Sword of the Deceiver

{4.5/5} “Samudra felt another numbing moment of pure disbelief. The Huni were digging in on the northern border, his treaty with one of their father’s protectorates was shattered, a royal woman was threatened and humiliated in public. He, Samudra, had been all but accused of harboring traitorous designs, and the emperor of Hastinapura was having dreams of devils, and Chandra had dismissed it all in an instant. No, he had forgotten about it.”

Natharie is a princess of Sindhu — her parents are king and queen. When a delegation from Hastinapura arrives and demands someone from the royal family return with them, Natharie volunteers. She does not want to go — indeed, she fears what will become of her there — but she hopes that she may find a way to do something for her people.

Samudra is first prince of Hastinapura — his brother Chandra is king. Samudra has been away for a year, and things have gotten worse in his absence. Chandra is influenced by people — including the queen — who are leading him astray. The last thing Samudra wants to do is challenge his brother for the throne, but there will be war if he doesn’t.

Sword of the Deceiver by Sarah Zettel was published in 2007. It’s the fourth and final book in the Isavalta series, following The Firebird’s Vengeance.

Although none of the main characters from the other books show up in this one — it takes place before all the others — it still feels like an Isavalta novel. Chandra’s son Kacha is a main character in The Usurper’s Crown. The sorcerer Yamuna also shows up here.

Natharie and Samudra are both interesting characters — much of the book is from their points of view.

It’s about the game of thrones, to coin a phrase. It’s about the relationships between gods and humans, and the relationships between gods themselves.

Here’s a thought that pops up a couple of times in the book: “It is only the closed and empty heart that is alone.”

Like the rest of the series, it’s a great novel. If you like fantasy I encourage you to start with the first book, A Sorcerer’s Treason.

I will read some of Zettel’s science fiction one of these days.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 at 10:23 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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