Arrested on accusations of witchcraft and treason, Chant finds himself trapped in a cold, filthy jail cell in a foreign land. With only his advocate, the unhelpful and uninterested Consanza, he quickly finds himself cast as a bargaining chip in a brewing battle between the five rulers of this small, backwards, and petty nation.
Or, at least, that’s how he would tell the story.
In truth, Chant has little idea of what is happening outside the walls of his cell, but he must quickly start to unravel the puzzle of his imprisonment before they execute him for his alleged crimes. But Chant is no witch—he is a member of a rare and obscure order of wandering storytellers. With no country to call his home, and no people to claim as his own, all Chant has is his wits and his apprentice, a lad more interested in wooing handsome shepherds than learning the ways of the world.
And yet, he has one great power: his stories in the ears of the rulers determined to prosecute him for betraying a nation he knows next to nothing about. The tales he tells will topple the Queens of Nuryevet and just maybe, save his life.
A Conspiracy of Truths is a story about stories. It is a story about people, about their stories, and about how their stories aren’t all that different from other people regardless of where or when.
I will be honest and say I did not quite know what to expect when I started reading A Conspiracy of Truths. Going by the blurb provided I was expecting something akin to 1001 Arabian Nights or something similar. And while A Conspiracy of Truths does include stories within the main story, the book as a whole is a completely different beast entirely.
In regards to the characters, there are so many to choose from that every reader is likely to find someone they can connect with. Whether it be the elderly, snarky, main character Chant, or his seemingly unhelpful and maybe cares a little too much advocate Consanza, there is someone for practically everyone. The majority of the characters have 2, 3, even 4 names – and that doesn’t count titles! – and it can be a little difficult to keep track of who is who. While I didn’t do it myself, I highly recommend readers take notes on character names because it is very easy to get confused.
Plot-wise, A Conspiracy of Truths is a bit politics heavy. Because so much happens so quickly and so much information is given to the reader it can feel a little overwhelming at times. This is why I recommend the reader take notes and even go back and reread passages for anything they might have missed. The overall story is very deep and very wonderful and one wouldn’t want to miss a thing.
I really enjoyed reading A Conspiracy of Truths. Ms. Rowland not only did an outstanding job creating and peopling a world, she did it in a way that makes it relatable to almost all who read it. I highly recommend it to my readers and I look forward to seeing what Ms. Rowland comes up with next.