Read for the Once Upon a Time VIII Reading Challenge.
This story takes place in the same world as The Curse of Chalion, and Paladin of Souls, two books I adored. While those books are about one family – the royal family of the kingdom of Chalion, this book is set in another country, which I’m not even sure was ever mentioned in the other two stories. I’ll admit, I was a little leery, because I’d loved Chalion so much, and I wasn’t sure I’d like something different.
I need to remember that I trust this author. She actually managed to add more depth to a world with an already amazing system of gods and magic.
The story begins with Lord Ingrey being summoned to investigate the death of Prince Boleso, the youngest son of the Hallowed King. It becomes immediately apparent that the prince was killed in self defense, for he was clearly trying to take advantage of Lady Ijada, the lady in waiting of his sister, who had stopped by on her way to the capital city.
Sounds simple, right? Of course there are complications upon complications, including that Ingrey shares his soul with a wolf, a forbidden practice that was forced upon him. Because it was not his choice, he’s been able to come to an uneasy truce with the Temple about keeping it. But now, not only was Prince Boleso trying to rape the Lady Ijada, but he was also trying to take the soul of a leopard, and it passed to her instead of him. Why was he dabbling in such forbidden magic?
What this means to the people of the Weald, and the dying Hallowed King is a story that just kept twisting and turning, and kept me thoroughly on the edge of my seat. This is great fantasy – the entire trilogy of worth seeking out.