royal authority.
Lorn accepts the King’s mission but also hunts those responsible for his imprisonment. Reinstating the Onyx Guard, a once-powerful elite force, he becomes a new figure of hope for his people. But some take a dim view of his growing popularity and influence, and they are busy plotting his downfall.
If he foils his enemies, will he assume the role of champion that the Dragon’s Council of Emissaries have been seeking, the one capable of facing the Black Dragon? He must first confront an evil that gnaws at him ever since he was exposed to the Dark at Dalroth, which now threatens to overwhelm him.
First, all I can think about is the ending, but we will get back to that later.
Lorn once was a celebrated knight, now 3 years later he is freed from prison. A hellish prison that has left him eternally marked by darkness. And by darkness I actually mean darkness. The dark is a force not to be played with. It can turn you, it can kill you. Not to mention sitting in a shitty prison for 3 years is hell too.
The kingdom is in turmoil (all good kingdoms are ;). The king is sitting in his citadel, half dead and hiding. The princes are...well princes, but one seems promising. The queen has the power and the dukes wants to rebel. And all while another nation wants to take back land they lost. The usual stuff then, politics, war, death, destruction, dark powers, and just awesomeness!
I could not stop reading, I got caught up in Lorn's story, he was such an unwilling hero. He was so angry. I wanted to know why he had been in prison. I wanted to know why he had to save the land.
But then came the ending. I sat up in bed and said wtf, wtf...WTF!? That was an evil ending. That ending was too evil. That ending was brutal. It had me going to goodreads at once and reading the French blurb for book 2 (as this is a translation and book 2 has not been published yet.) I need book 2 now, I even thought about reading it in French for a second, but then I remembered I only took that beginner's class.
So, an evil ending (if you had not realised that by know). A great tale, interesting world, and I want more.
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 18th 2014 by Gollancz (first published September 1st 2012)