Summary: Mathias commands the Cortesian army, but what he most longs for is home. When his king gifts him with a slave from a conquered princedom, Mathias is intrigued—even as he resists the king’s machinations. But Reve soon tests Mathias’s allegiance and his heart.
Once the son of a prince, now a slave in a foreign land, Reve has few allies in his goal to protect his younger brother from the king. He’s forced to navigate the treacherousness of Cortesa and his own conflicted feelings for his captor. Faced with what he most wants, Reve has to make a choice—and Mathias has to make his. An empire stands against them, but Mathias’s loyalty to the king may be too much for Reve to conquer.
Review: Love and honor in war.
Reve is the second son of Salenne’s king and a tribute of war given to Matthias, the conquering Cortesian general. Though a slave he maybe in the eyes of Cortesian law, Mathias respects the young prince. Mathias has earned his men’s fealty through honor and good decisions; it isn’t long before he earns Reve’s as well.
When do we forsake one of our oaths? Choose between them?
Leal, Reve’s younger brother, still impressionable is taken as a vassal, security for Salenne’s good behavior. Reve has always seen Leal’s safety as his prime responsibility. When their lives intersect in Cortesa, Reve can’t not act on his brother’s behalf.
Engaging military read with machinations and questioned loyalties. More fluid than the original work and more romantic, it comes full circle. The Roman Empire, Julius Caesar tone definitely works well as you get see the powers at play in Cortesa.
Overall, a civilized warlord/slave story that plays political chess.