Irato falls from a roof. Then is attacked, by fox-spirits, perhaps. Then he inhales the vapours that will change him forever. All of this is unknown by Investigator Narin who finds the man and ends up entangling himself in a much more confusing scenario.
Lord Shield, the Ascendant God, appears before Narin and the investigator ends up owing him a debt. He must find the secrets of this man, Irato, and he must tell Lord Shield the answer to a question that makes even less sense than the rest. But Lord Shield has given him tasks, and he must obey.
Kesh lives with her mother, younger sister, and five lodgers, and lives a fairly simple life. The roof of their home may be used by thieves as a safe route around the city but she is not concerned by that. Her missing lodger will end up concerning her very soon though. Who was he, where did he go, and what is inside the sea chest he left behind?
In Moon’s Artifice, Lloyd gives us a world complex in politics and magics, and a story that couples a traditional sword and sorcery adventure with something a little bit darker and of more human concern added in. The narrative reads more like a mystery novel, with Investigator Narin trying to solve the puzzle.
At times a little more descriptive detail would have helped portray a more complete picture of what was happening. The complexity of the book puts it in the category of those that may feel richer and more satisfying on a second read, but it is nonetheless a compelling start to a new series and has enough intrigue and an exotic flavour to pull the reader back.