The Firelord’s Crown by Dee Harrison is an epic fantasy about the seventeen-year-old crown prince Falath and his despairing flight from the powerful usurper of his father’s kingdom.
Treachery claims Prince Falath’s bed-ridden father. The extent becomes clear when his cousin Rollo’s kinsmen, Malglint, reveals himself as a vassal to the conquering lord who has killed the king. Falath leaves his home with two companions: his sworn protector Rollo, and a foreigner-come-lately magician named Airen.
Falath and his friends are ever harried in his homeland. The hateful Malglint has a knack for trailing the prince’s party, plus has a deadly matter to settle with Rollo. Unassuming allies and double-crossing friends swirl into the prince’s path. The useful Airen swears to help, but harbors unsaid motivations that may jeopardize the prince’s life.
Desperation finally convinces Falath to choose exile in Airen’s foreign land while Rollo stays behind. His cousin will kindle an uprising among the prince’s subjects who dislike the usurper’s rule. Things do not go as planned when the canny Malglint corners the three fugitives in a desperate fight at the edge of a precipice. The outcome is heartbreaking.
The Firelord’s Crown is a most satisfying start to a hero’s journey. Falath, Rollo, and Airen are likable guys who cannot catch a break. Harrison uses a masterful hand to describe the brutal winter weather and adrenalin-soaked fights. Malglint is Lita’s favorite kind of villain—despicable.
Gentle Readers who love epic fantasy and haggard flights through an unforgiving countryside would enjoy The Firelord’s Crown. But beware of the political intrigue. The story will have Gentle Reader trusting your enemies and casting doubtful glances at friends.