Coming-of-age stories aren't restricted to young characters. The hero of Template, Conn Labro, is already an adult and secure in his believes. But once he leaves his world to find out who wants to get his hands on his recently inherited fortune, he's forced to question his entire world view. The truth, as Labro finds out, is a double-edged sword. It may set you free, but challenging deeply held convictions carries the threat of entirely losing sight of who you are.
Thought, Template is not really a character-driven novel. While likable as a character, Labro is in many ways your typical adventure hero, not too complex or too driven, just a bit odd due to his background. Living on a world where libertarian believes are taken to its logical conclusion can do that to you. So, while he doesn't start as a do-gooder, he grows into it. Even in his worst moments you never feel much despair on Labro's part. Template has depth, but it doesn't go too deep. Keeping it fun and entertaining is too much ingrained into its DNA.
Matthew Hughes novel combines elements from adventure, coming-of-age and travel fiction, all set in his Archonate setting. While starting out as a homage to Jack Vance's Dying Earth, the Archonate has changed into its own thing along the way, thought still inheriting some aspects of Vance's work. Earth is place so old that our own time is merely a dim memory and the galactic meta-civilization seems a bit past its prime. But instead of despair and doom all-around, that some very far future settings invite, Hughes fictional creation is a fun place to visit. As is traveling around with Labro and finding out where he really came from.