From Publishers Weekly
Enge competently blends a compelling plot and unrelentingly grim prose in this somber stand-alone fantasy debut. The heir to the Empire of Ontil is twelve-year-old Lathmar, a terrified child recently orphaned by his own Protector and uncle, Lord Urdhven. His ancient and powerful relatives, controlling Ambrosia and morosely forbidding Morlock, offer their magical aid to reclaim his throne and defeat the Protector. Slowly growing to manhood, Lathmar struggles to assert himself as the Emperor-to-be while craving his guardians' parental approval and longing to become more of a participant than an observer. Though the characters are more fascinating than lovable, Enge's precise and elegant language and some darkly harrowing scenes are sure to tug on readers' heartstrings. Legends frequently have predictable conclusions, but even with an unsurprising destination, this coming-of-age narrative makes for an engaging journey.
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A powerful obsessive dynastic fantasy with clever shades of Arthurian mythos. I particularly like the drawing of Morlock and his dwarven artificer apprentice. Compelling reading.--Dave Freer
, co-author of the Heirs of Alexandria
James Enge writes with great intelligence and wit. His stories take twisty paths to unexpected places you absolutely want to go. This isn't the same old thing; this is delightful fantasy written for smart readers." --Greg Keyes
, New York Times
bestselling author of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone
James Enge's work is like Conan as written by Raymond Chandler: rich, witty, aware of its genre's traditions but not bound by them, with a new surprise of plot or turn of phrase every moment." --Paul Cornell, Hugo nominated writer of Doctor Who and Marvel comics