This is the thirteenth book in Modesitt's fantasy series "The Saga of Recluce." I read the first book seven months ago, and thought it entertaining, standard fantasy fare, with a likable young protagonist. Seven months and a dozen books later, I can report that the series has grown on me considerably. It's been hard to stop myself from gobbling the books up, one after another, with no breaks for other reading material.
I like the way the books collectively create a detailed, convincing, immersive world. I like the way they show craftworkers and tradespeople, as well as soldiers and mighty mages. I like the consideration of economics, politics, law, ethics. With one exception, I very much like the main characters.
This particular book continues the adventures of Kharl, once a cooper. It comes complete with battles, wizardry, and a struggle against injustice. I read much of the book when I was in a somewhat frazzled state, and it was exactly what I craved: diverting, satisfying, and, at times, unexpectedly moving.