The Shattered Realm of Ardor Benn

Tyler Whitesides. Orbit, $17.99 trade paper (736p) ISBN 978-0-316520-28-7
Gifted conman Ardor Benn returns in the excellent second epic in Whitesides’s Kingdom of Grit fantasy trilogy (after The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn). Whitesides reacquaints readers with Ard mid-caper: he’s enclosed in a coffin impersonating a general’s corpse in order to steal a valuable medal from a mausoleum. While fleeing the scene, he stumbles on an even bigger potential payday when Queen Abeth Ostel Agaul mistakes him for a police inspector and tasks him with a sensitive investigation. Abeth believes that her late son, Shad, a rightful heir to the throne presumed dead in an explosion, may be alive. She also suspects that her cousin, King Termain, the current ruler of the Greater Chain, had a hand in Shad’s disappearance. Termain’s reign is viewed as illegitimate by many in his kingdom—and Ard helped facilitate his rise to power. Now Ard assures Abeth that he’ll uncover the truth of what happened to her son—but to do so he’ll have to gain the trust of an organized crime ring. Whitesides makes his vibrant world easily accessible for newcomers, and the enjoyable blend of intrigue, lighthearted escapades, and thrilling action brilliantly sets the stage for the series’ conclusion. Readers will be thrilled. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/03/2020
Release date: 11/03/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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