Young Cassia dreams of being a famous storyteller herself, but her father doesn’t let her perform. Things change for her when grizzled soldier Baum and his noble young sidekick Meredith come to town and hire her father to travel with them. They want a storyteller along to witness their quest to defeat an evil warlock, break a curse, and restore the ancient throne of Caenthell, to which Meredith is the heir.
When things get dangerous, Cassia’s father does a runner, leaving Cassia as the only available storyteller. This could be her big chance. But is Baum telling her the whole story?
I found the start of the book rather slow. There’s a lot of traveling and being miserable, very well written but not especially interesting. The quality of the writing kept me going though, and it was worth persevering as the plot develops very nicely. There’s plenty of good stuff here: the tangled history of immortal warlocks, leaving their traces in ancient stories; dark, dangerous magic; and dragons. The setting is developed very well and the characters are good.