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Servant of the Crown*

Noble Warrior Protects Innocent

This is a sprawling tale of a warrior who finds a young person in need of protection due to a great secret. The book opens with a compelling scene of life and death and then a series of flashbacks before getting to the story proper. I liked that the author just started with a scene in the protagonist’s life, not doing an information dump to tell us about the complex world of the story. Instead, he puts us right in the shoes of a soldier who is soon to be tested. We can understand being placed in a difficult situation, so it evokes empathy.

If you prefer your fantasy to be of the fighting variety, you might be disappointed. While there is some of that, the book moves slowly and feels more like a character study of the warrior, especially in the earlier pages, and the young person, as we are coming to understand the forces that shape them. Character slowly unfolds. Foreshadowing is used to significant effect. I appreciated that the protagonist is a man of principle and honor even when it is not easy for him; he is not just one who obeys commands or follows orders.

The author also has an appealing and easy to read a writing style—which I appreciate after having read some books that do not—so that even though this is a longer tale, it’s easy to go along with the journey.