Wow! This was a great story! In reading it, I was strongly reminded of John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series, which I love!
First off, the characters were very engaging, particularly the four brothers. Right from the beginning of the book, I was drawn into the brother’s plight and was rooting for them throughout. You can tell when an author has successfully developed his/her characters when you find yourself missing them when the story ends. I also liked Amber Bennett’s attention to detail. Even the small, insignificant things (like one of the characters idly kicking at a stick on the ground in the midst of a conversation) made this world more real to me.
Judging by the way the story ends, this seems to be a one-and-done book. I hope that is not the case! I think that the final chapters of The Queen’s Sons could be easily detached and used as the seeds for a sequel.
The only reason that I have given this book four stars instead of five is that I felt it was poorly edited and formatted by the publisher. Typos abound throughout the book, and as a grammar nerd, they proved to be jarring notes in an otherwise beautiful symphony. I also think that the book’s current formatting might be discouraging to a younger audience. The lines are single-spaced, making the text rather dense. Spreading out the text (and maybe enlarging the font?) would likely physically expand the book, and maybe cost more money to produce (I’m just guessing at that. I’m not in the publishing industry).
However, I think this story is completely worth the extra money invested, and would appeal to a broad range of fantasy/adventure readers, both young and old.