The Devil in the Dust
by Chaz Branchley
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
272 pages; ISBN: 0441010717
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The nobles’ younger sons from another land wanting their own territory and titles settled the kingdom of Outremer. Although the king is the nominal ruler of the land it is four city-states and one, Surayon, that is magically closed and invisible to all outsiders. In addition to the secular army, the order of the Knights Ransomer, the military branch of the church, protects the borders and weeds out heretics from within. The heart of this order lives in Ancial in the stronghold of the Roq de Rancom.
Julienne, the daughter of the king’s shadow, journeys to meet her future husband when circumstances force her to take refuge in the Roq de Rancom. She meets Marron, who arrived just recently to serve as a member of the order. There he meets the knight Sieur Anton d’Esanivey who seeks redemption within the harsh walls of the fortress. Marron sees the cruelties and barbaric practices that are part of the church, but when the nomadic tribes try to take the Roq de Rancom by force, he and Sieur Anton risk their lives to save the residents.
THE DEVIL IN THE DUST is the first novel in a six book series and though, it is a stand-alone book, it lays the groundwork for future installments in the series. Marron is the heart of this novel, a hero courageous enough to act on his ethics. He always takes the moral high ground even when it means going against the order’s rules and risking severe punishment for his transgressions. It will be interesting to see what happens to the characters in future books.
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