This is Book One of the Paladin Cycle and I cannot WAIT to read the others - Kirby had better get to writing!
I loved it. From it's gorgeous cover to a most satisfying ending, I just loved it. I loved the characters. All of them. The main characters, the supporting characters, the characters we just get a glimpse of. Loved 'em all. Well, maybe not Franny.... no, not Franny. *LOL*
The author has created a rich, full world with enough questions left unanswered to make me eager with anticipation for the next book. A land/country of just men. Exiles and misfits from other lands. It's quite interesting!
As I said, I loved all the characters. I think my favourite has to be Jean Rivard. He's so... not easy to get along with. :) What you get on the outside is not what lies on the inside and oh, he has secrets. We learn about some of them, but I have a feeling there are more under that layer of I Don't Give a Fuck. In fact, I'm pretty sure that there are a lot more secrets to be ferreted out of all the main characters. *rubs hands together gleefully* I can't WAIT!
The plot fairly clips along and there's a lot of action as well as many twists and turns that left me fairly clapping my hands together with glee (figuratively speaking). And yes, there's what might be termed romance, but I'm leery of using that word. There's love and there's sex and there's desire and want and just plain debauchery - but those aren't the main thrust (so to speak) of the story at all. But I have to admit - there are a couple of scenes - one near the end and one right at the end that were highly satisfying.
Read this book! I loved it!