Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Published: October 17th 2009 by Ridan Publishing
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: War has come to Melengar. To save her realm, Princess Arista must reach the leader of the Nationalists and convince him to join forces. She turns to two trusted mercenaries to provide escort, but finds the team on the verge of dissolution. Hadrian is tired of his lecherous profession and longs for a just cause. Royce knows a secret which could provide his partner a life’s purpose greater than anything his friend could imagine…but is it true? Or is an ancient wizard using them as pawns in his own struggle for power? To unravel the truth Royce convinces Hadrian to join him for one last mission—what they discover could change the future for all of Elan.
I Give This ...
What's hard about giving this book a 3 rating is that I know how vital it is to the rest of the series. There's a lot of information buried within the storyline. Things that you know will be important and you need to pay attention to.
There are parts of this story that stand out. I found that I really enjoy Princess Arista. She's forced to really venture outside of her comfort realm in this book. She goes against her brothers wishes and sets out to make a treaty with the Nationalist on her own. She encounters people who think a Princess is the ultimate prize. She also discovers that she can tap into magic she didn't really know that she had. She finds a just cause that she can really believe in and maybe finds love along the way. She's goes to extremes that you don't really imagine a Princess ever even having to think about. And amazingly she's knows just how lucky she is to be were she is. She's humble, gracious, and many other qualities you would want to see in a ruler.
I think I had a hard time with Royce and Hadrian. I know that Hadrian has been having a hard time with their line of work. But, it seems like his attitude is a bit of a drastic leap from were we were at the end of book two. I miss the carefree interactions between the two. I'm hoping that a new found purpose will bring the old Hadrian back. I do enjoy learning more about who Royce is. It seems like know that we know his true heritage, it seems so obvious.
I was a little surprised at the turn of events leading surrounding Thrace. I didn't see her a the puppet leader that they were expecting, but I was not expecting this. I like how her Lady in Waiting handled everything, especially since she was a lowly servant before. I think the two will have plenty in common and I'm intrigued to see what Thrace will do.
I'm also curious about the twist in the end. I have no idea how the story is going to play out yet so that wasn't what I was expecting. I'll be getting to the next installment soon that's for sure!