They had grown up together, three friends that were in all likelihood should have never been friends. Ryland is the son of the king and is torn between his duty to the crown and his own desires. Shaye is a journeyman majicar who probably is more skilled than he’s given credit for but doesn’t want to study for his master’s test. He was born into a wealthy merchant family and his uncle is the biggest threat to the crown. Fairlie was born in a rural area and as a young child taken as an apprentice to a master metalsmith. Her skill is incredible and she is going to become the youngest master.
These three friends begin an adventure that will change not only their friendship but their country forever. Crosspointe needs compasses and is the only compass makers in the known world. At present there is only one compass maker in the entire country. It is discovered that Fairlie has the innate power to become a compass maker and the king is determined that she will become his new compass maker even if he has to do it by force. Shaye lets it be known that his feelings toward Fairlie are more than friendship and he is steadfast in his desire to keep her safe and happy. Ryland becomes a pawn of his father and stretches his friendship as his father uses him to force Fairlie to become a compassmaker causing Shaye to make a choice between his friends and learn that sometimes friendship doesn’t mean the same to everyone.
This is part of a series that is based in Crosspointe. Though I have not read any of the previous books, I found myself so wrapped up in the happenings, trails and tribulations that were in this one that I couldn’t bear to put it down. The characters, their emotions and their adventures kept me in their grip, and at points an almost painful grip as I became so involved in the story and its characters that I could only emphasize with it. The world that I found myself in was clear in my mind and was as unique as this story.
The characters were extremely well done. They had the depth that gave them life. You could feel their fear and concerns and longings. As the story developed, the characters developed along with it. Each scene gave something extra to the story and made it more believable. Little things like a chance meeting with a sea captain became important further in the story. Each character had its own background, quirks, strengths and weaknesses making them as well rounded as you could possibly get them. They had life and were likeable, even when the things they were doing weren’t exactly likeable.
This story was more involved that just a love story or an intrigue or a saga. It was all of those and more. The king is doing what he thinks is correct to save his kingdom. His son wants to support him but it’s tearing him apart. Fairlie and Shaye would like to explore this new aspect of their friendship but the world keeps intruding. There are undercurrents of uprisings by the guilds that are moving to the forefront. Alliances are being made and are being broken leaving readers wondering if Crosspointe is going to make it.
I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great fantasy novel. Though there is a strong love story intertwined throughout the story, it is not a romance novel. Though you do not need to read previous novels to enjoy this one, I plan on buying them because Ms Francis’s writing is so good that I can’t wait to see what else she’s written!
They were the best of friends: Ryland, the son of the king, is bound by loyalty. Shaye is both a majicar and a Weverton, both rebellious factions. Fairlie, a fiery metal-smith, is the iron bond that held them all together. Until now.
Crosspointe’s greatest advantage at sea is its ship’s compasses—but the compass makers are dying. Without them, Crosspointe will fall. To save his country and repel the coming Jutras invasion, the king orders Ryland to commit an unforgivable act. And soon Ryland, Shaye, and Fairlie find themselves at war…with each other.