This has been the fantasy series I’ve been looking for. The characters are fun and well drawn out, the plot is not convoluted, and the writing flows easily. Having read a lot of epic fantasies lately, I really enjoyed reading a book that I could finish within a couple of weeks (and that’s mostly reading a chapter a night). But it’s length by no means counts against it’s quality or substance. Hadrian and Royce remind me of a middle-ages version of Redford and Newman. I understand that this is the first book in a prequel trilogy and the author explains the chronological order of his books in the forward. He basically said that you could read the original trilogy first and then come back to these books or just start in chronological order. I chose to start with the latter. I’m already almost halfway done with the second book in this series and I don’t anticipate stopping until I’ve read all six books. I highly recommend this novel for some serious fantasy fun.