Sorry about not posting yesterday. I had nothing to review so opted not to post.
Not long after becoming a fully-fledged Ranger and settling into his new fief, Will is sent North to an important strategic point in the kingdom, undercover to investigate rumours of a sorcerer who has risen from the dead who has placed a curse on the Lord of the fief. However, as always, there’s more going on than meets the eye.
Compared to Ruins of Gorlan, this is much better paced and the book is plotted well. The beginning can seem confusing initially as to why it is even there but it does later become apparent as to why it is there. It holds the same fun and spirit as Book 1 and Book 11, the same humour though this definitely has a spy thriller feel to it which is markedly different and a change from the previous books. This is not bad as it is a nice change of pace and I rather enjoy it. It might be a spy thriller but it is different from what you might think of as this is set in a medieval time zone.
In saying that this one is better paced (which it is!), it does seem somewhat rushed though, jumping from this plot point to that. There is also the fact that the beginning does seem tacked on despite what I say about why it is there. Maybe the beginning could have been rewritten and improved somewhat. There is also something else which affects the whole series I feel.
The series is advertised on the back of the books as the reader being able to read them in any order as “each book is a standalone adventure”. I feel this is not true. As I say, this affects other books in the series too (I have only read 1-5 and 11 so far). Yes, Will completes his mission in this one but it then continues on with other story lines that have been started leaving it wide open for book 6. Does this make it a standalone? In my opinion, no. Book 1 is not so affected by this (ties off a lot of threads very nicely I feel) and book 11 is not affected at all as that book is a bunch of short stories. Even so, I feel that no, the books are not standalone adventures that can be read in any order, but must be read in a certain order so the reader can keep the story lines straight in their heads. It seems odd to me that they would be advertised as such.
Despite this, I did like this book and the spy thriller element in a medieval world is very appealing and different. The book is still appropriate for children and continues the adventures of Will Treaty very well. I am going to read book 6 at some point, once I have finished the other books I have that need reading!