1006394Twelfth in the Harper series we are reunited with the Bedine with Ruha has she undertakes her second assignment since taking up the Harper cause in The Parched Sea.

The beautiful half elf ruler of Eversult has fallen comatose due to a Shou spell.  A spell being cast by a royal concubine who has been kidnapped by a dracolich who is in love with the ruler despite (or because of) the fact that she’s the magic user that killed him.

Ruha must get the secretive and class obsessed Shou (one a mandarin and one a prince who also happens to be the son of the kidnapped concubine sorceress) to work with the distrustful and bullish lady constable of the town

But her progress is hindered by her very recent past.  Ignorant of the ways of the Heartlands Ruha makes a mistake that costs the success of her first mission.  And as a result all the other Harpers that she has to work with treat her as an ignorant buffoon, ignoring her ideas and suggestions almost to the cost of the mission.

Thankfully though, after knocking together a few heads and dodging more than one bid for her hand from the Shou prince, Ruha and company are finally able to take out Cypress the dracolich and save the without taking put the whole town.

And just in time too! Apparently there’s an orc horde threatening something somewhere what needs dealing with when she’s done here…

Not among the best of the series, but also not the worst either.  We’ll see how it finishes out next time.  Until then it’s the fifth book of Ja No Read Mo, first in the Defenders of Shannara by Terry Brooks is the High Druid’s Blade.

18077816Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once waged war with magical weapons. But those heroes are long gone now, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace.

Paxon leads a quiet life – until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world …and rewrite his destiny. When his sister is abducted by a mysterious stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. He is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him – and within his ancestors’ ancient blade. But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands. Paxon must master it quickly, as his near-fatal clash with a dark sorcerer won’t be his last.

Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector