Review: The Pedlar and the Bandit King (Scarlet and the White Wolf #1) by Kirby Crow


Scarlet of Lysia is an honest peddler, a young merchant traveling the wild, undefended roads to support his aging parents. 3236813
Liall, called the Wolf of Omara, is the handsome, world-weary chieftain of a tribe of bandits blocking a mountain road that Scarlet needs to cross. When Liall jokingly demands a carnal toll for the privilege, Scarlet refuses and an inventive battle of wills ensues, with disastrous results.
Scarlet is convinced that Liall is a worthless, immoral rogue, but when the hostile countryside explodes into violence and Liall unexpectedly fights to save the lives of Scarlet’s family, Scarlet is forced to admit that the Wolf is not the worst ally he could have, but what price will proud Scarlet ultimately have to pay for Liall’s friendship?

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My Review:


The worldbuilding of this story is so rich and detailed that at first I did have a bit of a problem getting into it. There are a lot of different cultures featured in this story with quite a lot of ongoing political conflicts, that can be a bit overwhelming when you start the story. There’s also a new language and different terms you have to get used to first. So it took me a bit to really get into the story, but once you’re “in”, it’s fantastic and I loved it.

Kirby Crow has created an intriguing and enthralling world with interesting, and diverse characters that wouldn’t let me go until I had read the last page. Once you’ve processed all the information from the first couple of chapters, you won’t want to put the book down.

I loved the different characters. Scarlet was my favourite, but I also really liked Liall and the secondary characters.  And I hope we’ll see some of them again!

What I enjoyed most was the “battle” between Scarlet and Liall. Their first meeting doesn’t go too well. Scarlet is not willing to pay the price Liall sets for him to pass the road, that Liall and his gang of bandits block. But this makes Scarlet even more determined to pass without paying, which leads to some funny and some not so funny encounters. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I loved it!

There’s an undeniable chemistry between both characters, but the despite the attraction that’s there, Scarlet and Liall don’t immediately fall into bed with each other.
Before anything happens Scarlet first has to grow a bit into who he really is and by the end of the story he has only begun figuring that out. I don’t want to give anything away, but when they finally give in it’s beautiful and so worth the wait!

I am definitely looking forward to the other books in this series.

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Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Torquere Press Review Tag: Part of a series

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