I was given a print copy of Lies and Allies by author Jonathan Lenahan for review. I'm not sure if the copy I received is an ARC or the finished product. It reads as well as any finished product, hardly any mistakes. But the things I have not seen in other books; no page numbers, and no printing at all on the spine, make me wonder. No big deal you understand, just things that make me go hmm (nod to Arsenio).
Before I get started on the nuts and bolts of Lies and Allies I should just go ahead and say, I really like this book.
As the title informs us, Lies & Allies, The Blessed Trilogy, Book 1 is the first book in a new epic fantasy trilogy. At its heart this is a quest story, but unlike others I have read, the companions in this story are nowhere near a cohesive group and they remain that way through most if not all of the first story. In fact, one of the characters is almost completely unlikable. None of the companions fall in love with each other (or anyone else), at least by the end of this installment.
Our heroes have basically been coerced into taking on a suicidal quest; kill a King and Queen. No spoiler, it's on the back cover of the book. Making the quest are; a former general, a priestess, a mercenary (Rake, rogue, just plain jerk?),his simple associate, and a timid man imprisoned for his magic ability, five in all, a good quest number. Along the way, all sorts of unsavory characters get involved usually to their own detriment.
Lies and Allies is replete with political intrigue (lies), unwilling partnerships (allies), magic (the blessed), extreme violence, hinted at sex, torture, vengeance, compassion, and even love (filial).
As any good quest goes our heroes have to contend with several discomforts, from mild to downright horrible. Very good action sequences keep the adventure moving along nicely. The characters are much more developed and much earlier than in other quest adventures. The story is definitely character driven, we see the interpersonal conflicts played out in great detail. They are an integral part of the story, not just a weak hinted at side story.
Praise for author Jonathan Lenahan; he has shown he knows how to end the first entry in the trilogy without resorting to a cliffhanger. Not much more frustrating to me as a reader than to be left hanging and having to wait who knows how long to read the next part of the story. Lenahan is able to resolve enough of the story to let us feel satisfied, yet is also able to keep us hooked, looking forward to the continuation of the story (Three cheers for Jonathan Lenahan!).
As usual, I have not given much in the way of story detail. I figure, if I tell you the whole story, you don't need to read the book. That would be a shame. Lies and Allies by Jonathan Lenahan should actually be read, not just read about. If your a fan of the quest, magic, politics, and general entertaining adventure, do yourself a favor and start this trilogy. Enjoy!