This is a really good first book in a new, exciting fantasy series. We’re back in Kingfountain, and I’m so excited! This story revolves around a young man nicknamed Ransom. As a young second son, he is given to the King by his father as hostage to ensure his father behaves and does not side with rival Devon Argentine, who is intent on taking the crown for himself.
When the old King dies and Devon is crowned King, Ransom is told he is free to leave. Ransom goes home, but gets no warm welcome by his father. Forced to make his way in the world on his own, Ransom finds a place in his uncle’s house training to become a knight. He dreams of a life loyally serving an honorable lord, preferably with his boyhood crush Lady Claire by his side. Ransom finally becomes a knight, but suffers setbacks along the way. When he grabs the notice of the Queen of Ceredigion, she asks him to join the service of her eldest son, the heir to the King. Ransom must learn to navigate the treachery and conflict surrounding the noble family, while also trying to learn about the mysterious powers he may have that aid his fighting abilities.
I really enjoyed this book. Ransom is a great new lead character. He had to grow up quick and figure out who he is. He is a strong and capable knight, but still has the naivete of the young boy he is. He is clearly fountain-blessed, but since that is considered just an old-time legend and not real, there is no one he can talk with about it or train him. He is a skilled and feared fighter. Therefore, people like him to be on their side, but also fear to be around him. He is used by the nobility for their own purposes, and hasn’t had a lot of choice in his own fate. This is obviously frustrating for him.
The budding romance between him and Lady Claire is sweet, but they are kept apart so much that it’s a bit frustrating. I would like to see them able to have a little bit of happiness together in the next book. Lady Claire is a fierce, strong-willed young woman that definitely knows her own mind. She is very capable and I hope she gets a bigger part to play in the next book. She’s not the shy, retiring type and the fact that she was sidelined so much in the first book is frustrating. It seemed like she would have been a bit more daring.
This is a strong first book and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and 47North. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.