Hurog duology, by Patricia Briggs, is two-parter book, in which the story of Ward of Hurog is told. Both books were published on 2002.
On a side note, I have been waiting for a long time to get my hands on both of these volumes, since these books are highly regarded by the people who read fantasy, and who happen to be my friends. They have been recommending these books to me for ages, so I will see whether they are worth the hype or not.
I will review both books in this one article together.
PLAYING THE FOOL
Most everyone thinks Ward of Hurog is a simple-minded fool–and that’s just fine by him. But few people know that his foolishness is [very convincingly] feigned. find that it’s all that’s saved him from death at the hands of his abusive father, who’s always seen Ward as a bitter rival for power.
When his father dies, Ward becomes the new lord of Hurog… until a nobleman declares that he is too dim-witted to rule. Ward knows he cannot play the fool any longer. To regain his kingdom, he must prove himself worthy–and quickly.
Riding into a war that’s heating up on the border, Ward is sure he’s on the fast track to glory. But soon his mission takes a deadly serious turn. For he has seen a pile of magical dragon bones hidden deep beneath Hurog Keep. The bones can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and Ward is certain his enemies will stop at nothing to possess them…
CALL TO REBELLION
Ward, ruler of Hurog, is striving to restore his lands and people to prosperity, wanting nothing more than a quiet life. But when an old friend, escaping from High King Jakoven’s torturers, seeks refuge in his keep, Ward can no longer ignore the growing rebellion against the tyrannical High King. He realizes that he cannot stand aside—he must join with the rebels.
However, Jakoven has a secret weapon with which he intends to crush the rebellion: Farsonsbane, a magical artifact that has destroyed entire cities. But first, Jakoven needs blood to awaken it. Dragon’s blood. The very blood that courses through Ward’s veins…
(Thanks goodreads for the summary, I even fixed the mistake in the summary of the first book. Your very much welcome.)
My reading experiences:
For much of the story in both books, Ward struggled with the shadow of his father. Apparently, he used to be very abusive to his children, so much so that Ward’s brother tried to commit suicide to escape the beatings.
When he was twelve, Ward was beaten so badly that he lost his magic. Which is a problem since Ward is the first mage born among the keepers of the Hurog.
At the very start of the book, Ward’s father dies, and he feels sad that he is not the one who killed him.
Later in the duology, Ward struggles with his anger. He feels that if he gives up before his anger, he will be just like his father, which he can’t allow himself to become.
It is remarkable that despite dying early in the book, Ward’s father has made into the list of bad parents among the fiction. Consisting of such distinguished individuals as Hehachi Mishima from Tekken, Fire Lord from Avatar, Relius Clover, and for one female example, Walburga Black.
But Ward’s father is not the only abusive one. Apparently, the nobles, including the king of the five kingdoms, like to abuse the young children… this world doesn’t seem like the place where you will wish to live honestly.
Let’s answer the first question. Does this duology live up to its hype?
The answer is yes. It certainly does. What there is not to like? The main character had me in his corner from the very first page. There is enough action and adventure along with world building and politics, which are kept limited, since fantasy books kind of end up more and more political as they go on.
I also like the pacing of the story. I never felt that a chapter or a scene dragged on longer than it should have, which happens rarely.
I certainly recommend that you give these books a chance.
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