My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This one took me a while to finish – mainly because I had to read other things for work and kept putting it off. As the conclusion to the storyline started in The Sorcerer in the North, this stands up really well. Will is determined to rescue Alyss from the clutches of the corrupt and conflicted Keren, and enlists the help of wily healer, Malcolm and a party of battle-hungry Skandians. A great deal of this novel is setting up for the final battle that will break the siege, including the capture and interrogation of the Scotti general, Machaddish. Will’s best friend (after Halt of course), Horace, rides into the picture too – ready to assist him in not only extracting Alyss from Keren’s tower prison cell, but also in defeating the usurpers.
Alyss gets a little more page time in this storyline and she proves herself to be resourceful and cunning, but also emotionally intelligent. This emotional intelligence is in sharp contrast to Will’s lack of it, and shows why they are so close and their relationship works so well in the field – they have skills that compliment each other. I would like to see more of Will and Horace working together later in the series – their banter is always entertaining, but I REALLY hope Halt comes back into the picture too – especially as Will is maturing and becoming more proficient as a Ranger. I guess I will have to keep reading to see if Flanagan will fulfill my wish!