This novel by Patricia Briggs is a typical old-fashioned fantasy story with some interesting concepts. I rather enjoyed this fast paced, and entertaining story, touched with hilarious dialogues. This book is rather short and part of a duology, which makes a nice change from those fat, never-ending series.
Ward is the oldest son of the Lord of Hurog, forced to pretend to be the family idiot to weather his father's abuse and paranoia. His plan backfires when his father dies and Ward is deemed too incompetent to rule his own lands. Amongst ancient curses, family quests, rotting magic, political shenanigans, Ward's quest to prove his worth ensues.