Title: The Hammer
Author: K.J. Parker
Published: January 5, 2011 by Orbit
Synopsis: The colony was founded seventy years ago. The plan was originally to mine silver, but there turned out not to be any.
Now an uneasy peace exists on the island, between the colonists and the once-noble met'Oc, a family in exile on a remote stronghold for their role in a vaguely remembered civil war. The met'Oc are tolerated, in spite of occasional cattle stealing raids, since they alone possess the weapons considered necessary protection in the event of the island's savages becoming hostile.
Gignomai is the youngest brother in the current generation of met'Oc. And he is about to provide the spark that will ignite a brutal and bloody war. (Goodreads)
Review: I was really excited to read this one. I've read and loved two other series by this author (who, according to wikipedia, is a mystery person. No one is even sure if it is a man or a woman.) This is the story of Gignomai, who has been raised by a very strict and delusional nobleman who was exiled from his homeland. The family is poor as dirt now, but they refuse to acknowledge it. His father is just waiting for the day when they will be vindicated and brought home (which, seeing as how they were on the losing side of a civil war, isn't likely.) Gignomai goes against his father's wishes and everything starts to go nuts. Not going to ruin it for you, sorry that's so vague. Basically, this was an amazing story about a young man on a mission. Is he trying to redeem himself? Destroy his family? Take over the town? No one is sure, not even his best friend. His motivations remain a mystery almost until the end, when a horrifying secret is revealed and the reader begins to understand why Gignomai has done the horrible things that he's done. Go read it! Parker never disappoints. Check out the Engineer series too, it was amazing.
Warning: This is an adult fantasy novel. The only thing to worry about is some gore, not really any sexual stuff and the language isn't bad.