291539First in the Nobles Saga, King Pinch by David Cook is the story of a royal ward Janal who ran from his esteemed foster family and lived for fifteen years as a rogue named Pinch.  For the most part, Pinch does well for himself, until his royal foster father dies and he is drawn unwillingly back into the depth of court intrigue.

Four brothers fight for the throne among each other: an idiot, a sycophant, a sociopath, and a braggart.  None know what the reappearance of their foster brother means for the succession of the throne, but none of them think it’s good and all but one go out of their way to eliminate the perceived threat, one way or another.

Thankfully however, the plots and schemes among the brightly colored nobles of the kingdom he was raised in are just as dirty and foul as those he hatched in the streets of the city he chose.  So while he needed a moment to learn again how to negotiate halls filled with perfumed daggers, the name of the game never really changed, and Pinch is a self taught master.

Full of plots, counter plots, schemes, deceptions, family secrets, and hidden passageways, King Pinch might have a predictable ending, but the journey to get there is anything other than predictable.

After such a stellar start to the Nobles, let’s carry on with the second one: War in Tethyr by Victor Milan.

291546The Business of War…

Zaranda Star never intended to bring the incessant Tethyrian Civil War to a head. All she wanted to do was take a caravan of goods into the war-torn capital. But then ambitious would-be king, Baron Hardly, confiscated her shipment.

Little did he reckon with Zaranda, retired warrior…and wizard.

Marshaling a motley company of angry peasants, an adolescent mage named Scab, and an orcish paladin, Zaranda declares her own private war.

But Zaranda must reckon with the machinations of the mysterious wizard Nyadnar … and the unearthly evil that lurks deep within the city of Zazesspur.