It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and found himself unexpectedly elevated into the ranks of the criminal elite. As the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s not only gained friends, but also rivals—and some of them aren’t bothered by his newfound title. A prince’s blood, as the saying goes, flows just as red as a beggar’s.
So when another Gray Prince is murdered and all signs point to Drothe as the hand behind the knife, he knows it’s his blood that’s in danger of being spilled. As former allies turn their backs and dark rumors begin to circulate, Drothe is approached by a man who says he can make everything right again. All he wants in exchange is a single favor.
Now Drothe finds himself traveling to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, to search for the friend he betrayed—and the only person who can get him out of this mess. But the grains of sand are running out fast, and even if Drothe can find his friend, he may not be able to persuade him to help in time...
Sworn In Steel is Amazing. Go buy it right now!!!
Ok, now that I’ve got that out of the way I can get down to the review.
I became a fan of Douglas Hulick when his first book, Among Thieves, came out back in 2011. Unfortunately, there were some delays in the release of the second book in the series, and so it comes as no surprise that I was a little scared about this book. Not only was a second book in the series (with the second book in a series often experiencing the aptly named sophomore slump), but it had been three years since the last book came out and a lot can happen in that time.
I should have never worried.
Not only does Sworn in Steel not fall into the typical pitfalls of a sophomore slump, but if anything it improves upon the first book in the series. Hulick both expands the world and further develops characters, while at the same time making sure to maintain Drothe’s true essence throughout the book (which was a fear after having waiting for three years). Of course, Hulick does all of this while at the same time maintaining a riveting pace that is sure to keep even the most demanding of readers satisfied. In fact, there isn’t a slow moment to be found, and between the constant surprises and action sequences readers will not be able to put this book down until the last page.
Like the first book in the series, Among Thieves, (which if you have not read you really should, both to fully enjoy Sworn in Steel and because it is a fantastic book) Drothe is flying by the seat of his pants. He is a brilliant, crafty, and as usual, in deep trouble. Between the death of another Gray Prince, Bronze Degan still missing, and everyone thinking Drothe was responsible for the Gray Prince’s murder and turning against him, there is enough trouble to go around. On top of all of this there are hidden mysteries and schemes galore that are unveiled throughout the book that place Drothe in progressively hotter and hotter water.
All in all, Sworn in Steel is a fantastic book. Hulick has created a cunning yet likable protagonist, a complex yet fascinating world, and an intricate story that will keep even the most jaded of readers glued to their seat. Perfect for fans of Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series or Michael J Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations.
Published: May 6, 2014
Link to Buy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0451464478/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_1