The Judas Blossom

Angry Robot. (The Nightingale and the Falcon, Bk. 1). Jul. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781915202192. pap. $18.99. FANTASY
This sweeping historical fantasy features the lesser-known history of the tumultuous times of the Middle East in the 13th century. The story follows four believably flawed characters, both the conquerors and the conquered. Hulagu ruthlessly expands the Mongol Empire while his son Temujin struggles to overcome a reputation of cowardice and to discover his purpose. Kaivon, a Persian general, and Kokochin, the princess of a dead tribe, refuse to relinquish their lingering resentment and hate for the enemy. Behind the scenes, a scheming network of spies and assassins pulls the strings. Written with heart and cunning, this is a gripping tale of revenge with complex political intrigue, harrowing battles, and masterful infiltration. Every character has their own violent and unforgiving agenda, and even as they confront harsh realities, their spirits are never crushed. Their stories are beautiful and terrifying in equal measure, capturing the brutality of war and questioning what it means to have worth and power.
VERDICT Aryan’s latest (after The Warrior) is perfect for those who enjoy dynamic historical fiction with a touch of magic, like the work of Guy Gavriel Kay.
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