My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have a strange relationship with Jim Butcher. I tried to read his Dresden series and couldn't get through the first book. I picked up that same book on audio and became HOOKED on it. I'm not sure if it was the reader or if I could really concentrate on the language. Or, maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it at the time. At any rate, that is why I immediately bypassed the print version of Butcher's other series, and started off with the audio.
I was not disappointed.
This book is a traditional, straight up, fantasy, complete with heavy Roman overtones. There is political intrigue, magic (of a sort) a boy who is "different", secret identities and, Butcher's forte, characters with more depth than an Olympic diving pool.
And a whole lot of people get the hell beat out of them too, which is something carried over from the Dresden series. If you were looking for something a little lighter than the normal Urban Fantasy series, you won't find it here. There were places in this book that made me wince and I wondered (as I often do with the Dresden series) how these people can get up again.
The book, for me, started off slow. I saw the "twist" near the beginning coming like a telegraphed punch, and I thought the entire book was going to be one big fantasy trope that we've all seen before. But the action and intrigue picked up sometime when I wasn't looking, and I was hooked. So much so that I had to bring CDs from the car into to work, and into the house, so I could keep the story going long after I left the car.
Am I as hooked on this as the other series? Not quite yet. But, I'm about to start book 2 (which I have both on audio AND Sony reader) so we'll see how that goes. So far, it has been a very promising start.
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