At the time of writing this is the very first book in the ‘Book of Deacon’ series, and what a book.
Essentially, it’s just an introduction to one of the series’ main characters, Lain, aka, The Red Shadow.
Lain is a kind of human/fox hybrid creature known as a Malthrope: which is where all his problems begin. Malthropes are feared, hated, despised, distrusted and hunted to near extinction by almost everyone, and it’s only by pure chance that Lain is not killed when he is captured as a kit after his mother is killed. But it’s a chance with a slight problem: he’s being kept alive as a slave until he’s big enough for his tail to reach to the required length for his owner to claim the bounty on it. And if that’s not enough, as a slave he is forced to work with the other slaves who all hate, distrust and despise him and are more than eager to let him know — apart from one old blind slave who seems to have different ideas about him.
Although this is only an introduction to Lain, it’s over 400 pages long and is a complete story in its own right; so if all you want is a taster for the rest of the series, it’s a great book to taste.
Action packed, lots of other great characters coming in and out of the story, twists and turns, engrossing, enjoyable. Lain is a character you really want to root for.
This book can also be found in ‘The Book of Deacon Anthology’.