I'm going to be honest with you here: I had forgotten exactly how mesmerizing Sam Bowring's writing is. I was hooked into this story moments after I began reading! The novel is equally driven by action and its characters, executed brilliantly by Bowring in his unique style. A wonderfully spun tale of magic, camaraderie and betrayal, The Legacy of Lord Regret sets up the Strange Threads duology beautifully, and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel, The Lord of Lies, to bring this tale to (I'm sure) its thrilling conclusion.The novel begins with the travellers Rostigan and Tarzi discovering that a whole town has disappeared. As though it never existed! As they continue on their journey, more strange tales reach them until it is clear that the Wardens, thought long gone, have returned. Bowring gradually introduces his readers to the Wardens, from the well-intentioned Yalenna to the sadistic Forger, and through each of them we learn a little more of the past and of this new world. I enjoyed Rostigan's character the most because he seems at odds with himself: he has created an identity for himself and has almost convinced himself of its reality, but the return of the Wardens has opened up some deep wounds and he has some hard truths to face. In contrast, I didn't like Tarzi much at all - as a performer she is skilled in using her body to get what she wants (and not just in the obvious way you are thinking) and she's skilled at manipulation, and something about her just didn't sit right with me.Moments of emotionally charged character development and heart stopping action are cleverly interspersed throughout this book, resulting in a book with few, if any, lulls. It kept me guessing, and every time I thought I had things figured out something would happen and everything changed again. One of the wonderful things about Bowring's writing style is that he doesn't under-estimate his audience - so anytime he wants you to be in the dark about something, you are truly in the dark, which keeps the suspense levels high. The plot elements tie together beautifully and I enjoyed every minute of it.The calibre of Australian fantasy keeps improving, and Sam Bowring's latest novel is a prime example! The Legacy of Lord Regret is a must read for all fans of Fantasy, and anyone planning their first foray into the genre should consider Bowring's earlier works: The Broken Well Trilogy.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.