Darien (Empire of Salt book 1)
What a fabulous book from the consummate Historical Saga expert Conn Iggulden, this is a much more whimsical affair of course where magic and Millitary Might meld in equal measure. We are dropped into a world run by twelve ruling families with a nominal head who takes on the role of head of state. This fragile hierarchy is balanced precariously and this book, the first in the Empire of Salt series begins with that hold unravelling after a military coup.
The action revolves around a core group of ordinary folk who turn out to be rather extraordinary and whose personal journeys begin to impact and drive the destinies of the others. The richness of the dynasties are evidence of Conn’s mastery of a long historical view and the battle which takes up the final third of the book is indicative of his skill in military matters.
It is in the addition of the more fantastical elements that makes this sword and sorcery romp so light and frothy. The plot clips along at a fair old pace and the characters are likeable and irksome where necessary.
I thoroughly enjoy it!