This is a continuation of the Recluce series, number seventeen to be exact. Cyad, the capital of Cyador has been destroyed and the refugees have fled to Hamor establishing the Dukedom of Cigoerne.
Lerial is a second son in Cigoerne's semi-feudal type of society where second son's are merely a back up or spare heir. He has strained relationships with both his brother and his father and he is fraught with self doubt. Modesitt's normal MO carries through in this book. His protagonist's are constantly questioning their own capabilities and wondering if what their doing is going to have any bearing on the troubles their kingdom is experiencing.
Lerial is no exception. It is a coming of age story for a young man who has to face many perils.
As in his other books, Modesitt also infuses political commentary and philosophy as part of his story line. Time Gods World, The Forever Hero and Order Master all illustrate philosophic musings. There are times where the author seems to pontificate a bit but it always fits the story line.
The common thread, as I stated in previous Modesitt reviews is the lone soul fighting for self identity in a harsh world. A strong mentor helps Lerial find his direction.
I highly recommend.
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.