A review of Noel Figart’s book At the Foot of the Throne.

I enjoyed At the Foot of the Throne.

That might seem a somewhat simple statement to make, but please let me clarify.

My reading tends toward technical stuff, and science fiction. I read very little fantasy. By and large, I find fantasy annoying, for a variety of reasons.

At the Foot of the Throne hits all the highlights, though. I liked it.

1. It tells a story that is essentially fantasy without delving into mysticism and wizardy. No flying children. No witches. There are jerks, sure, and they do jerky things in the name of their religion, but there’s no actual magic. Kinda like real life.

2. It tells a story about the political connections and plays between two neighboring kingdoms in a straightforward fashion, without depending on a complex map in the front of the book, or a complex family tree in an appendix, or knowledge from the author’s previous 73 books to understand all the nuances between characters and their three-times-removed descendants. You don’t have to know a darn thing to read this book and to understand the way things work in this world — it’s all in that book.

3. It tells the story of a king and his people where the king and his people are ordinary. Sure, they’re royal in name, but they screw up just as much as anyone else, and they speak in ordinary language (I think there was not one occurrence of archaic language in it, which is a huge plus in any book!).

4. It tells the story of a woman who survives the destruction of her village and home, and who moves upward based on her own unique skills (the same skills which indirectly led to her survival when the rest of her village perished).

The book contains a lot of sensibilities that are modern. I think that might turn some folks off, folks who think that because someone else lived in a time before iPads, that they must be stupid. Authors who don’t treat people as real people drive me nuts, and Figart treats her characters as if they’re real people. Real people with real problems and real ways of dealing with a world that is small enough to grasp and real enough to believe.

That’s pretty neat, all told.

Noel’s book can be found on Amazon.

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