In the Kingdom of Carthya, treason is afoot. Three members of the Royal family - the King, the Queen and their first son (the second son, Prince Jaron, was apparently killed by pirates many moons ago) are all found murdered in their beds. Now several Prince Jarons are coming out of the woodwork to claim the throne and the Kingdom.
Cut to Bevin Conner, one of the dead King's regent, who has a similar plan of his own. He buys three orphan boys who look similar to Jaron and trains them, hoping that atleast one of them can pass off as the Prince, whom he'll then control and hence, by extension, control the kingdom. But he finds he has gotten more than he bargained for in one of the orphans, Sage, who is unruly and a wise-ass, and refuses to bend to anyone's will. Little does Conner (and we) know that Sage has a secret of his own.The secret being that Sage is, actually, Prince Jaron in disguise. I wasn't blown away by this revelation, although I was surprised by it. I would have preferred it if I had to read about an orphan spending three books trying to convince everybody he was the lost Prince and succeed than about the real prince in disguise come out in the middle of the first book declaring "Behold! I have arrived!" (paraphrasing), and then take over the throne...
Oh, the potential this could have had! The author takes an engaging read with an intriguing lead character and plonks the above hidden twist right gob-smack in the middle - a twist which one could have done with out - thereby ruining the rest of the story for me. At least if the author had left the said twist till the end and finished the book on a cliff-hanger, it would have been much better. Now I'm not quite sure how the author intends on stretching out the story for another two books.3.5 stars
because I know i'm going to pick up the sequels just to see how the story is going to end!