The sons of Romerus are dying. He is a good man and travels a long way to find help for them, although the help he finds is not at all what he expected. The sons of Romerus are Crovir and Bastian, and this is their story…
Having read all the other “Seventeen” novels, I was interested to see a slight change of direction with this one where AD Starrling goes right back to the “Origins” of the Immortals and introduces the forebears of the characters we have got to know in the previous novels and novellas. Although all of the original family are mentioned, the novel really concentrates on Mila, the Warrior, and the forebear of Anna and shows us how her reputation was earned.
Apart from Mila and Aaron, this novel is less character driven than some of the others, and I did not feel I got to know anyone apart from them and Crovir particularly well. It was also quite hard to keep all the names and relationships straight (lots of marriage between cousins!) so this did add a bit to the lack of engagement with some of the characters (there is a family tree at the beginning, but it’s really hard to see on a kindle).
As usual with AD Starrling there is plenty of action including a good deal of fighting. This is a big part of the story in this one and again, does mean that characterisation loses out a bit. Nevertheless, this novel is a really big part of the “Seventeen” story and is absolutely necessary to understand the beginnings and move the story on.
Although the other 4 novels in the series can really be read in any order, I would suggest not reading this until you have read the others as knowing the modern day characters will make this one much more accessible. I really enjoyed this novel and will be looking forward to the next in the series.