Disclaimer: I received this novel for free thanks to the r/fantasy TBRindr initiative, in return for an honest review. The purpose of this initiative is to showcase the works of independent authors.
City of Kings is a tale of siege, dark necromancy and bloody betrayal. It’s the sixth book in Rob J. Hayes’ First Earth setting, but it works well as a stand-alone. I should know since I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading any of his previous works. And I don’t use ‘pleasure’ lightly.
Let’s jump straight into what I loved about this book!
What happens when you find out after traveling with a bunch of people you took to be lovable antiheroes that they were, in the end, just plain evil? This is an interesting question that doesn't often come up in grimdark despite the fact it is a series based around the principle of there being no good people and only various shades of black. One instance this happened with me was the FIRST LAW TRILOGY where Glokta, after being one of the most fascinating sympathetic characters for two books, eventually revealed himself to be irredeemable.
DRONES by Rob J. Hayes is a big departure for the writer. Normally, he is a writer of dark fantasy and grimdark epics. His IT TAKES A THIEF books were light steampunk fantasy but still very much in the magical genre. So, I was interested when he said he was doing a work in a sci-fi cyberpunk setting rather than a faux-Renaissance or Hyborian-Age era. Would he be able to write with his usual trademark wit in a entirely new environment?