I feel like I know the world of Kingfountain and its surrounding nations and lands, after having read so many books set there. I do have trouble sometimes placing the various series in chronological order, though there are usually clues as the story goes on to help. The culture doesn’t seem to change for the most part from one series to the next, though.
This one is set long after King Andrew (Wheeler’s answer to King Arthur), and therefore must also be set long after the Kingfountain series. Even so, Ransom and Claire feel almost exactly like Owen and Victoria Elysabeth Mortimer from that series, and I’m hoping that their stories don’t likewise follow a similar path! Ransom is the nickname of the knight who grows up to be the main character, though he starts out a boy who is more or less orphaned in the house of a king, much like Owen. He’s shy and retiring, though friends as a child with the effervescent Claire. Unlike the earlier pair, these don’t spend nearly as much time together as children, though–they’re separated early on, as Ransom makes his way in the world first by achieving knighthood and then on various escapades as he searches for a lord to serve. Court intrigues influence his choice, while Claire pines for him from a distance and tries to keep herself unattached, despite many seeking her hand.
Toward the end, the story introduces shades of the Arthurian legend repeating itself (this is also one of the themes of the world of Kingfountain: the old tales recur again and again), and also shades of the biblical story of Joseph. I raced through this one as fast as I do all of Wheeler’s series, and will shortly begin the next one!
My rating: *****
Violence: fantasy only
Sexual content: none
Political content: none