An Empire Of Traitors follows several principal storylines simultaneously. It's been eight years since the end of the civil war between the Inquisition and emperor Zygar Ferus, worshiper of blood gods - and in the five realms of the Empire things are stirring. Driven by ambition or wounded pride, many nobles like the dog-headed serpent of Stoneweed seek to change their fortunes, even with the price of treachery. And from exile, from the heathen nations of the Lowlands, a Sunborn scion of house Mero gathers strength behind his claim. No family, great or small, shall remain indifferent to fate's whim. It takes an emperor to rule an empire, but it takes numbers and honored oaths to keep both crown and throne.
In the Westlands, Drakanes, a sister of the Temple finds herself in the role of witness and proctor, of passing judgement on a man accused of murder, who claims to have been possessed. The trial's proceedings enlighten her as to the truth of it all, and the good sister is willing to, out of pure stubbornness, risk death for justice. Emperor Hagyai Rovines Mero fears for the continuation of his line, and sends Sycarus on an errand to the Desertlands to bring back an Aharo maiden for his son and heir. Hagyai Rovines desires a betrothal between the prince heir and a savage girl - trying to emulate a long dead custom of the Sunborn emperors. Such a move is most unpopular, and the whispers of another civil war are once again in the air.
Birus Mandon, lord of Rivermark and warden of the Streamlands, is warned of a plot against his sovereign and tries to gather knowledge on the schemes of potential oathbreakers, though his trade is not that of a spy. When he hires the Mounted Arrows Company of Narak al Zull, Birus learns more than mere outlandish tactics; he finds a new source of strength in the sellsword's foreign warrior god.
Kalafar Sodomis, lord of Weiyenor and warden of the Northlands, has seen his brother get married, and he himself is tried by notions of passion toward a certain lady of a southern house. But as the conflict breaks out, Kalafar needs to act as a proper lord, as a man, not a boy. He summons his vassals for a council at Devil Mound, to decide if the north will go to war or no; and there to also perform a certain ritual to honor the dead of Fengard and Wyrm.
Find out how it all unfolds by reading An Empire Of Traitors, the first book in the series Of Hate And Laughter.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
If this book taught me anything, it's TRUST NO ONE! Haha, it was really quite good. A lot of different things going on had me a tad bit lost once in a while, but that's easy to do when I'm chasing a baby around while reading, anyway. The characters were interesting and quite well defined, I enjoyed getting to know them, especially the swordly sister (GIRL POWER FOR THE WIN!). It did have an occasion or two where it seemed to slow down and drag just a bit, but that's to be expected in a novel this size. My only real problem was that it had some grammar issues.
Looks like it's going to be a pretty good series for fantasy and epic fans!
Bob says: 3.5 Platypires!