Title: The Trillias Gambit
Author: J.V. Hilliard
Sexual Content: Minimal
Objectional Content: Violence
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Daemus Alaric and his band of dauntless companions venture to the Devil’s Horn, the mystical home of Trillias, the mercurial Ancient of Sport and Tests. Their quest—to recover the lost Tome of Enlightenment, cast into the bowels of the mysterious Laurentian Labyrinth by the fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad. Will they survive the god’s gambit? Far away in Castle Thronehelm, Princess Addilyn Elspeth and Sir Ritter of Valkeneer arrive, warning the kingdom of the fall of the Cathedral of the Watchful Eye. As they travel north to prepare for war, they must not only defeat the relentless Bone elf assassin Incanus Dru’Waith but choose between their forbidden love—or their obligations to the realm. If you enjoy magical tales told with gripping action and harrowing adventure, you’ll love this epic and dark fantasy series.
The Trillias Gambit is – I’m just going to say it – fantastic! The characters are likeable and relatable. I especially loved learning more about Incanus Dru’Waith. His back story and motivations are compelling and interesting to read.
The progression Daemus has made as a character since The Last Keeper is also impressive. He is no longer the sheltered and naive kid terrified of his nightmares. Now grown into a man, he has lost friends and family along the way but also gained new allies and love.
Even during down time in the story, this book still held my interest. Hilliard’s writing is rich and descriptive, bringing the world to life in the mind of the reader.
The Trillias Gambit picks up seamlessly from Vorodin’s Lair and keeps the plot going. During the action scenes, I wanted to know what was going to happen so bad I tried to read faster than I actually can. The tension had me on the edge of my seat.
I absolutely love the diversity and gender equality in this series. There are women everywhere as part of the army, acting as a bodyguard and in charge of guilds or estates. Arranged political marriages still exist, but for the most part, it seems that both participants have to at least be willing.
There is some discrimination against what are known as “trollborn” or half breeds. These people are looked down upon basically for having parents of two different species. A not uncommon bias in fantasy books.
My only tiny complaint with this book is that the words “maze” and “labyrinth” are used interchangeable despite not actually being the same thing. A maze is designed with dead ends and it meant to confuse any one who walks into it. A labyrinth on the other hand has one single path that leads to the centre and back out.
All in all, my rating for The Trillias Gamit is 5 out 5 stars and I can’t wait for the next book!
Thanks for reading!