I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
A poisoned bolt has struck down the Princess Anita on the day of her wedding to Prince Arutha of Krondor.
To save his beloved, Arutha sets out in search of the mystic herb called Silverthorn that only grows in the dark and forbidding land of the Spellweavers.
Accompanied by a mercenary, a minstrel, and a clever young thief, he will confront an ancient evil and do battle with the dark powers that threaten the enchanted realm of Midkemia.
This is the one and only book of this series which my public library possesses. Go figure. Why have only the 3rd volume of a 4 volume series? Another one of the mysteries of library acquisition.
I found this the most engaging book of the series that I’ve read, perhaps because it deals less with Pug & Tomas and more with Prince Arutha and his new squire, Jimmy the Hand. There is a certain amount of comedy to be devised by making a thief into a squire and his shenanigans lighten the mood of some otherwise rather grim events.
This installment is very much about relationships—namely Arutha’s relationships, with Anita, with his brothers, with his travel companions, etc. It is also about his realization that as a prince, he can no longer afford to do things purely for himself—he must take his position and the people dependent upon him into consideration when making plans. Arutha is hands-down my favourite character of the series, so no wonder I am pleased with this novel.
There are definitely echoes of the Sleeping Beauty story in this one, and Jimmy reminds me strongly of Slippery Jim DiGriz of Stainless Steel Rat renown.
Right, now I’m off to request Darkness at Sethanon by inter-library loan!