The oriental kingdom of Naj is a violent, mountainous land, prone to earthquakes, ruled by the descendents of the God Insu, each with the ability to tell when someone is lying. It is a land where the spirits of the newly deceased return to roam the streets during the festival of Ram-sho, where soothsayers conjure up elmentals, and where watch dragons bugle warnings of impending disaster. If you could always tell when someone is lying, you would think it would be simple to find a murderer, but it isn't that easy as Insu-ha Dar learns when he is sent to investigate the death of a gardener found drained of all blood. Murder isn't the only thing wrong in Dak-moon. The city is gripped with the superstitious fear of a wo-nur, a creature returned from the dead, and ruled by a ruthless Magistrate, who grabbed the secret of immortality from the Dolzi and now forces others to pay the price for his obsession.
This report prepared by Linda Suzane
In the fantasy land of Naj, an oriental kingdom prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, murder and sickness stalks the streets of the backwater province of Funara, especially the city of Dak-Moon. The descendents of the god, the Insu-ha, have been given the gift of knowing when people are lying, the gift is known as the Eyes of Truth.
The ruler of Naj, Cojii, appoints his brother, Dar as his Hand to go and investigate the murder of a gardener found with his body hung over a pole and drained completely of blood. Even with Eyes as strong as Dar's, it is difficult to find the murderer. Other things are happening too.
There is a sickness and the healer Torren is convinced there is a plague of some sort, and Dar discovers that all the victims had one thing in common. They had all been to the magistrate's palace for his entertainments...
There is a bit of everything in the book, adventure, romance, horror, mystery, but closely woven together into a coherent whole. Dar is a well rounded character with shades of grey and incidences in his past that haunt him still, the ideal tortured hero.
This is a great story, well crafted and a bit more unusual than most fantasy books I've read. There are no goblins and trolls here, but different entities just as interesting, if not more so. The world comes alive and the characters are well drawn, jumping right out of the page. You care what happens to them and I for one would like to read more adventures set in the world of Naj.
A fantastic read.
Reviewed by Annette Gisby, author o Silent Screams.
This report prepared by Annette Gisby