September 30, 2016

Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick (Tales of the Kin #2)

Blurb: It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the criminal elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s learning just how good he used to have it.

With barely the beginnings of an organization to his name, Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. And to make matters worse, when one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides – mostly against him – for what looks to be another impending war, Drothe is approached by a man who not only has the solution to Drothe’s most pressing problem, but an offer of redemption. The only problem is the offer isn’t for him.

Now Drothe finds himself on the way to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, with an offer to make and a price on his head. And the grains of sand in the hour glass are running out, fast...

My Thoughts: It was a different kind of story than what I was anticipating after the conclusion of Among Thieves had Drothe in a position of power. Instead of a tale of trying to cling to power, Drothe feels he owes Degan and is desperate to find him, get his help, and restore Degan's position. This takes place outside of the empire, which was helpful in creating a tense environment where Drothe was cut off from his connections. But there are many enemies for the grey prince, some follow him out, and new ones arise. The novel had a good feel to it. It reminds me in many ways of a Dresden book as Drothe often finds himself way over his head despite his own relative ability to take care of himself. I also like how Drothe's character picks fights he knows he can't win and is forced to come up with things on the fly. There's a lot of good action, witty dialogue, and a twisting route of a story. This was an enjoyable sequel that also set things up for another story in the same world. 

About the Author: Douglas Hulick is author of "Among Thieves", the first book in the "Tales of the Kin" fantasy-adventure series. He is busy at work on the as-yet untitled second book in the series, with a third to follow.

When not writing, Douglas is a stay-at-home dad (or should that be: when not busy being dad, Douglas is an as-time-permits-writer?). Either way, he makes his home in the upper Midwest. He has a B.A. and M.A. in medieval history, with minors in history and anthropology. Who knew they would come in useful?

He is also a practitioner of Historical Western Martial Arts, with his main focus being on early 17th century Italian Rapier. (Primarily Capoferro, for you WMA enthusiasts and Princess Bride fans out there. Yes, Capoferro was a real guy!)

Aside from Fantasy Fiction, Douglas likes to read History, Historical Fiction, Mysteries, Adventure tales, and whatever happens to look fun/cool/entertaining.

Author's Webpage: Douglas Hulick's Website
Buy this Book: Sworn in Steel on Amazon

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