Book four of the futuristic epic fantasy adventure goes back to the years directly after the Cleansing. Lord Obdurin has been Rhysin’s chosen for eight years, and Avril and his cadre are not nothing more than an idea.
Obdurin’s enemies are gathered against him, but Obdurin refuses to wait for the conqueror’s terms or the assassin’s blade and embarks on a bold plan to reshape Central Newterra. Other players: chosen, immortals, and at least one aspirant who would claim Obdurin’s place as The Lord of Frake’s Peak are determined to beat him at his own game.
Vincent d’Rhyne, the son of Lord Obdurin’s predecessor—Lord Benshi—swore a debt of gratitude on the day Obdurin killed Vincent’s father and took Rhysin’s heart. Now eight years later, Vincent is given his chance to repay that debt, but did he misjudge Obdurin in his gratitude? Is Obdurin the peace loving man that he appears to be, or is he a subtle tyrant and much worse than bloodthirsty Lord Benshi ever was?
This book has been the most challenging of The Bastard Cadre books to write so far. We get to meet our new protagonist, Vincent a very tortured soul, but we also get closer to the chosen and their games and we see something of how the people of Newterra and the chosen are manipulated by gods. I’ve been told by Beta readers that you could read this book as an introduction to the series (it’s set before the other books) without reading the first three books, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’ve also tried to remove some of the ambiguity around some of the character’s motivations, in particular Lord Obdurin, but you’ll have to let me know how I did.