For me, Last of the Lesser Kings is a story of decisions and how they can affect the characters' lives. It is also a story of how the events in their lives can affect those decisions. There is also ambition and how it can be an all-encompassing force, yet, also be different depending on the person.
Neathander Arian spared a young warrior's life after a battle, saw Janir (the warrior) take his rightful place, and set himself on a course that lasted twelve years and saw Janir become High King.
Although he is High King, Janir is not satisfied because there is still one independent king left and he plans on warring with that king. It is more than enough for Neathander, he leaves, and sets himself on another course when he comes across (and saves) a pair of children. It is with their father, Aorin (the king Janir would war with), that Neathander finds a way to live with his past and with what he had done for Janir.
Janir and Aorin are, in their own way, ambitious. It is the way that the author handles how they are portrayed that is one of the reasons why I like the book, for Janir and Aorin are two sides of the same coin almost. Janir's ambition is a blind one - for is it truly his or the way someone else shaped it? Aorin is also ambitious, but for him it is an ambition to see his people safe, his children grown, to have that someone special and to live in peace.
Another reason I like the book is the characters. For all of his drive and ambition, there is good in Janir. Neathander is a good soul in spite of what he has done and is not blind to his own faults. Aorin is good and wise, but isn't perfect.
A final reason for me liking this book is that it is a quest story and the quest depends on the character. Each character has his or her own quest (even if it is just to live) and each has his or her own path to travel to reach the end.
After twelve years of conquest, Janir of Meanga has become the High King of all the human lands. At his side is Neathander Arian, the magician who once loved him.
Disillusioned with Janir's ambition, the violence of war and--most of all--with himself, Neathander flees north, hoping to escape Janir’s final war. There he encounters two lost children, and when he helps them find their way home he meets their father: Aorin of Rivensed, the last independent lesser King.
Neathander has done monstrous things, but Aorin is gentle and kind and welcomes him despite his past. Neathander, in his turn, grows to love him.
When Janir’s army marches, Neathander must defend Aorin and his kingdom. But can Neathander save Rivensed without losing himself… or will the love of a lesser King redeem him?