Another Review at MyShelf.Com


by Fiona McIntosh

      In an Arabian Nights style land called Percheron, the Zar is the Supreme Being, subject to nobody - or is he? When the old Zar dies unexpectedly his fifteen-year-old son Boaz inherits the throne, setting off a chain of events. Courtiers jockey for power, and try to work each otherís ruin while Boaz seems subject to the dictates of his mother, one of the viziers and the Grand Master Eunuch. His only friends seem to be the mysterious foreigner Lazar, who is head of security, a "mad" dwarf and the most beautiful member of his newly assembled harem. But forces beyond their control are soon going to change everything...

Iíve always loved anything with this type of setting, and so was very keen to read this book, especially as I have enjoyed this authorís other work. This is another real page-turner which I devoured in a few bites, the sort of book that had me turning the pages to see what was going to happen next. For anybody bloodthirsty out there this is going to be a veritable feast, being one of the goriest books I have read for some time. There is somebody pleading for their life, being tortured or executed on nearly every page, so this one is definitely not for the squeamish. Much of this sets the scene, but I was wondering after a while whether the new Zar - who is a decent lad - could have exercised some of his power and at least got rid of Salmeo. Also, we are told how the old religion had been ousted and the new patriarchal worship begun a few centuries earlier. But the only religious people we see are the priestesses of the old religion - so when does the worshipping of the newer misogynistic god take place? The Percherese seem a remarkably secular bunch! But all this aside if you want an exciting read - and get to slake some bloodlust into the bargain - this is a good book.

The Book

Orbit / Little, Brown Book Group
July 2007
Fantasy [Fantastic Location]
More at US|| UK
US edition is different
NOTE: Torture

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006