It starts with a shipwreck following a magical storm at sea. Horace, a soldier from the west, had joined the Great Crusade against the heathens of Akeshia after the deaths of his wife and son from plague. When he washes ashore, he finds himself at the mercy of the very people he was sent to kill, who speak a language and have a culture and customs he doesn't even begin to understand.
Not long after, Horace is pressed into service as a house slave. But this doesn't last. The Akeshians discover that Horace was a latent sorcerer, and he is catapulted from the chains of a slave to the halls of power in the queen's court. Together with Jirom, an ex-mercenary and gladiator, and Alyra, a spy in the court, he will seek a path to free himself and the empire's caste of slaves from a system where every man and woman must pay the price of blood or iron. Before the end, Horace will have paid dearly in both.
Ok let me explain this one as, European like crusader is shipwrecked and ends up on eastern enemy lands. But this East is a mix of every culture, old and older and well made up :)
Right so we have Horace, who becomes a slave but then they see he has magic and he is saved. His country does not have magic just over zealous priests so this is new to him. But he slowly finds his way.
Then we have Jirom, another slave turned gladiator and who is sold yet again. Poor guy. But he mostly fought and fought so I was never really in his head a lot.
Last we have Alyra, a slave and spy who spies for another country. With her comes questions, what is going on? Seems to be a lot of city states in this empire. Then the neigbors wants control too (because the empire is evil), and then we have the idiot priests that wants to take over too. So everyone wants something, and all our players may not always realise what they are fighting for.
Magic, an old eastern touch and that is just the beginning. I really do not have an idea how this will all turn out. That is the problem when many countries are at war and there are priests, arghh those priests!
Paperback, 428 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Pyr
The Book of the Black Earth #1