Exile by Betsy Dornbusch
Published by Night Shade Books
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher Description: Draken vae Khellian, bastard cousin of the Monoean King, had risen far from his ignominious origins, becoming both a Bowrank Commander and a member of the Crown’s Black Guard. But when he is falsely condemned for the grisly murder of his beloved wife, he is banished from the kingdom and cast upon the distant shore of Akrasia, at the arse-end of the world.
Compared to civilized Monoea, Akrasia is a forbidding land of Moonlings, magic, and restless spirits. It is also a realm on the brink of a bloody revolution, as a sinister conspiracy plots against Akrasia’s embattled young queen–and malevolent banes possess the bodies of the living.
Consumed by grief, and branded a murderer, Draken lives only to clear his name and avenge his wife’s murder. But the fates may have bigger plans for him. Alone in a strange land, he soon finds himself sharing the bed of an enigmatic necromancer and a half-breed servant girl, while pressed into the service of a foreign queen whose life and land may well depend on the divided loyalties of an exiled warrior . . .
Exile is the beginning of an ambitious fantasy saga by an acclaimed new author.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to review this book prior to its release, and even more pleased after having read it.
“Terror is our only enemy. We defeat it by dying.” Brinian proverb
Draken is an honorable man dishonored by circumstances. Accused of sorcery and the murder of his wife (both heinous crimes in his country) he is sent into exile in the country of his enemies. There he discovers that, because he looks like his father, he can pass for a member of a conquered nation, and thus is in slightly less danger of losing his life, at least for about 5 minutes, until his honor puts him in the way of protecting the queen of his new country.
Draken is an interesting character, and the secondary characters are equally interesting. The plot moves along nicely, and the story is engaging. I enjoyed the setting and found the author’s world building commendable. There’s a bit of romance, some meddling by the gods, and a few rousing fights. The hero was neither perfect nor capable of doing everything by and for himself, but he has the knack of making friends and influencing people. Exile is an enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
Exile: The First Book of the Seven Eyes
Archive of Fire: Sentinel Book 1
Included in: Big Pulp Winter 2010, Deadly by the Dozen