Too many people are frightened. They want youth to last. They complain bitterly if sickness comes. But the world is always in tumult, and fortunes rise and fall and fail. It is the ambitious who accomplish things. It takes courage to be ambitious, for never was anything great achieved without risk.
Duke of Kiskaddon attempt at getting rid of the ruthless king has failed and he has to pay the price for treachery. He is forced to give up his youngest son to serve as a hostage. And another misstep will cost him his child’s life. Now, Owen needs to leave his mother’s loving embrace and learn how to survive in a court full of vipers.
The prose in this book is really beautiful and poetic, but I think it’s the first time when I was actually bothered by that. The author uses his extraordinary skill in writing to make overly drawn-out scenes even longer.
I also feel very resentful towards the world-building in this novel. The world is very detailed and well thought out, but instead of incorporating the explanations into the story in an interesting and creative way, the author simply chose the good old info dump. If I was in the mood for long, detailed and boring descriptions of landscapes, I would just simply read a Tolkien’s book.
The characters are definitely the best part of this novel. Since nothing actually happens in this story, the author at least took the time to create vivid, interesting characters, even though some of them are a bit too black-or-white for my taste (Tolkien again? Anyone?).
Unfortunately, Owen definitely isn’t a very well-crafted character. I mean, he’s great. But either the author never in his life had an interaction with a child (like ever. EVER.) or he simply has no idea how to write a child character. Most of the time he feels like a 25-30 year old man. At least. I caught myself time and time again forgetting that he’s actually 8 years old.
I definitely liked Ankarette the most, but I feel like her potential was wasted. Since the book was named after her – the Queen’s poisoner – I expected a little bit more… you know… poisoning.
I just want to sigh. Very loudly. I am so… tired.
Nothing happened in this book. Like, actually nothing.
Sometimes it liked to tease me. Pretending like something would happen for a change. But then it never delivered.
Actually, I am lying. The ending was semi-decent. It pretty much saved this whole book. But I still feel very resentful.
I understand. This book is setting up a scene for the rest of the series. And maybe the rest of this series is amazing. Maybe the rest of the series is an actual masterpiece. But, hell. I don’t know if it will be worth going through THAT.