In this brilliant debut fantasy, secrets, rebellion, and murder are shattering the Hollows, where memory is the coin that pays for magic, and only the son of the kingdom's despised traitor holds the truth.
Michael was branded a traitor and his family exiled from courtly life after his father, David Kingman, murdered the king's nine-year-old son.
Now he survives by conning, cheating and duelling minor royals in a weak attempt to strike back at the world that abandoned him and his family, sure all the while that his father must be innocent . . . and aware that some powerful secret lurks in the hot white emptiness of his mind.
So when the opportunity arrives to return to court, via the most dangerous of the King's royal council, Michael takes it, hoping for clues to unlock his hidden past. Instead, he's going to find a royal family spiralling into a self-serving dictatorship, as beyond the walls gun-wielding rebels clash against magically trained militia.
But if he can find his way to the truth, he could completely reverse the injustices which rule the Hollows . . . if Michael and his family can survive long enough to see it . . .
An excellent fantasy debut, with engaging worldbuilding and a good mix between action and character. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and look forward to following Nick's sure-to-be lengthy writing career. - Brandon Sanderson