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Book Review: The Traitors We Are

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“In a world where writing disappears when the author dies, 22-year-old Cael Oberlan watches the last gasping breaths of his best friend. He pulls a scrap of paper out of his pocket as his friend’s signature fades. Cael only wants vengeance for his friend and to create a reality where he no longer has to bow before any man. However, the nagging suspicion that his father, who started this war, hasn’t given him the whole story about his role in this conflict threatens to unravel everything he ever thought he knew about himself and the people he is fighting to free.

As nephew of the King, 24-year-old Emil Trestinsen should be a hero. He should already hear his name echoing in celebration in the streets of the capital. In a young life already full of disappointment, a lack of recognition for ridding the kingdom of “Ruinous” Lorcen Oberlan may prove to be the final push he needs to seize his destiny. He will prove his worth to his family and his nation. He will end this rebellion and take his rightful place as the next governor of the rebels.

When 18-year-old Merily Oberlan receives letters from the frontlines, and the top one is blank, she is devastated to realize one of her loved ones has died in battle. She is determined to help bring an end to this bloody war and be strong for her people, a cultural and religious minority in the kingdom of Harfal.

What started as a simple rebellion transforms into a complicated web of lies, betrayal, and difficult decisions no one should have to make. It is a race against time and death as handwriting continues to disappear, erasing the contracts and historical records necessary for peaceful negotiations.”

Title: The Traitors We Are

Series: Crown and Tide #1

Author: Michael Roberti

Page Count: 385

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Date Read: June 20th, 2023

First of all I’d like to apologize that’s it’s taken me this long to finally get around to picking up a book by Michael Roberti. He’s actually been on my radar close to a year now and I just hadn’t worked his books into the rotation. Well that stopped her in June as I dove head first into The Traitors We Are which is another SPFBO-9 entry. If this is any sign of things to come of this author’s work I’ve truly been missing out. Not to take anything at all away from any other great books I’ve read so far in this competition but this one just landed right in my wheelhouse!
I’d say the pacing was steady but leaning toward the fast pace side of things. It’s certainly not non-stop action. However I never really felt a lull or a slog through unnecessary details at all. As I tend to mention with pacing, I didn’t really have any issues with names of characters or places to stumble over. The writing and story rolled along smoothly for me. This was another one of those simply enjoyable reads that was difficult to put down and was quickly picked back up as soon as I could.
The world building was done well. We certainly have a good mix of regions, cultures, regions and fighting styles covered in The Traitors We Are. I am anxiously awaiting to next installment of this series to see how the world building expands from here. I could see if going either way. Either it expands the world itself more or we simply get further details on many of these things already introduced in book one here.
I saved the character development for last because it was probably my favorite aspect of this book. The author does a great job introducing and fleshing out our characters. It was easy for me to find character I didn’t like or were annoyed with along with connecting with those I found myself pulling for. As I mentioned on social media while reading and by the name of the title, be careful who you begin to trust in this one!
Mike kept me on my toes thought out this book. I can’t help but connect with Cael and Erik but there are so many colorful characters both good, bad and perhaps misunderstood in this one.
I’d recommend this book to readers who enjoy their epic fantasy to include lots of action, betrayal and plenty of political intrigue the likes of A Song of Ice and Fire.
At this point I need to find ways to explore more of Mike’s work in the future. I found out there is a prequel available and book 2 is scheduled for release yet this year.

World Building 5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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