'The Bone Doll's Twin' is the first book in the 'Tamir Triad' trilogy.
'So long as a daughter of Thelatimos's line defends and rules, Skala shall never be subjugated' so says the old prophecy. However, Skala is ruled by a son of the line these days. Erius seized the crown after the disastrous reign of his mother Queen Agnalain the Mad. To ensure that he will be followed by his son, with the help of his pet wizzard, King Erius proceeds to kill every female relative regardless of age with the one exception of his sister Ariani, though that 'benevolence' does not protect any daughter of hers. When the princess is delivered of twins however, only the boy twin survives.
Tobin grows up in fair isolation and not exactly in ordinary circumstances as the keep is haunted by a ghost who has become Tobin's shadow. Eventually, the time has come that Tobin must leave for the capital Eros to join the royal court as a companion to the crown prince. Accompanied by his trusted squire Ki and swordmaster Tharin, he arrives in the capital and soon finds out that not all people are friends. It had not ever crossed his mind, but Tobin soon realises that not only is he next in line of succession after his cousin, Prince Korin, but that there is danger in being who he is.
Stories about young boys establishing themselves at court are not that uncommon but there is much more to this one than how Tobin gains the respect of his peers or how Ki as a squire deals with the backlash of only being the son of a county knight. But you'll have to find out for yourself as saying more would be giving away too much.
A very well written story based on unusual events and an entertaining read that has plenty of positive moments to offset some of the more sinister events. Reminds me of authors like Robin Hobb and Carol Berg.
Definitely a 'for keeps' book and one I have just re-read... hence this review :-)