Author: Greg Keyes
Narrator: John Skelley
Master and Commander meets A Game of Thrones and Pirates of the Carribean . Rapid-paced high fantasy with all-out combat on the high seas, and a canny young woman who faces the hidden threats of an imperial court. Yet the key to defeating a sorcerous enemy may lie with a wild rogue and the slave of a maniac.
For centuries those on the Basilisk Throne have ruled every continent, brutally enslaving the human inhabitants. But now, after endless wars, the three human empires of Ophion, Velesa, and Modjal have pushed the inhuman Drehhu back to their heartland and are united in one final, massive assault to defeat them forever. It’s been tried before, but the infernal weapons and dark magic of the Drehhu have always triumphed. Basilisk has never fallen.
Commanding his merchant fleet in support of the human forces, Alastor Nevelon and his son Crespin set sail against the enemy—and this time they have their own secret weapons. The Drehhu, however, do not have a monopoly on deceit. or ambition. Alistor is forced to send his daughter Chrysanthe to the capitol city Ophion Magne as a “token” of his loyalty. He does so freely, for he is certain of treachery within the very empire he serves. After all, whomever controls the Basilisk Throne can control the world. He instructs Chrysanthe to use her considerable intellect to discover whatever plots may be afoot in the heart of Ophion. Chrysanthe agrees, knowing that in doing so she enters a dangerous place where courtly manners hide murderous intentions.
While nations collide and the conflict explodes, the true key to defeating the Drehhu may lie in a remote mountain stronghold, a wild rogue known as Hound, and Ammolite, the young slave of a sorcerer more ancient than any nation and whose true loyalties are entirely unknown.
Find It On: Goodreads / Amazon
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The Basilisk Throne is my first read my Greg Keyes. The novel is darker than I expected at first, so I would advise readers to look at trigger warnings before reading. It does get lighter as the story moves forward, so it had a nice balance. The story follows multiple realms where conflict is explored where humans in Ophion, Velesa, and Modial are against the inhuman Dreuhhu. There is Alastor Nevelon, his son Crespin, and his daughter Chrysanthe, who all have their own journeys. The characters go through a lot of trauma and turmoil where the reader can follow along with their journey. I do wish there was more expansion into the aftermath into how each deal with everything, though. I do love the narrator who did a great job navigating the story.
The novel is told from different perspectives, which can be tiring as the reader goes from place to place. In this sense, it was like Game of Thrones where there was disconnect, but the reader is aware everything is supposed to come together in some way. There are some Brandon Sanderson vibes to the writing for the characters, which is great at I can see it appealing to Sanderson’s and Martin’s large audiences while still staying true as an original. The plot does take a bit to fully reveal itself, which can be difficult for impatient readers like me. There are multiple ones that come together for the larger story, so it does take a little thinking for the reader to put all the pieces together. While it is not listed as the first in a series on Goodreads, there are possibilities based on the ending. It is not quite a cliffhanger, yet I could see it seamlessly lead into a possible sequel. Overall, this was an intriguing novel and if there is a sequel, I look forward to reading it.
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Titan Books, for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed are completely my own.**
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