I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first book in a new, big epic fantasy series. This book is told from the perspective of one main character toward the end of his life, after all of the big events in his life had occurred. The story centers on Hadrian Marlowe, an elite man from the ruling class. He is the presumptive heir to his father’s lands, however his life path doesn’t quite take the route he anticipates. He flees his father’s land and winds up stranded on a strange, harsh, unsophisticated world.
Starving and desperate, he decides to fight as a gladiator in an effort to buy passage off world. His antics bring him to the attention of the ruler of the world and he is forced to navigate a foreign court as a “guest” of the court. Events occur that bring him into contact with an alien race called Cielcin that are destroying worlds in the galaxy. As he stumbles through events beyond his control, he finds himself unwillingly fighting in a war for an empire that he doesn’t like or support.
Let’s start with the basics. The book is huge. There is a lot of world building, which can be tedious. The plot is slow and plodding at times and I often found myself frustrated at the pace. The story is interesting, but there are a lot of moving parts and a reader can easily get lost. You need to make sure you have sufficient time to read this book in large segments to better understand and follow the story. I liked the book and it has great potential. It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here.