Book Title: The Justice of Kings
Series: Empire of the Wolf #1
Author: Richard Swan
Release Date: 2/22/22
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is absolutely my favorite book of the year so far. And I have to say, I don’t see it being bested any time soon. What a great book.
The Justice of Kings, the first in a new epic fantasy trilogy, follows the tale of Sir Konrad Vonvalt, an Emperor’s Justice – a detective, judge and executioner all in one. As he unravels a web of secrets and lies, Vonvalt discovers a plot that might destroy his order once and for all – and bring down the entire Empire.
As an Emperor’s Justice, Sir Konrad Vonvalt always has the last word. His duty is to uphold the law of the empire using whatever tools he has at his disposal: whether it’s his blade, the arcane secrets passed down from Justice to Justice, or his wealth of knowledge of the laws of the empire. But usually his reputation as one of the most revered—and hated—Justices is enough to get most any job done.
When Vonvalt investigates the murder of a noblewoman, he finds his authority being challenged like never before. As the simple case becomes more complex and convoluted, he begins to pull at the threads that unravel a conspiracy that could see an end to all Justices, and a beginning to lawless chaos across the empire.
This new debut fantasy book is really terrific. The book explores an expansive world, and Vonvalt’s journey through it as seen through the eyes of Vonvalt’s young apprentice Helena. It explores themes of justice, vengeance and loyalty that she is only just beginning to fathom. I love this narrator, because she steps in as the reader does, inexperienced and still learning about her place in this world. As a mom of a teen daughter I really appreciated the complex nature of their relationship. She loves her protector and teacher, while also being extremely frustrated and angered by his care. It was a really realistic relationship and I found it fascinating. If you are not a mom of a teen, don’t worry there is still plenty for you to love about this epic fantasy. I’ve been waiting to find another series that has the depth and gravitas I found when reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series and I think this is it. High praise and well deserved.