62462Second in the loosely related Cities series, Temple Hill focuses on a down on his luck former mercenary soldier named Corin and the half elf thief Lhasha who befriends him.

A year before Temple Hill takes place, Corin was on a protection job with his company when they were betrayed by one they were supposedly protecting.  In the ensuing battle Corin lost his arm and the rest of the company to an orog and his men.

Shamed for their failure on the job, no longer able bodied in the eyes of those who would otherwise hire him, and feeling utterly wretched in his fortunes, Corin is turned away from every side and spends most of his money trying to have his arm repaired by clerics.  When that fails, faith in all gods and their servants destroyed, he finally tries to drown himself for a pretty half elf give him a second chance by hiring him to protect her.

But nothing is ever that easy is it?

With the aid of the half elf’s foster father, a gnome priest of Gond, they uncover a darker ploy at large within the city and work to bring it down.  Unbeknownst to Corin, the journey will bring him face to face with old enemies, new friends, a chance at redemption, and possibly a new arm to make him whole again.

 I think my favorite part was how Corin and Lhasha don’t fall hopelessly in love at the end.  There are hints that it might happen, and for all we know it could in their future, but for now at the end of this they’re just good friends.  And while most times I root for the romantic couple, it is a nice change of pace when it doesn’t happen.

Another classic next: Faces of Deception by Troy Dennig, second in the Lost Empires series.

291718Hidden from his powerful family’s enemies behind the hideous mask of his own face. Sent by the goddess of beauty on an impossibe mission. Driven to find a way past his own flesh, into a soul torn between destiny and love.