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Legacy of Wolves by Marsheila Rockwell
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Legacy of Wolves (edition 2007)

by Marsheila Rockwell

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402443,009 (3.88)None
With the city of Aruldusk terrorized by a series of grisly murders, the rival factions of the Church and the Crown send in their own agents to investigate, but as the murders continue to escalate, both sides must unite and work together to track down the killer, who may have ties to the highest levels of power. Original.… (more)
Member:ManWithAnAgenda
Title:Legacy of Wolves
Authors:Marsheila Rockwell
Info:Renton, WA : Wizards of the Coast, c2007.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:c21st, 2000s, eberron, fantasy, shared universe, mystery

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Legacy Of Wolves by Marsheila Rockwell

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The more I think about this one, the more I liked it. Rockwell takes some creative risks with the structure and the main characters that mostly pays off. This is a fantasy and mystery novel that rises above expectations.

'Legacy' opens on a dark street in the city of Aruldusk in Thrane, where the bard Zoden and his twin brother are wandering home after a late night. The recent spate of murders are discussed and ultimately they are attacked by...something. Zoden escapes with the cries of his dying brother in his ears.

Zoden's family is nobility and on that strength he petitions the Queen of Thrane for aid. Many being murdered are supporters of the royal family over the theocracy that has ruled Thrane for almost a hundred years. The blaming of the deaths on the shifter community seems racially motivated as well. After some political maneuvering the Queen sets the bard up with a Dwarven inquisitive, Greddark.

Meanwhile, Irulan Silverclaw has come to Thrane's capitol with her own petition. She wants her brother freed from prison. Javi is one of the shifters imprisoned on charges of murdering the royalists (Throneholders) on circumstantial evidence. Through chance she gains the favor of the Keeper (the leader of the Church of the Silver Flame) and is partnered with Andri, a paladin with a dark, broody history.

The two storylines converge and there are false leads and a lot of wheels turning in the background. Rockwell exploits to great effect the turbulent history of Thrane, religious persecution, and the Dragonmarked houses to create background to the story. All four main characters are distinct and well developed.

Ultimately there was only one flat note: the 'surprise' reveal of the murderer wasn't that surprising. But, this is a licensed novel and the creativity on display here while following the 'rules' of the Eberron setting was refreshing and entertaining.

The Inquistives

Next: 'The Darkwood Mask'

Previous: 'Night of Long Shadows' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Jan 15, 2020 |
Legacy of Wolves by Marsheila Rockwell is the third book the Inquisitives series. For those who stumbled upon this book, the Inquisitives is a series of stand alone novels set in the world of Eberron. The first book in this series is Bound by Iron by Edward Bolme and the second is Night of Long Shadows by Paul Cillery. Both of the previously mentioned books were very good, and recommend them to most fantasy fans. This novel, I am happy to say, is no different than the first two. The entire Inquisitives series thus far has been fantastic and a joy to read.

The plot of this book is reminiscent of the classic murder mystery. Several murders have occurred and two groups of adventures are seeking to find out who is committing them. The `Church' is placing the blame on the shifters, but with each shifter arrest the murders continue. On the surface, this seems like a recycled plot, and one fantasy fans have read countless times before. However, the mark of a good writer is to allow the reader to feel as though this is the first time they have read the plot by introducing little twists, and added elements to make it seem new and fresh. This is exactly what Ms. Rockwell has done with Legacy of Wolves. Some differences between this novel and others of this vein are that there are two separate groups trying to solve the same thing, which makes it interesting when one group gets a clue or lead that the other group could really use. There is an attempted twist at the end of the book, but unfortunately attentive readers will most likely have seen it coming long before it was revealed by the book. That is the one complaint I have with this novel.

The characters in this novel are written very well. Normally, I am not a huge fan of paladins. However, the paladin in this book is written extremely well, with enough of his back story explained so that the reader can begin to empathize with him. He was probably my favorite character. The other characters are written just as well. From the shifter Irulan to the dwarf Greddark and even Zoden. Every character has some back story to tie them into the novel and their actions. This is needed more in fantasy novels. I understand there is a word count limit, but allowing a reader to identify with a certain character though pieces of back story is a great way to start that. The characters dialog in this novel is also spot on. Each character seems to have their own `voice' and manner of speaking. The dialog never seems forced or disjointed. What the characters say makes sense based on their circumstances and their pasts.

The main strength of this novel is how Ms. Rockwell intertwines a solid plot with interesting characters. Some fantasy books try to survive on one or the other, not so with this one. Another positive for this book is Ms. Rockwell's ability to show the story and not tell it. Her prose is articulate and well worded which lends itself to easy reading. It's the kind of prose that one can read and look up and realize an hour has blazed by. It never seemed a chore to read and the pacing was almost flawless for this type of story. This is certainly a solid debut novel. I would assume there will be many more to come.

As I mentioned above, my only criticism of this novel is one scene in particular. When reading the scene it seemed as though the author brought too much attention to something that gave away the twist at the end. My preference would have been a passing statement, with a larger realization at the end to tie it together. Based on this one scene it somewhat soiled the twist for me. I just would have preferred it was handled a little differently.

With all that said, I enjoyed the book quite a bit. It was a fast paced, interesting read. I am sure fans of the Eberron world and more importantly the Inquisitives series will not be disappointed. It meshes perfectly with the prior Eberron books, and leaves open a couple angles that may be explored at a later time. Over the past couple of months, reading the Inquisitives series has been a joy and if this heralds anything of what is to come for the world of Eberron, there should be some fantastic books coming out. This is one I will certainly recommend to others. ( )
1 vote BeezerMN | Oct 22, 2007 |
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