This book is the reason why I love fantasy. It swept me away, it had me biting my nails and when I tried to do other things I couldn't stop thinking about it. It has been all I I have thinking about for the last few days.Byren is the main character, a young prince who loves his family and country. But his brother doesn't care for his company any more, and is listening to bad advice. And when Byren is seen as a hero after killing a beast the anger grows in Lence. The other main characters are Piro, the youngest member of the family and she is hiding her magic so she will not be sent away since all those with affinity becomes nuns or monks, or are killed. Then there is Fyn, with little affinity he has served long, and no when it's time to become a monk for real he is not sure which path to take.There is political intrigues and treachery around. Illian, the son of the late king's bastard has come to court and has soon charmed the king and Lence. He is spreading lies, and what his agenda is, I can only imagine. Oh how I loathe him from the start with his slick ways.With Illian at court trouble start. There is also the subject of Lence not wanting to marry a foreign princess, a country that might just attack, trying to keep the peace along the warlords.This is a book filled with adventure. Things seems to get worse and worse, and they have many personal battles in front of them. And beasts to killed. I was pulled into the story at once, Byren is a young hero that you just have to like. Piro is a little spitfire, Lence and Illian I disliked, and Fyn, well I am still unsure about him. He is nice, but I feel so sorry for him for having to become a monk just cos he is born in Rolencia. The book had me reading fast to see what happened next, and aching when things didn't turn out good. Lies can hurt more than mortal wounds. This is a story that you can't put down, and when it ended I knew that I have to read more. There are two more books in this trilogy that is being published this year. Because in the end if was a fantastic start to a fantasy series and one of the best fantasy books I have read in years. It suited me perfectly. Politics, magic, intrigues, love, and friendship is mixed in this amazing tale.Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Dunno really, I mean very fantasy, but he looks like a zombie.Final thoughts: Hey, why are you sitting there? Go and read this book now. For you fantasy fans I recommend it. For the rest of you, if you want something good, look no further.