SPFBO Review: The Executioner’s Right by D.K. Holmberg

55775633._sy475_Almost there! I can see the bottom of my pile!

Executioners don’t solve crimes, they punish those who commit them. Or so Finn thought before apprenticed to one.

Poverty-stricken Finn Jagger would give anything to heal his ailing mother. With his father imprisoned, Finn has joined a thieving crew to earn the money he needs to save her. When the latest heist turns to disaster and lands him on death row, Finn’s future seems to be tied up with a noose.

Until the king’s executioner claims him as an apprentice.

Finn soon learns an Executioner has far more power and greater responsibility than he’d ever realized. As inquisitor and detective, he must find the truth behind each sentence he carries out. It’s a challenging job, but one that Finn is surprisingly good at.

When the crew decides Finn could be the key to completing an impossible heist that threatens the kingdom, he’s forced to choose between his new job and his old friends.

And making the wrong choice could cost him everything.


The Executioner’s Right is the story of Finn Jagger, who is a young man on a crew of thieves, who gets caught and is sentenced to hang. Instead of being hanged, Henry Meyer, the king’s master executioner invokes an ancient right that claims Finn as his apprentice.

Finn’s crew is still pulling dangerous heists while he begins training to be Meyer’s eventual replacement, and on top of his worry for them, his mother is ill, and his sister is doing more and more dangerous things to try and afford medication for her. Finn tries his best to help, without getting caught again and ruining his second chance.

I liked this story, though I will admit that it took me a little while to get into it. Finn makes some ridiculous decisions at times, especially in the first 20% or so of this novel, and so at times I found him just… hard to cheer for. However, I have to say that once Meyer entered the picture, I latched right onto this book and read the rest of it in two sittings. I found Meyer fascinating as a character, and honestly read this one more for him than for Finn.

It was well written, well edited, and seemed paced very well. I never found myself bored with it at all (though… I’ll be honest… there were ‘annoyed at Finn’ times, lol). I’m definitely interested to see where this story goes, because the last quarter really started to open up all kinds of interesting shenanigans, and Finn actually seemed to grow on me a bit by then.

I had 7.75 stars of fun with The Executioner’s Right, and it quickly became my next semifinalist for this year’s contest! If you’re into a fantasy world of thieves and heists but with a very unique twist of the hangman being something special, then this is the book for you!

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