Author: Dave Duncan
Series: The King's Blades #3
Setting: The small, troubled kingdom of Chivial.
Reason for Reading: It's been on my list for a while since I read the other two books. What made me move forward was realizing that the protagonist was female.
Finished In: Days.
Pages: 466, including some excerpts at the back. (The irony is that one of them is for... Sky of Swords. Which presumably doesn't need to be marketed to anyone who is at the end of the book already. And if it does, y'all have bigger problems.)
Copyright Date: 2000
Cover: Four swords over a rose.
First line: "Chin up and arms swinging, Malinda strode in through the doorway and sped along the hall, heading straight for the Grand Inquisitor as if she intended to strangle him."
Epigraph: No epigraph but there is a diagram of the magical system at the front of the book.
Themes: Betrayal, regicide, guardsmen, inquisition, magic.
Best part: The ending was amazing and brilliant.
Worst part: It says in all three of these books that there are apparent inconsistencies if you read two, which are resolved if you read the third. Only I can only remember that there were inconsistencies - not recall what they were or see how they were resolved. And the Internet doesn't seem to know. Stoopid Internet.
Imaginary Theme Song: "A Rose on the Grave" - Seal
Grade: B+, surprisingly (to me).
Recommended for: I think this is a reasonable stand-alone YA. Especially for people who don't mind, er, inquisitions.
Related Reads: The Gilded Chain, first book in the series. Also Graceling by Kristin Cashore.