MY ⭐️ RATING: 4/5
FORMAT: Kindle Whispersync
My name is Wen Alder. My name is Foolish Cur. All my life, I have been torn between two legacies: that of my father, whose roots trace back to the right hand of the Emperor. That of my mother’s family, who reject the oppressive Empire and embrace the resistance. I can choose between them – between protecting my family, or protecting my people – or I can search out a better path… a magical path, filled with secrets, unbound by Empire or resistance, which could shake my world to its very foundation. But my search for freedom will entangle me in a war between the gods themselves…
This was a terrific debut novel told from a first person POV. I am not the biggest fan of single POV books because there is so much out of view that could be written about, that we miss out on. Nevertheless, this was still a fantastic story. I thought the narrator, Jeremy Ang Jones did a tremendous job with the many different voices that he gave us. None of them were too similar to be mistaken for another voice, and also one voice sounded a bit like Kit Harington.
“My name is Foolish Cur, grandson of Broken Limb, nephew of Harrow Fox, known to the Sienese as Wen Alder” I said. “You may have heard of me.”
The author holds a BA in history and philosophy with a minor in Asian studies which plays in masterfully to his writing as he builds a very natural feeling world with an immersive story steeped with political intrigue and complex characters. Wen Alder is the main character and we follow him from early childhood as he learns magic and to a young man as he tries to become a hand of the emperor.
This was a 5 star book if you only read it or only listened to it, and I would suggest that you do one or the other. I have 2 reasons why I only gave it 4 stars, and both have to do with the audio: First, despite the great voices, Wen Alder’s voice was too mellow for me and rarely ever changed. I found myself at times getting a bit bored when I had to hear his voice for a long stretch uninterrupted. Secondly, because I listened & read with Kindle Whispersync, my view is a bit different. I’m not sure if the narrator was given a different script, if the author made changes after the narrator had already recorded, or if the narrator made changes himself. Either way, it was annoying to see a sentence written one way and read with different words, fewer words or more words.