Raine’s current situation continues to maintain its usual level of disaster. She is currently trying to track down and apprehend the sorcerers who had busted out of the Saghred in the previous book with limited success. Among the other escapees is her father, who currently inhabits the body of one of the Guardians and Sarad Nukpana who is currently *Jerk the Bodiless. She is also under investigation for a number of murders and elven politics turns out to be just as murky and sinister as goblin politics. (Since this has been the usual situation from book one onward, I shouldn’t need to explain it, but still.)
Things heat up a great deal when it turns out that Sarad Nukpana is draining the life of various elven officials and mages in an effort to regrow his body. He has decided to make it look like he and Raine are in cahoots, and leaves her one of his victims in the middle of the street. To make things more interesting, it turns out that Markus Sevelien, one of Raine’s occasional employers may have betrayed her. (Given that the main reason he had initially worked with her was essentially because of her family’s reputations as pirates, I was surprised at how hurt she was.)
There are also several kidnappings, hostage situations, traps and rescues. We get introduced to a female character that Raine appears to develop a crush on. (The character is a goblin secret service agent who is trying to get Raine and Tam’s help. Rain repeatedly describes how “cute” and also incredibly deadly she is. I think Raine’s girl crush is adorable.) On the romantic side of things, Raine is definitely getting closer to Mychael, though she seems equally devoted to Tam, going to great lengths to rescue him from Sarad Nukpana. (What I also liked was that all the various kidnapping and hostage situations tended to involve male characters. I think we tend not to see this very often, even in urban fantasy where the main character is female.)
There are a lot of plot-moving moments, but we seem to be mostly getting “more of the same,” with this series. It still manages to be entertaining, but I’m beginning to get a little impatient with the lack of anything approaching a real resolution for Raine’s primary problem, the Saghred. The only thing that does seem to be happening are continuous “powerups.” (Which I don’t mind very much because they are more or less balanced by the detrimental consequences of each “powerup.”) Overall, I’m still recommending the series as fairly entertaining, but not a lot of depth, and not much in the way of development with the main and secondary story arcs, except for a little more information on what the elven government is up to. (Or more specifically, what certain elements of the elven government are trying to do.)
*This is a very silly reference to Julian May’s MetaConcert/Pliocine Exile books, specifically, Jack the Bodiless.