I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
When we left the last book, Gen had schemed his way into a marriage with the Queen of Attolia...who despite some earlier, rather deadly disagreements, he loved. So he got what he wanted: the attention and love of a woman he loved for a long time, and a scary one at that. But he also apparently did not think his plan through enough because along with a wife he got a Kingdom, and one that couldn't stand the sight of him. The only view they wanted of him was his back as he went back over the mountains where he came from. The people of Attolia, namely the Queen's guards and nobles view him as a rogue who schemed and tricked his way onto the throne in order to steal the crown. They viewed it all as an elaborate revenge against their Queen..and they take any perceived attack on her dignity personally. Especially the Guard who are the most loyal to the Queen and helped her secure her throne. They go out of their way to torture and shame Gen in every way possible. Gen, does not help the situation by playing along with their idea that he is just an inept, barbarian fool who doesn't know up from down and friend from foe. They openly mock and attack him.
The reader of course knows this is all an act and are left wondering what his game is, there always is one...but we soon find out that he really means to play the fool out of love and fear of usurping the Queen hard fought for power and Independence. He is all too convincing in his role as hapless puppet because even when he does show some of his ability, people convince themselves he is still not worthy of note somehow, that his strings are being pulled by the more powerful Queen. This of course leaves the reader feeling helpless and frustrated...much like Gen. You want to hit every guard or noble that smirks in Gen's direction. But of course, the Thief of Eddis cannot play fool for long. He tried very hard to just be of no account, despite prodding from others to assert himself...but relevance seems to dog his every step. It is not too long before he reveals his plans, and he always has one, and also finally gives in to the pressure to be the King of Attolia. You find yourself wondering why the people of Attolia thought the man who could plan his way into getting in position to be King...is a fool. I enjoyed him showing them otherwise when the time was right. This installation in the series tells the story of how Gen becomes King in more than name only...and wins the loyalty of his people. It had a good helping of court intrigue, some good real romance between Gen and his Queen, whose relationship you can't help but envy...it is pretty much a romance story, just between tow very complicated and powerful people who are both struggling under the strain the outside world put on them. And it had some good actions scenes. Very well rounded.
The book, like the first two was very readable. It pulled you in from the start and held on until the end. Gen is a great character who you can't help but root for and relate to...his emotions are the readers emotions..that's how real he is on paper. This was perhaps the best book in the series...though the second book is close. I see around that there will be another in this series. I look forward to seeing Teleus's Prediction come true: seeing Gen, our thief become an Annux.