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Very much enjoyed the bantering of Matti. This was a fun continuation of the series and very nicely setup for the next book to conclude it although the afterword did mention a 6th. Can't wait to see when this goes and if the goblin tiny home empire takes off.
Urban fantasy is my favorite genre, and tbis series is right in that wonderful type of story! What makes this such a great read is the humour, the kickass heroine, the wonderful cast of characters that surround the heroine, and of course the great stories and series arcs! Can't wait for the 5th book coming out in March!
Tested, once again Lindsay Buroker had me totally wrapped up in the story within two minutes. It starts quickly and keeps you glued to the end. I can hardly wait for the next book for this series. Lindsay does not disappoint!!
This series has great characters, well developed and wildly diverse. The action seems a bit over the top, but it does keep the story moving. I really like the way the lead character backs into almost all of her magical knowledge and that her training comes through necessity rather than tutoring. Seems more realistic somehow, even in an imaginary world. Great way to take a break from hard sci-fi !
Note: the books in this series follow a common story arc and I strongly recommend to start at the beginning and read that books in the intended order.
Review As with the prequels, the book starts right were the prequel left off: Matti now definitely knows that Sarrlevi is coerced somehow by her aunt, the evil princess Barothla, to find and kill mother. She really needs to know what it is, Barothla holds over him, so she can decide, if she can help him and so convince him to let go of his nefarious assignment. But whether she knows the the truth or not, she does still need his help, because more and more assassins appear and someone yet unidentified really has it out for her. And this time it’s not just her, but also her loved ones that are in danger. So it’s actually all hands on deck: Val, Sarrlevi and some unexpected allies are non-stop in action to investigate backgrounds, visit other worlds, scheme and plan and fight a lot of battles. I don’t think that Matti ever has a chance to take a breather, wich is a good thing for this reader and her entertainment: I loved it! I also appreciated that there were finally answers to some questions and so it felt that the story progressed and the characters and the relationships developed nicely (even the bad ones). Again, I so loved each and every encounter with Val and Zav, but Matti’s grown on me over the course of the series, especially when she makes a very pivotal decision here that I fully approved of and faces a difficult test. Very good addition to the series.
Oh the plot thickens. We get confirmation in this book about Varlesh and his motives as well as those of Barothla. Barothla, as expected is holding the health of Varlesh's mom over his head to get him to cooperate. And not only did she send him to assassinate her sister, she also sent other assassins that were unsuccessful. The truth serum was employed on both Varlesh and Barothla, the former took it voluntarily when Matti couldn't find it in herself to give it to him surreptitiously in his soup and the latter forcefully. Although Barothla's relationship with the elves was great, the revelation that she intentionally caused the illness for Varlesh's mom is enough to post guards at his mom's door and hopefully keep Barothla away. Especially since Varlesh openly helped Matti which disincentivizes Barothla to cure Varlesh's mom and pushes her motives towards revenge instead. With the truth fully out, Matti is able to trust Varlesh more and he opened up to her in this book in a way he was unable or unwilling to do in earlier books. The passionate embraces are becoming more common and frequent but the two have had too much going on to really devote to one another.
Matti had an assassin's guild worth of head hunters after her briefly in the book. With the help of Varlesh, Val, Zav, and others, she's able to stay alive. However, the constant attacks put her family at risk since certain of the assassins didn't care about terrorizing and kidnapping her family to get to Matti. They also just happened to continuously attack when Zav was away with all of his dragon might but Varlesh was more than enough to turn the tide frequently and in defense of Matti. Together, they turned to a quest to save both of their mothers. With Matti learning enchantments, finally being gifted with the hammer's name, and gaining skills, the prospect of a rescue for her parents and a cure for Varlesh's mom don't seem so farfetched.
Like the others in the series, this one is another quick read that takes place over a short period of time. Lots of action and interesting nuggets of knowledge thrown in to keep the reader chasing those elusive breadcrumbs that'll hopefully soon lead to more information about who has Matti's parents, where they are, and what's going on with her mom.