The magic system of the Highborn is simple yet captivating and impacts the plot of Melkorka in unexpected ways. Branimir is a likeable character, but his most compelling aspect is the way generations of slavery have coupled his sense of heritage to servitude. This intertwines with his desperation to know about Kras civilisation and culture prior to their enslavement to form a subtle yet complex internal conflict. Dorofej’s tendency to voice every snarky thought without an ounce of tact never fails to entertain while his kindness towards Branimir is endearing. Joshua Robertson takes an alternative route in regards to the character’s moral compasses, emphasising the ideal that the lives of the many outweigh those of the few. The result is refreshing, as it prevents the rise of that tiresome plot device wherein the hero dumps the world-saving quest in favour of saving family or friends, usually to disastrous results.
Reviewed for Reader's Favorite