For a puzzle book, this is actually well-written. I sure as heck wasn’t expecting the death toll at the end (or even near the beginning: if I were a member of that particular bloodline, I’d be pissed,) but the authors certainly seem to be of the “kill your darlings” school of writing, which leads to some really entertaining stuff. I’m excited to see what they’ll do in the next two books, if the plot twists in this one are any indicator.
That said, I doubt I’ll attempt the puzzles in here very seriously, or at least not unless they have a greater bearing on the Ancient Societies website which was the main reason I bought this book in the first place. AncSoc is a ton of fun, with collaborative puzzle-solving. Come join me as a Nabataean there!