My first read of this author and which I chose because I wanted a stand alone novel rather than a series.
The story begins on the eve of a royal wedding when the bride (the king's daughter) goes missing which sparks an all out search to find her. Soon it becomes evident that the machinations of a demon bound sorcerer are involved and Mykkael, captain of the garrison, becomes suspect because of his "desert bred" origins. The mystery deepens and intrigue develops as they fail to find the princess and no one knows who to trust. In the second half of the novel, the emphasis changes as those loyal to the kingdom battle for survival and the princess tries desperately to evade capture and survive.
It is an entertaining, if not particularly original story and the world in which the reader is immersed is convincingly constructed. Janny Wurts obviously has talent, her prose is elegant and her narrative style conventional. The only problem I have with her writing is she lacks economy with words. She embellishes her descriptions to distraction. Situations are described in a many faceted way, from the perspective of different characters. I found her style suited more the first half of mystery and intrigue than I did to the second half of action, in which her "wordy" approach only served to diffuse the tension.
Overall, I did enjoy it, I just wish it was a few hundred pages shorter. I expect I will try something else by this author, probably another stand alone novel.