Series: Dhulyn and Parno
Author: Violette Malan
Genre: Classic fantasy
Copyright Date: 2008
Cover: Obviously computer-generated. A woman is on the ground on one knee, her hand touching the earth. By the look on her face, she is either sniffing intently or doing magic. Behind her stands a man holding a bow as if he thinks it will probably be needed in the next five minutes. The treelined road behind them curves off into the distance. What I love about these covers is that the images look just like the characters are described, down to the tattoos on their temples. Awesome.
First Line: "Parno Lionsmane looked over the battlefield that was the valley of Limona with his nose wrinkled."
Best part: A deeper exploration of Dhulyn's past, which is a nice counterpoint to the previous book, which focused on Parno's past.
Worst part: We start to see some of Malan's limitations.
Recommended for: Any fans of mercenaries as protagonists would really enjoy this series.
Dhulyn and Parno are in deep trouble as usual. After a battle, they find a wounded enemy soldier who is pretending to be dead. According to their contract, and the Common Rule they follow as mercenaries, he should be theirs to release. But when he is discovered to be the crown prince of the enemy kingdom, their employers renege on their promise. The Mercenaries go on the run with the prince, dodging their former employers, a price on their head, and a malevolent Mage with the ability to see them wherever they go.
This book was good, but not nearly as good as the first book. The bond between the Mercenary Partners is still not explained, although we get a little more background on how D&P met. The story that they tell from the history of the Guild is the same one that was used in the previous book. The theme of posession that makes otherwise trustworthy allies betray is used again. In short, it was very much like the first book, but not in the right way. Also, it was very slow in the middle. Still, I hope the series will continue and pick up again. B-.