I always find Allan Mallinson books hard to review, the man is obviously highly literate, he knows his subject better than most writers alive, the series is obviously successful with this being book 11 but i think it falls into the marmite of books.
If you like the slow burn slightly dry writing, the story that could be at times out of a text book then this will really appeal, but if you like the cut and thrust of an action packed tale full of blood and thunder then you will not get it...well not much, and it takes too much time getting there.
Im cheap i like to be entertained most of the time and this time it did and didn't do it for me...but lets face it...I have 11 allan Mallinson books on my shelves, so i keep coming back for a look, i keep wanting to find out where Hervey will go next so even the adventure loving cynic that is my likes it enough to keep coming back.
I think you have to find out yourself. But if you are a new buyer sitting on the fence, wondering..."Do i buy this book"?
I would say yes, its well written, very well researched, the dialogue is good. You will just have to decide if thats enough for the future of if you also need the blood thunder and excitement of say a Scarrow.
I really wavered between 3 and 4 stars and eventually settled on 4, anyone who makes me buy 11 books deserves that much respect.