The Justice of Kings v What did you feel?

Book: The Justice of Kings
Author: Richard Swan
Publisher: Orbit
Published: 2022

Special thanks to Orbit for giving me access to an e-arc of this on Netgalley in return for an honest review.

tJoK is written from the perspective of Helena Sedanka, clerk to the renowned Justice Sir Konrad Vonvalt. She speaks directly to the reader about events she witnessed & played a part in, which ultimately led to some future catastrophe within the Empire of the Wolf. The Empire has grown rapidly in the past century, largely under the guidance of the current emperor. It is something akin to the Holy Roman Empire, in that its subsumed constituent territories still maintain some level of autonomous control. What they must all follow, theoretically, is the Empire’s common law, a legal system which has heretofore been administered predominantly by roaming Justices, though permanent courthouses are popping up in larger settlements.

When we meet Konrad, Helena & Konrad’s other attaché Dubine, they’re travelling through an innocuous village called Rill. They discover that the inhabitants are still openly practising a banned religion. This would be a simple matter of Konrad accepting their renouncing of the religion & a fine being paid were it not for the 4th member of their group, a young priest who has been following them around & getting on their nerves due to his naive zealotry. He seemingly accepts Konrad’s judgment but leaves the group, who carry on their rounds until they come to a city wherein there has been a high profile murder. From there, events in the Empire start to filter into their awareness, & the semi-comfortable state of operating which the Order of Justices have worked in starts to seem far less so.

In my day job I manage the business support staff to a large legal team. It is no way near as glamorous as following Sir Konrad Vonvalt around as his clerk, but it does mean that in this book I found the closest thing in fantasy so far to my real life & I loved it.

Beer: What Did You Feel?
Brewery: Pollys
Style: IPA
Strength: 6.8%

What did I feel? Happy, satisfied & thoroughly refreshed. Very juicy & thick, bitter citrus smoothie. There is a gorgeous flavour at the back of the tongue I can’t quite identify. I’d say it was on the tip of my tongue, but we’ll… that’s not the part of my tongue it’s on.

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