This will be more rewarding for those with preexisting knowledge of Osten Ard, but I think this works really well as a standalone story, too. For me, this is one of my favorite books of the year.
While Williams fills in some of Ineluki’s backstory (prior to his descent into supervillainy), there’s more emphasis on Ineluki’s brother, Hakatri, and Hakatri’s faithful servant, Pamon Kes. This duo’s story is incredibly compelling, with Pamon Kes as the standout star. I’d happily read more stories from Pamon’s perspective and I hope Williams tells additional tales from this era in Osten Ard’s history.
All in all, this was a wonderful novella that I struggled to put down. Bonus points for an outstanding cover and a stunning map!
My thanks to DAW and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.