If, like me, you've become jaded with fantasy - you don't much care for magic, long journeys, dwarves etc. and have no care for extreme violence or gratuitous bad language, then this book will restore your belief. I'd never tried KJ Parker before - wow! what a discovery! I haven't enjoyed a book so much in ages. It's well-written and has intriguing characters. I found myself thinking at various times of Lady Macbeth [appears a soft touch compared with Basso's sister!] and Tony Blair [OK you need to read it....]. As for the 'mistake' the cover mentions, I've only just finished the book and am still wondering what exactly it was, which is interesting. And for all his faults, I couldn't help liking Basso very much. It's a different kind of fantasy I guess - the nearest I can think of is 'Song of Ice and Fire' which to my mind would be praise indeed. Political chicanery, deceit but with more than a bit of humanity, it's convincing and satisfying; I recommend it wholeheartedly.