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All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king.
Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse's urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die.
And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon.
I guess I'm a sucker for geeky guys. Not that I'm suggesting my hubby is a geek--I can almost guarantee he'd be offended. But I do embrace my inner geek (Harry Potter helped me with that), so perhaps it's a bit of kindred spirit sort of thing.
In some ways Alphonse--who is so happy to be buried in a book--reminds me of Elend in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series. Elend was a bit more proactive than Laura Josephsen's character, but Alphonse finally quits kicking against the pricks, so to speak, and finally accepts that he's one of few people in a position to stop something terrible from happening.
I found the character of Mairwyn to be endearing and intriguing. She's so stubborn and impatient, yet you can tell there's something else going on with her. As her personal history slowly unfolds, you realize why she's the way she is, and your heart breaks for her.
There's plenty of intrigue, suspense, and action in this story. I can vouch for how vile the villains are. While this is the first in a two-part series, the second book will be from the point of view of different characters as they continue to fight the psycho bad guys.