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Schemes of the Wayfarer, by Drew Sarkis

Review copy provided by the authors, who are friends of mine. (This is a joint pseudonym.)

COURT POLITICS. Do you like fantasy novels about court politics? Because this sure is one. I like them myself, so I need to assure you: when it has “schemes” in the title, it is wall to wall scheming. The titular Wayfarer, various members of royalty, and nearly everyone else. All scheming, all the time.

Well, not quite all the time, there’s also food and sex and fighting. But many of those things come with a side of scheming sauce.

Keth has risen to the sort of minor prominence that comes from military service, and now her duties are mixed between the very physical kind of policing the Guard still needs to do and standing around smiling at annoying courtiers, wearing fancy court armor with a sword that wouldn’t do her any good in a real fight. She is startled to find that one of her old…friends? no…enemies? nnnnot quite…crushes? well, that’ll do…has returned to court as a wise and serene Wayfarer, ready to offer her services to the kingdom that raised her. All out of pure-hearted gratitude, of course…and all of Keth’s fears about “real” fights in court dress are about to come true, for various values of “real” and “fight.” Some of which include a gleeful minotaur. So onward, romping all the way.

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