Where do I begin with this book? This is the first time I’m reading something by Jeff Wheeler and colour me “impressed”. This is a perfect example of a book that sneaks up on you and takes a hold of your thoughts and much more. Although I will not say its perfect in its entirety but I will say it is definitely a step up from all the other books I have read and I am glad for it.
This is a story about a boy who learns the harsh nature of court and its very cunning politics and how said boy learnt very quickly to make the right friends and earn the trust of a king.
An heartbreaking prologue
One of the ways an author can capture his audience is by delivering an intriguing prologue that would keep them interested even if they do like the first couple of chapters and Jeff Wheeler did excellently in this aspect. We were introduced to Owen in a very subtle way and given a little bit about his origin in those first few pages that will make you curious about how this very fragile child will turn out or how he will fair in a court where even his own older brother and father didn’t fair well.
A boy like no other
Owen is a very smart 8 year old who could intrigue almost anyone. He is brave but also scared, he is mentally gifted but can also be dull in some areas, he is excellently cunning but very naive and incredibly loyal to those who have earned his trust. He knows how to manipulate people to get what he wants and with Ankarette‘s help, he became a better spy and an almost convincing good kid. Most of all, he is Fountain-Blessed which means he can do things others can’t or in his case, see things others can’t.
The Queen’s Poisoner & Evie
The two women in Owen’s life at court were his greatest assets. One was his trainer and friend while the other was more than a playmate, she was his rock. With these two women, Owen felt safer at court more than ever. Ankarette was the best spy and strategist in the land especially since she was supposed to be dead after being throw over a waterfall by the king. She was honest with Owen which is very hard to find in an adult let alone at court so Owen always knew exactly what to expect with her. Evie on the other hand was the bravest little girl I have ever read about. She could talk your ears off and was loyal to a fault, she would do anything for those she loves and as a wonderful sense of humor.
The king could be seen as a psychopath by anyone looking from the outside but when you get a closer look at the man, you would find that he was only lonely and not very trusting except that he also has a very bad habit of throwing people who commit treason especially when he sees it as a threat over the waterfall.
P.S: Read this and you won’t regret it, Trust me