Forts: Liars and Thieves by Steven Novak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So you thought the good guys won, did you? Really good fantasy franchises, from Star Wars to Tolkien's Middle Earth, never let you rest on your laurels that way, smug in the triumph of good over evil. The good guys have to bleed for it, and some of the heroes have to become sacrifices to the cause.
Am I comparing Novak's saga to those well-respected monsters of fantasy? You bet.
The Jarvis boys are back, along with former-bully-turned-ally Donald Rondage and sweetheart of the saving-the-world set, Staci Alexander. The most reluctant of reluctant heroes, Owen Little, finds he has to drag himself into the story, but not until he finds a way to bring the Jarvis sire along with him. Some of these kids have been waiting a long time to return to Fillagrou. Some (Owen especially) hoped to never return. They're all older. And they're about to find that getting rid of the prince means that they now have to deal directly with the king.
This is not a friendly, warm-and-fuzzy fantasy story. This outing in Fillagrou tests resolves, pushes patience past its limits, and sees the poignant end of a dear friend. You'll be deeply unsettled by the way this ends, I promise you that, and you'll be salivating, grunting, and groaning, and cursing Novak for not having released book 3 already.
Soon, my friends, soon. For right now, read Liars & Thieves. Do yourself that favor. And get ready for awesome.
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