I’m a fan of Chris Rosser. His The Weaver’s Boy was a delightful look into his forthcoming The Lords of Skeinhold, and Cadoc’s Contract, a prequel to The Weaver’s Boy, does not disappoint as a new addition to the series.
It’s a rough tale peopled with soldiers whose lives, like those of all soldiers, have not been easy. The story begins on a ship bringing Captain Cadoc and his men back home from war, and Rosser has a gift of phrasing that puts the reader on the ship as it fights its way through a storm with our hero on board. We can feel what Cadoc feels, and as we learn more about the bargain hinted at in the title and then the first chapter, we begin to recognize he’s paid and is still paying a high price for his own survival in the war, and it’s begun to wear on him.
Rosser is a consummate wordsmith. His metaphors and similes are perfection, and his ability to draw us into the moment with the hardened-soldier voice of his narrative evokes all the right emotions. Cadoc is a warrior returning home from war. It’s Ulysses in brief, and although he’s only been gone a year, it’s as though a lifetime has passed.
In brief, Cadoc’s Contract is one fun ride.