Prince Barodane could not hold back the darkness. Not even in himself. He laid an innocent city in its grave and then died a hero.
In his absence, war whispers across the land.
Power-hungry highborn dispatch spies and assassins to the shadows as they maneuver for the throne, while an even greater threat rises in the South. Monsters and cultists flock to the banners of a mad prophet determined to control reality…and then shatter it.
Destiny stalks three to the brink of oblivion.
A dead prince that isn’t actually dead. Barodane buried his shameful past in a stupor of drugs, drink, and crime, and now, he’d rather watch the world fall apart than wear a crown again.
An orphan with hero’s blood who is forced to make a harrowing choice: betray her country or sacrifice her first love.
And a powerful seer who has no choice at all–her grandson must die.
If any of them fails to pay the price…
The cost will be the world’s complete annihilation.
A special thank you to Michael Michel for sending me a review copy and Escapist Book Tours for putting this whole thing together. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
Epic and dark, The Price of Power is the debut novel from Michael Michel and first in the series of the same name. I absolutely loved this novel. One by one, it checked off everything I love in a dark fantasy novel. Great characters? Check. High stakes and consequences? Check. Dark humor, scary monsters and intriguing magic? Check, check and check.
The world is vast and steeped in history and in this first novel we only get a taste. TPoP is simultaneously epic and intimate, with characters scattered all across the world, but with very personal stories. This allows us to get a good look at the world Michel has crafted without getting lost. If I had one nitpick, it’s that there wasn’t a map, but I’m willing to admit that’s a “me” problem and not a “book” problem. It’s a testament to Michel that without said map I never felt lost or confused as to where I was in the story.
The characters are all very well written and this is one of those rare books where all of the POVs are engaging. Some more than others, but that’s unavoidable and will vary from reader to reader. For me, Barodane was the MVP but I’m a sucker for the hero-fallen-from-grace trope. That said, I was always looking forward to revisiting anyone when one of their chapters came up.
This is definitely a character driven story, everyone on their own adventure with some loose connections to each other. In this sense, TPoP is reminiscent of A Song of Ice and Fire, a collection of POVs that don’t seem very connected at first and slowly come together. Whether or not they come together in this novel, well, you’ll just have to RaFO.
The Price of Power is a slow burn, character driven, dark and epic fantasy. With a world steeped in history and lore, fascinating magic, terrifying villains (The Madness is a new favorite of mine) and characters you can relate to, if not eventually love. Michael Michel is on to something special here and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us next.
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