I wish I understood real world accountancy as well as Seth Dickinson has a handle on finance, empire and fictional ledgers. Baru is a bit slow to start and yet quick to reward the reader for their plod through the education and evolution of Baru - the leashing and unleashing of a woman crafted from equal parts diplomat, accountant and duplicitous fiend. Once you glean the tempo of Dickinson's style and Aurdwynn's riotous duchies, the novel begin to deliver on some of the most well-loved favorite tropes and themes in fiction and literature. Political intrigue is that glue which binds our lovers, liars, thieves and claimed crowns. Revolutions are quelled, stymied and swollen again and again in a novel that keeps the twists lurking around every corner. To say more would be to spoil the fun, so I will leave it at this: She makes many promises, and Baru holds no debts. A definite must-read for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire , The Gentlemen Bastards , and the Red Rising Saga .