Sunday, January 2, 2022

Review: Warrior's Ransom by Jeff Wheeler

by Jeff Wheeler
Release Date: May 18, 2021
2021 47North
Kindle Edition; 363 Pages
ISBN: 978-1542027380
Audiobook: B08L9LXYX3
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

After a pilgrimage to the East Kingdoms seeking a blessing from the Fountain, source of the land’s magic, Sir Ransom Barton returns home in search of two dreams: Claire de Murrow, the heiress he loves, and a patron for his warrior skills. Unexpectedly, Ransom finds himself in the favor of Devon, the notorious Elder King. Brought into the ruler’s mesnie and given two wards of his own, Ransom is devoted to his privileged new position. He’s also privy to the running of the realm and to all its courtly intrigues—notably, the machinations of the king’s three remaining sons, all engaged in a manipulative battle to become heir to the throne.

As Ransom is thrust into the middle of poisonous family conspiracies and betrayals, allegiances are shattered, and Ransom fears he may end up serving his worst enemy—or worse, face exile for demonstrating loyalty.
My Thoughts
Warrior's Ransom is the second book in The First Argentines series, and I enjoyed it even more than the first book.   Ransom continues to struggle finding a master worthy of his loyalty, and I have to admire his earnestness and his steadfastness as I am not sure I would be able to do the same in his shoes.  This second book explores that theme of trust and loyalty and the dilemma it imposes on men when the people they serve make poor decisions that put many lives in jeopardy.  

Ransom is a character to admire and I love his growing development in this book.  I was a little disappointed that his journey/quest was only a small part of the book, but he did receive a gift during his journey that would certainly help him during his difficulties later on.  Even though he has many doubts and is not always sure his decisions are the right ones, he trusts in his loyalty and in his honour and his duty as a knight.  There are many who mock him for his ideals and urge him to break his bonds of loyalty, but I have to admire him for his steadfastness and sticking to his oaths, even when he is torn.  And having magic on his side to guide him doesn't hurt either.  A lot of his decisions are made with the Fountain's guidance and blessing, even if he doesn't understand the reasons behind those pushes and pulls he receives.

Although I do find the journal writing from Claire to be intriguing, I find it irritating at the same time. I feel like I don't really know her that well and wish we got her information through her point of view rather than through chronicles.  I think learning more about the machinations of the castle would have been interesting and it would have developed a few other characters that were kind of left in the background.  

The plot development is coming along nicely and there is certainly a lot going on.  Although the story focuses on Ransom, there is almost an innocence to him as he gets caught up in a lot of political intrigue that he only seems to sense at the last minute; I think his loyalty doesn't always let him understand how others can be so deceptive.  It's not that he is blind or naive or unwary, but still seems shocked when people do dirty, underhanded things.  And there is a lot going on. Ransom is constantly putting out fires or avoiding poisonous traps; the twists and turns were plenty.  I do wish that Ransom would take the time to explore the Fountain blessed magic, or the legends, and see how they could help him, as they did feature more prominently in this book.  I was hoping for a bit more of that in this book. 

Warrior's Ransom continues to focus on Ransom and in this one, he learns more about his fountain-blessed magic and how it can help him during his battles and with his decisions.  The writing, as always, is detailed and full of complex characters.  Highly recommend this series. 



  1. the author's name was familiar, probably from your blog. :-) sounds like another one i would enjoy
    sherry @ fundinmental