A Coe Review
The focus of the books are the young distant heir to the throne and a Weaver (a type of master wizard) from a conquered race, the Qirsi. The story follows the heir as his family and the other Lords and their subjects are plotted against by renegade magicians from the Qirsi.
The first book focuses on the conflict between the heir and his father's primary rival among the Lords, a rivalry turned to disaster by the enemy. The main plot involves the "Rules of Ascension", which decree how the throne is to be shared amongst the Great Houses of the land.
The second book continues the conflict of the first, while introducing more about the Qirsi and new characters from a neighboring kingdom also under assault from within by the renegades intent on claiming power.
One of the themes of the series concerns power and the legitimate uses thereof, as well as what can happen to some when power is misused.
The characters are well developed and the writing style is excellent, but what really makes the books stand out is the tightly weaved plot that integrates assasination techniques into fuedal power politics at its best. These books begin to remind me of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, which is high praise indeed. I can't wait for the last two books to be published. - Thomas Sewell