All Rath wants is a quiet, peaceful life. Unfortunately, his father brings him too much trouble – and too many debts to pay – for that to ever be possible. When the local crime lord drags Rath out of bed and tells him he has three days to pay his father’s latest debt, Rath doesn’t know what to do. There’s no way to come up with so much money in so little time.
Then a friend poses an idea just ridiculous enough to work: enter the Tournament of Losers, where every 75 years, peasants compete for the chance to marry into the noble and royal houses. All competitors are given a stipend to live on for the duration of the tournament – funds enough to cover his father’s debt. All he has to do is win the first few rounds, collect his stipend, and then it’s back to trying to live a quiet life….
This is one of those stories, that I thought was one thing – but it’s really something else.
I chose it for a Paranormal story and there are some elements of that – but far and away – this is more an historical fantasy rather than anything else.
It has a romantic thread – to be sure – but it’s mostly about a young boy with no prospects finding his way to the top of the food chain simply because he’s such a good hearted person.
It’s fast paced (after the first 25%) and a page turner. Usually I’m disappointed when the romance isn’t the central part of the story, but in this case the story itself is so charming that I couldn’t be sad!
The narration is done very well by Michael Stellman and though he doesn’t go crazy with the accents, it’s always clear who is speaking and I felt very immersed in the time.
If you’re in the mood for a really uplifting story where the good guy gets what he deserves, this is it!
(Not spooky at all!)
5 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased for Review
(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)