When the author of Crimson & Cream asked me if I was interested in reading the second book in The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, I jumped at the chance, having loved the first book. Since it had been seven months since I had read the first book, Crimson & Cream, I decided to read it again so the story would be fresh in my mind before moving on to the second book.
Re-reading this story, I remember how much I loved it, and yet the second reading gives me so much more insight. Now, I want to start with an explanation that sword & sorcery books tend to bore me, especially high fantasy, having read them for years and years, with the books blending into each other. This one did not bore me.
Starting with the story of Flotsam and Jetsam, twins hiding in a city where orphans are put to work in a mine until they die, the story takes off after an incident with a troll takes the life of Flotsam. Jetsam, on his own, has to find a reason to live and a way out of a town that he can't survive in. On a quest to lean more about his parents, who were once teachers in a school for mages before magic was banned, Jetsam wishes to find the renegade mage accused of killing the prior King.
This story is not just the story of Jetsam and the orphans of the city, but also the introduction to Seryn Vardan, the renegade mage who just happens to also be the brother of the current King. We also meet an honor-less knight, a greedy bounty hunter, a dragon, a black-mage, a cowardly squire, a dryad, and a few trolls and goblins. The characters are interesting and fun to read about, and the book speeds through while reading it. In fact, I started reading it shortly after midnight the morning of the 13th, and it is now 11pm on the 13th and I have already finished the book, only putting it down to sleep and go grocery shopping.
A fun and exciting story, full of magic but - more importantly - likeable characters, I highly recommend reading Crimson & Cream by C.M. Skiera.
Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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