Crispin is a mosaicist, a layer of bright tiles. Still grieving for the family he lost to the plaque, he lives only for his arcane craft. But an imperial summons from Valerius the Trakesian to Sarantium, the most magnificent place in the world, is difficult to resist.
In a world half-wild and tangled with magic, a journey to Sarantium means a walk into destiny. Bearing with him a deadly secret and a Queen's seductive promise, guarded only by his own wits and a talisman from an alchemist's treasury, Crispin sets out for the fabled city. Along the way he will encounter a great beast from the mythic past, and in robbing the zubir of its prize, he wins a woman's devotion and a man's loyalty - and loses a gift he didn't know he had until it was gone.
Once in this city ruled by intrigue and violence, he must find his own source of power. Struggling to deal with the dangers and seductive lures of the men and woman around him, Crispin does discover it, in a most unusual place - high on the scaffolding of the greatest work of art ever imagined....
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Such a disappointment...
Certainly in the top ten at this moment.
The wry and dry humour really came through on the audible version of this book. I don't think I would have picked up on this if reading the actual book.
This book would have been a fabulous five but I didn't realise that it was the first of a series so was caught short at the end. It was an unexpected bonus that this was set in the same world as the LOAR. The detailed world building and the character development is just remarkable. The side characters of the birds and the soldier were great additions. One of the best things about Mr Kay's books is that the protagonists are mature been-there-done-that type of people. Highly recommended