Kage Baker loved her heroes and she wrote a great story for Gard. It's a solid fantasy with slow and interesting world building, from the hidden valley of the Yendri to the ice mountain of the mages to wherever his journey takes him. He is mirrored by heroine that is designed to be good enough for him. The story is exciting and just quirky enough. The ending was a little meh, but I'm gonna miss this author, once I finish her works.