Inspired by the classical ancient world and authors such as C J Sansom, Retribution is the second Drakenfeld novel, in Mark Charan Newton's thrilling fantasy crime series.
When justice fails, revenge follows . . .
Having just solved a difficult case in his home city of Tryum, Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld and his associate Leana are ordered to journey to the exotic city of Kuvash in Koton, where a revered priest has gone missing. When they arrive, they discover the priest has already been found - or at least parts of him have.
But investigating the unusual death isn't a priority for the legislature of Kuvash; there's a kingdom to run, a census to create and a dictatorial Queen to placate. Soon Drakenfeld finds that he is suddenly in charge of an investigation in a strange city, whose customs and politics are as complex as they are dangerous.
Kuvash is a city of contradictions; wealth and poverty exist uneasily side-by-side and behind the rich façades of gilded streets and buildings, all levels of depravity and decadence are practised.
When several more bodies are discovered mutilated and dumped in a public place, Drakenfeld realizes there's a killer at work who seems to delight in torture and pain. With no motive, no leads and no suspects, he feels like he's running out of options. And in a city where nothing is as it seems, seeking the truth is likely to get him killed . . .
Newton combines strange and vivid creations with very real and pressing concerns with estimable commitment and passion
Drakenfeld is a flawed yet appealing hero and Newton has wrought a fast-paced fantasy thriller which should appeal to readers of C?J Sansom
David Barnett, Independent on Sunday
This is a grounded and realistic example of secondary world-building that works well as an intelligent locked-room mystery and also gives us a cerebral, multi-layered protagonist . . . a world that’s challenging and provocative without falling into grimdark cliches.