I really enjoyed this complicated and intricate fantasy with an interesting lead character (or two). Here is my review of The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan.
As an Emperor’s Justice, Sir Konrad Vonvalt always has the last word. His duty is to uphold the law of the empire using whatever tools he has at his disposal: whether it’s his blade, the arcane secrets passed down from Justice to Justice, or his wealth of knowledge of the laws of the empire. But usually his reputation as one of the most revered—and hated—Justices is enough to get most any job done.
When Vonvalt investigates the murder of a noblewoman, he finds his authority being challenged like never before. As the simple case becomes more complex and convoluted, he begins to pull at the threads that unravel a conspiracy that could see an end to all Justices, and a beginning to lawless chaos across the empire.
I was excited to be approved for this free copy of this fantasy with a touch of a murder mystery (The Justice of Kingsby Richard Swan) for a free unbiased opinion.
This was an interesting book -the main character Lord Vonvalt is not the point of view character, in fact, we have no direct view of his thoughts or motives. Everything we know about Lord Vonvalt is filtered mainly through the first-person narrator Helena, his apprentice clerk, or through the reactions of the people around him as he is affected by the events around him.
Helena, herself, was an interesting character and she changes along with Vonvalt as the story progresses.
There is an underlying mystery which I enjoyed more than the religious and political aspects of the book. But all the various plot strands converge together towards the end. There is plenty of action, gore, intrigue as expected and a touch of romance as well. I liked the foreshadowing Helena lays out throughout the book and which also sets up the events for the next book- and it sounds like Lord Vonvalt plays a major part.
Lord Vonvalt starts off as the typical hero of any fantasy, but he becomes increasingly grey as the story progresses and it will interesting how this plays out in the next two books. In fact it is Lord Vonvalt and his descent from being a noble hero that makes this book stand out from the others.
References to death of children, threats of rape and sexual assault
Perfect for fans of
The Black Coast by Mike Brooks and I did get some Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett vibes ( a complicated main character described and seen through the eyes of others,)
Series :Empire of Wolves ( Book One)
Publication date 25th August
Source: NetGalley and Little Brown