4 stars

This is the first book in the series and it starts well. The worldbuilding is good, but not oppressive, and the characters are well-written and interesting. King Severn is a ruthless king that is not loved by his people. When Duke Kiskaddon aids an attempt to depose the King and fails, he must turn over his youngest son Owen as a hostage to the King. If he fails the King again, the Duke’s entire family will pay the ultimate price. While at Court in Kingfountain, Owen finds an ally in the former queen’s poisoner. She helps Owen devise a plan to save him and his family, but is it too risky to work?

The story is fun, fast-paced and keeps the reader’s interest. It is a quick read and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.