The main character Sumto describes himself as a gambling, lazy, good-for-nothing drunk. Not surprisingly he gives himself too high of estimation. Some circumstances way beyond his control - but of his making - forced him to join the army and fight in a war. Being a completely useless human being (he is a human being, I will grant him this at least) he keeps getting his life saved by different people who do this because of their duty, affection, and love - I have no clue, none whatsoever as to why would anybody have any affection or love for him. The situations became worse and worse, but the main hero still survives no thanks to his efforts.
At this point I expect a lot of gratitude expressions from everybody who reads this. Why? Because I read this book so you would not have to. How do I justify its rating of 2 stars in this case? I actually managed to finish it - and do not ask me how I did this; my memories of finishing are fuzzy. I did not want even to review it, but I do it as a warning to everybody who has it on their to-read shelf. Sufficient to say this book was the major reason I practically stopped reading indie fantasy; I only do it for books that come highly recommended by several
of my good friends.
To be fair the beginning was interesting enough, but from the moment Sumto enlisted it all went downhill. The ineptitude and uselessness of the guy are astounding; I have no idea whatsoever how he managed to survive until that point. I have an impression Sumto becomes even more useless as the plot goes along. It would work fine in a humor book - The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek immediately comes to mind, but this one has very serious and often gruesome tone.
In addition of having a main character I could not care less about the author sounds like a great libertarian proponent. Just like Ayn Rand he devotes pages upon pages arguing about the advantage of this political philosophy, only Rand did it more convincingly. Make no mistakes though, the guy is a great proponent and he even justifies having slavery in his libertarian society.
Speaking about Chris Northern the author, quite a few of his works are rated much higher than this one, so I am inclined to take it as his low point, something even the classics have. My overall reaction to the novel - I was this excited: