Author: Sherwood Smith
Series: First book in the series, but it's set in the same world as _Crown Duel_.
Genre: Epic fantasy. I'd say "classic fantasy" but the treatment of gender roles and sexuality are unusual.
Topical Arc: Alternating mystery and fantasy.
Copyright Date: 2007
Cover: A boy sits on a horse in front of a castle. The colors are in yellow and gold with autumn leaves all around. His style seems to be a mix of different cultures - long hair in a bun on top of the head, a blue coat and tall boots, but a rug for a saddle on his horse.
First line: "Let's go fight the girls!"
Best part: About halfway through the book, the plot took a turn that just plain shocked me.
Worst part: Cliffhanger ending, and three other books, all just as long? Yeesh.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Rain King" by Counting Crows
Recommended for: Fans of coming of age fantasy.
Related Reads: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, the Song of the Lionness by Tamora Pierce.
The plot is too complex to easily describe, but you want to read every page, and the author makes it easy to remember who everybody is and what's going on. Even the multiple viewpoints are usually pretty easy to follow. I can't wait to read the rest of this sequence, and especially to find out how it fits in with the Crown Duel kingdom!