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Review: The True Son – Vanessa MacLaren-Wray

The True Son - Vanessa MacLaren-Wray

Genre: Fantasy

Reviewer: Scott

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About The Book

It’s a lie that I murdered him.

As foster-son to the king, Corren’s technically a candidate for the kingship, a position filled only at the discretion of the matriarchs of Jeska. He doesn’t want the job — Corren’s goal in life is to be the best guardsman ever, become a senior commander, and serve at the word of his foster-brother Tymon. Everybody loves Tymon: intelligent, handsome, kind, and generous.

Unfortunately, there’s one more candidate: the king’s true-son, Yutek-en, who’s determined to claim the post. Yutek-en craves control. He relishes hurting people, and loves nothing more than being hated. His toughest victim is Tymon, who endures worse torture than anyone, but won’t beg for mercy.

Corren’s had enough.

No matter what, he’ll protect Tymon — and Jeska — from this monster.

The Review

A short review for a short story.

The True Son is a delicious little teaser, a prequel morsel to “The Unremembered King” fantasy series by Vanessa MacLaren-Wray. I haven’t read the first two books yet – Shadows of Insurrection and Flames of Attrition, but this spare, well-told tale whet my appetite for the series.

The heart of the story is a sword-fight between the King’s biological son and one of his heirs-in-waiting – essentially foster kids brought up to be chosen as King if the biological heir is found lacking or is killed. It’s a grudge match, and one of the most beautifully telegraphed swordplays I’ve read in ages. MacLaren-Wray sets up the conflict nicely, and the first-person voice of Corren, the foster heir, is clear and crisp.

A great start to what feels like a very promising new fantasy series.

The Reviewer

Scott is the founder of Queer Sci Fi, and a fantasy and sci fi writer in his own right, with more than 30 published short stories, novellas and novels to his credit, including two trilogies.

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