This opening book pitches you head first into the intense and unrelentingly dangerous Kingdom of Bennvika, a world of strong, powerful women and ambitious, ruthless men. As a bitter power struggle surges through the land, you are just as likely to die in a devious political plot as you are in the carnage of a great, bloody battle.
Silrith, the exiled Princess of Bennvika, stands shoulder to shoulder with her followers, sword in hand, ready to defend those in need of her protection. Yet she knows that if she falls, thousands more will also perish.
‘Mother of many, Mother of none, a Queen will fall, and a Warrior will come.’
The sword. The word. The holy relic. How would you fight to reclaim your liberty?
The King is dead. An arrest has been made. The throne has been usurped. Bennvika is a land engulfed in turmoil and uncertainty.
Review (Video Review here):
I’m going to state it straight off; This is a fantastic book. I absolutely loved everything about it. The character traits are on point, the plot is intriguing and the action is intense. The opening scenes pretty much sum up Silrith’s entire situation and throw the drama in your face. You very quickly realise her dilemma, her new fate and the country’s political situation without having read about it in an endless text of explanation. P.J Berman has a way of making you feel highly involved in the battle strategy, yet feel so totally fazed by the fact that there is little one can do to bring the fight to your favour. Scandalous love, secret betrayals and one brave woman’s desire to save her people are just the beginning of what you will enjoy reading in this book. If you are a fan of The Game of Thrones, you will definitely love this story.
Message & Moral
Fight for the weak when they can’t fight for themselves. Claim back what is rightfully yours if you can rule it better than a tyrant. Give trust only when trust is due. These are but a few of the messages in this book. Faith, love and hope are powerful tools when raising a rebellion against a much stronger force that has taken your land and your people. Although, vengeance of hope, might be the ultimate source to Silrith’s endurance.
Creatures & Environment
I flat-out adore Silrith. She is an awesome young woman who must take on her responsibilities as a new Queen upon her father’s sudden death. She knows this means she needs to be composed and assertive, even though her insides are mourning her loss; both of her father and her kingdom. She has several false accusations imposed on her reputation which result in her exile and damnation. Yet she prevails. She fights back harder than her rival to the throne, Cousin Jostan, could ever have anticipated. My favourite part to read about is the relationship between Silrith and her first guard in command, Gasbron. He is a strong leader of her soldiers and someone who keeps helping her out of tricky situations. He helps her train and improve her battle technique. The environment is one of sword and sorcery, with fortified strongholds and muddy pathways trough the open landscape, travelled on by horse.
Captivation and Continuity
The drama and intrigues keep on coming. If it isn’t a political war it is a physical one, or a quarrel between friends. Murder is constantly a threat in the next breath, even when sometimes your heart is not completely in it, but you know it is for the greater good. Ambitious and brave people are punished whilst evil go free…at least so they think.
Language & Flow
The language explains the story in a way that you really feel yourself taken into the era and lives they live. The vocabulary is varied and made me feel very exited to learn and become inspired about new ways of describing fantasy.
T.M. Caruana’s The Magic Circle Award