"He stared at the bottom of the ravine and waited to shoot his friends."
It's what Tom is doing when the book, the series, opens. I knew it was a harsh way to open a book, and given some of the feedback I've received, I wasn't wrong. I'm not going to apologize for it and wouldn't change it if I could. (Come to think of it, I could.)
The sentence is thematic to the book. Although he doesn't know it at the time, eventually Tom will have to decide whether to kill his friends and betray the trust his adopted kingdom has placed in him, or if friendship is more valuable as a self definition device than loyalty to country.
Thank God I've never had to make that kind of choice, and I hope I never do.
It's the opening line to a series about three Americans in a different world... You know that, and I'm pretty sure you already know what Tom decides. Or do you just think you know?