Hard to imagine this is Jim Grimsley as the author! This isn't his usual slice-of-life story, but a fantasy with an epic feel. This is the story of a deposed king, Kirith Kirin getting his rightful kingdom back, and a story of magic and mayhem, but mostly it's the story of the king's lover, Jessex. It's a coming of age tale - the novel is narrated by Jessex and is told through his eyes. This is the kind of fantasy tale I like, realistic and historical, not so fantastical or so over-the-top that it is unbelievable. This reads like it could actually have happened. If you enjoy Grimsley's style of writing, this book will be a nice surprise. I wish he'd write more books in this vein, and I'd like to see more novels set in this same universe.
I finished the book, but right away I could tell the author put too much distance between him and the story. It read as if from the point of view of one very tired and old with a bad memory. Very little dialog, no characterizations or description of people and places, just a slow gray recitation of basic plot.