Book 3 of the Long Price Quartet, by Daniel Abraham.

Sometimes it’s good to have faith in people.

Take, for example, the third book in the Long Price Quartet.  This is a fantasy epic (ha ha, try to deny it) with a hero (ditto).  There’s lots of magic (actually, there’s not much magic, page by page, compared to other fantasy epics, but it so distorts the world that you can only say that it’s everwhere).  There’s lots of intrigue.  Even some romance.  Lots of death.

But I’ve read a lot of fantasy epics, so I was interested but not compelled to read the first two thirds of the book.

Ah, but this is book three of the series, and Daniel Abraham has pleasantly surprised (that is, horrified me and turned my stomach) me before, so I kept on.  I try to have faith in people.

Sure enough, by the end of the book, I was wandering around the house with half-spooked eyes, wondering whether I deserved my lot in life, my family, etc., and wondering how it was that the author managed to keep his sanity with ideas like that–with endings like that–running around in his head.  He comes across as so normal and personable.