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402 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published January 1, 2000
So the journey with Tarrent and friends is fun; the battles are harsh but interesting. The other main characters and main side characters, have some great development and even if they aren't in the story for long, are enjoyable. (Often aspects of the story reminded me of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, especially with how many characters there are that are important to the story, but we only really "see" from Tarrent's perspective.)
Okay, so with all of these positives so far, why only three stars? Remembering that this is the "prequel" for The DragonCrown War cycle, I figured there was going to be some unfinished plot / story, whatever, (though I was really hoping it would be like The Hobbit where it's still a complete story, just a minor thing that comes back to bite them eventually) but that is sadly not the case (even though it was perfectly set up for that!). The first 350 pages of story were great! I was eating it up and didn't really have a clue what was going to happen next, but the likable characters were doing a great job of taking care of each other and (mostly) staying alive. Than the last 50 pages happened... With a drastic change of tone and a very un-complete (and evil!) ending; stars were lost.
Content notes: Only made-up swear words if any. The hero meets / falls in love with and starts a relationship with a girl he meets on his travels; though he does mention them sleeping together there is very little detail and nothing lewd. There are several battles that include medieval warfare, magic weapons and creature violence. Some descriptions of injuries or kills, mostly lopping off of heads / limbs or slashes through chest / throat, but no gruesome details.