Epic fantasy author Shaun Paul Stevens returns to the Feyrlands through the eyes of Mist, one of the main characters from Nether Light, in this short but fast-paced prequel book. This short novel focuses on Mist, a shadowy character who is directed to assassinate the High Mistress Talia, a beautiful but talented harpist set to marry the Count of Brecht. While Nether Light sets the stage for the future of magic, of the Faze, in the Ferylands, Servant of the Lesser Good narrows to show life in the Ferylands through the eyes of Mist, and hints of political scheming that may or may not affect the future of Sendal.
Although Faze is less prominent in this book compared to Nether Light, it is still clear that it is a magic that infuses every aspect of Feryland life. As Deliverance at Van Demon’s Deep hints at the brimming chaos of the Unbound (who are not “vaccinated” against the effects of a creeping pandemic that causes madness) and Nether Light delves into the magic users of the world, Servant of the Lesser Good takes a closer look at the politics and gender in the Feyrlands. Although the three books are separate and can be read independently together the three paint a picture of a looming disaster with the Faze and the world it infuses.
Servant of the Lesser Good is a fast-paced and yet intriguing look into the Ferylands through the eyes of two powerful women, a wonderfully refreshing story that ends with a crescendo of musical magic. Mist is undoubtedly one of the livelier characters from the sometimes very glum Guyen of Nether Light. Whereas Guyen strives to find his place in an unfriendly nation distrustful of anyone with Krellan ancestry, Mist knows her place in this world. She is confident and knows exactly what she needs to complete her mission.
The strong female characters contrasts sharply with the grizzled old Kiprick of Deliverance and the stereotypical young male hero Guyen of Nether Light. Mist and Talia are unafraid to embrace their sex, using it as a both a weapon and a means to fulfill their motives. The relationship between Mist and the High Mistress Talia brims with a delicious sexual tension that reeks of the power plays that politicians in this world, a relationship I thoroughly enjoyed as the tension came to a crescendo.
The 18th century Flintlock vibe rings true with duels and powdered wigs that I love so much and demand more of. Although neither Mist nor Talia are magic users there exists an almost Industrialist influence to a magic that suffuses the world. Magic and machine co-exist, a delightful change from most epic fantasy that tends to draw from Medieval culture and technology. Although I would have preferred a bit more magic and explanation of the Faze that was introduced in Nether Light I found this short book to be a quick fun read that kept my attention.
Anyone who enjoys reading Flintlock fantasy novels such as the Powermage Trilogy by Brian McClellan and the Thieftaker novels by D.B Jackson will surely enjoy Servant of the Lesser Good by Shaun Paul Stevens. I’ll take more Flintlock fantasy with a cup of tea and a sniff of gunpowder, thank you very much.
Servant of the Lesser Good is the latest book by SPFBO finalist Shaun Paul Stevens. Set in his Feyrlands universe, this standalone story follows the deadly but delightful Mist (one of the main characters in Nether Light) in her covert mission to avert civil war by destroying an alliance between two of Sendal’s most powerful southern duchies.
Read a preview at https://www.ShaunPaulStevens.com/Servant
Or pre-order your copy from Amazon at https://mybook.to/LesserGood
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