Title: Family of Lies: Sebastian
Author: Sam Argent
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 324 pages
Characters: Sebastian Orwell and Crown Prince Turren
Sub-Genre: High Fantasy
Sebastian Orwell did the only thing a smart wizard could do when he stumbled upon the wounded Crown Prince: he healed him and dumped him in a tavern where he could continue not being Sebastian’s problem. Unfortunately, the prince isn’t content with being alive, and he hunts Sebastian down to thank him personally. Not only is Sebastian stuck with the prince’s unwanted affections, he’s also confronted by growing evidence linking the assassination attempt to someone from his father’s past.
Lord Orwell is a lot of things: thief, liar, drunk, and all around horrible father, but Sebastian knows he’s no murderer. In order to prove it, Sebastian has to keep the prince alive long enough to discover the truth—a task made considerably harder because the idiot prince prefers wooing Sebastian over securing his own survival. On top of everything, Sebastian needs to save the day without revealing his magical powers and the real reason he hides his appearance.
Sebastian had no intention of playing the hero, but whoever is stirring up shit in his country will pay for destroying his quiet life.
At first I thought “Family of Lies: Sebastian” was a light coming-of-age style book but as I kept reading, the wit and intricate threads caught me in the story’s web and the wonderfully underplayed wit kept me smiling and chuckling.
One of my earlier favourite scenes has to be when Prince Turren is riding through the magic forest after being warned to stay close by the commander, although there are many others I enjoyed just as much.
Sebastian’s family is complex and his siblings intriguing (I would love to read the story of Sebastian’s older sister Diana), and I liked Sebastian right from the start, even though he is a stubborn grump. Turren took me a fair bit longer to get used to as he seemed the typical spoiled brat-prince who went after whatever he wanted, damn the consequences.
The fact that Sebastian stumbled into the intrigue rather than it being centred around him really kept my attention, and the dance between Sebastian and Turren was slow and sweet, adding to the plot without overtaking it.
I would recommend this story for anyone who loves a good intrigue, witty dialogue, surprises, and complex characters. The romance is equal to the plot, rather than one being more overt than the other, so if you don’t like a bit of romance with your stories, this one might not be for you.
Having read this story, I immediately went searching for others by the author and was disappointed to find he didn’t have any. So instead, I guess I’ll have to wait impatiently for the next in the Family of Lies series, which Sam Argent’s webpage tells me is currently in progress.
Reviewed By: Alison
Check out this and other titles from Dreamspinner Press HERE