I have to agree with others who have said “good, but not as good as the first two.” However – it’s still squeaking into the 4-star range.
I also feel that in this case, marketing this as “Chalion #3” is doing the book a disservice – though set in the same world as ‘Curse of Chalion’ and ‘Paladin of Souls,’ this is a fully self-contained, stand-alone novel.
Ingrey, a bad-ass but good-hearted soldier, who just happens to have been saddled with a forbidden spirit-animal as a young man, is sent to deal with the fallout of a crime – a woman has murdered the prince. However, upon arrival, he believes Lady Ijada’s story – she killed in self-defense, while the prince was assaulting her as part of an occult ritual sacrifice. Now she also, as a result of that ritual, has a spirit animal.
Ingrey finds himself taking Ijada’s side, as they find themselves caught up in a complex spiral of religious manifestations, magical plots, and political machinations…
Ingrey is an enjoyable character, but my favorite character was actually the Learned Hallana – a motherly, powerful, demon-possessed doctor-sorceress with a down-to-earth attitude. I want more of her!