(above is the link to her review, but I've copied it to make it easier, this review is greatly appreciated)
This book is fantastic! It has a brilliantly original layered plot, is expertly written and is a captivating read.
It spoke mostly to me of the consequences of one’s actions, particularly when trusted with great power.
The story also has undertones of the importance of democracy. This is seen in the book by the value given to group decisions, especially when faced with a lack of official authority. In this case the lack of a king of Gastar.
Cole has done a fantastic job of keeping the concept original through highlighting the ambiguous nature of the line between ‘good’ and ‘evil’.
Interestingly, the book also covers questions which are prevalent in the philosophy of government authority and war such as the ethics behind assassination; and whether or not assassination without approval becomes murder, even if it’s for the greater good.
Cole also addresses the morality and consequences of using children as soldiers, concentrating on not only the damaging effects it has upon the children themselves, but also the consequences of trusting such young people with the responsibility of the power to kill.
One of the most honourable things about this book is that it reminds the reader of the importance of the debts we owe our ancestors who sacrificed so much in wars before our time.
Despite being set in a fantasy world with demons, magic and other realms, this book continuously succeeds in reminding the reader what it means to be human and it focuses on relevant issues in today’s world, which we could all learn something from.