Fall of a Kingdom (Book 1) By Hilari Bell- Farsala is a mythological country long ago with a wise king; but the country has a caste system. The King and his followers, the deghans are the upper caste; while the peasants make up the remainder. Unfortunately, in part 1, the deghans and their honor almost destroy them as the enemy approaching the borders decimates the deghan cavalry thrown against them. The enemy are the Hrum (think Romans) – who have conquered much of the world by superior battle strategy. If they cannot conquer a country in one year; they will make the country an ally rather than spend their soldiers and resources uselessly. All the peasants of Farsala have to do is hold out for one year. Stories tell of a hero that the God Azura will provide when the country is in need, the reincarnation of a long ago hero, Sorahb. The enemies of the King require that the king’s beloved daughter Soraya be sacrificed. She is hidden away in a farm way below her station; but escapes to the desert to live with the Suud who take her in and teach her a new way to live. The king’s unacknowledged young son, Jiaan hides and gets a resistance together. The peddler, Kavi, who was to keep the king apprised of his daughter’s well being turns traitor due to abuse of one of the deghan class. The Hrum are now at a standstill at a city, Mazad, under siege and hoping to hold out for the required year with the aid of the resistance.
This trilogy has everything – loyalty, honor, betrayal, bad guys, good guys and redemption. The adventure is never ending, keeping the interest going to the very end. There is great diversity of the peoples involved. The Hrum, except for their treacherous commander, are good rulers and fighting to a standstill to become an ally is a desired end due to the benefits involved, fair taxation and good roads being only a part of it. Highly entertaining.
Thanks for your review Nancy!