Swords Around the Throne, by Ian Ross
I took a break between the first and second instalments in the series, and I’m not sure I was quite ready when I re-joined the world of the Twilight of Empire series. As with the The War at the Edge of the World, the volume was incredibly fast-paced, which I enjoyed massively. The plot progression kept me reading through it quickly, but in some places I thought the time-jump was a little too jarring. I quickly got over them however, with the varied and fast-paced plot giving very little time for respite. Another downside to this however was the sheer volume of characters introduced in a fairly short space of time, who at times were difficult to keep track of.
Having said this, the volume of characters contributed greatly to the variation of the plot, along with a very enjoyable style of writing which eased me through a fairly substantial book. In one sense, Ross’ style and plot reminds a little of the Raven series by Giles Kristian. The author/story is driven by a need to explore the world and different aspects of it. With Giles Kristian and Raven, it is done geographically, moving around the Europe of the Dark Ages, but with Ian Ross it appears to have a more societal focus. The latter is possibly more difficult to do well, but I feel Ross has managed it.
‘Swords Around the Throne,’ by Ian Ross is the second in the Twilight of Empire series.