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The Dame by R.A. Salvatore
Review by Mel Jacob
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765317902
Date: 18 August 2009 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

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R.A. Salvatore continues his series, Saga of the First King with The Dame. War rolls through Honce as two lairds vie for the title of king. One ambitious laird, DaLaval, lays waste to the land killing, destroying, and driving the troops of Laird Ethelbert back. When Prince Milwellis of Palmaistown, a DaLaval ally, demands the brothers of the Order of Abelle treat his soldiers first, Father Artolivan head of the Order refuses. The Order has pledged neutrality and the warring lairds agreed to allow the brothers to treat the wounded of both sides and hold all prisoners until the war ends. Disgruntled and angry, Milwellis leaves and in defiance takes Ethelbert's wounded with him denying them treatment. He vows vengeance against the order.

From official release/information:

Product Description: The vast road network of Honce, completed a decade before, had brought great optimism to the people of the land. Commerce could travel more freely and so could armies, and those armies, it was hoped, would rid the land at long last of the vicious, bloody cap dwarfs and goblins. For the first time, the many individual kingdoms, the holdings of Honce, would be brought closer together, perhaps even united. For the last few years, those promises had become a nightmare to the folk, as two powerful lairds fought for supremacy of a hoped-for united kingdom. Bransen Garibond, the Highwayman, held little real interest in that fight. To him the warring lairds were two sides of the same coin. Whichever side won, the outcome for the people of Honce would be the same, Bransen believed. A journey north, however, taught Bransen that his views were simplistic at best, and that some things--like honor and true friendship-- might truly matter. In The Dame, Bransen's road becomes a quest for the truth, of Honce and of himself, a quest to put right over wrong. That path is fraught with confusion and fraud, and a purposeful blurring of morality by those who would seek to use the Highwayman's extraordinary battle skills and popularity among the commonfolk for their own nefarious ends.

(Source: Tor Books)

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