In preparation for reading book 3 of the Spells, Swords, & Stealth series by Drew Hayes I’ve been re-reading the first two books in the series. My review of book 1 – NPCs – can be found here if you’re wondering.
I’ve been engrossed by both books in this series for the past week, and will be moving on to the third in good time. I’m taking a short break before reading the next as there are one or two other books I’ve lined up to read first.
Much like the first this was a highly enjoyable read for me. So what’s it about? As always, let’s check out the blurb first.
Fleeing from a vengeful king has sent the former NPCs across Solium’s borders, into the kingdom of Alcatham. As wanted fugitives, they head to the small farming village of Briarwillow, hoping to blend in, lay-low, and avoid trouble at all costs.
Unfortunately, Briarwillow has problems all its own, and its troubles quickly become theirs. If they hope to survive long enough to escape, they’ll have to tackle an all-but-forgotten mystery buried at the town’s border, as well as seek the wisdom of a mysterious group of mages.
With time, magic, and at least one god against them, it will take everything they’ve got to save Briarwillow, and themselves.
The adventure starts with our heroes laying low after the events of the first novel. They’ve travelled to a neighbouring kingdom to escape the possible wrath of the king and are presented with three different options. Choosing to assist the sick people of a village called Briarwillow they head there and of course find everything is much worse than they were led to believe.
In order to best help the citizens, our heroes split into 2 parties (hence the title: Split the Party) with Grumph and Gabrielle heading to Cadence Hollow to seek help from the mages guild, while the others stay behind and investigate the mystery. Along the way they’re joined by Fritz, an elven woman (I think, I’m shocking at keeping track of all the races of people) and peddler of magical items.
I particularly enjoyed Grumph and Gabrielle’s story line in this one. Grumph needs to successfully pass an initiation test in order to join the guild to request their help, and I found these parts really quite fun to read.
The other part of the story with Thistle, Eric and Timuscor was equally enjoyable but moved along at, what I felt, was a somewhat slower pace. The overall pace of this novel felt slower than the first, which don’t get me wrong I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, just an observation. They stayed back in Briarwillow to investigate the mysterious illness and disappearances, and to find what ancient evil was behind it all.
That’s about all I’m going to say because I don’t want to give away too much. Like the first everything you wanted wrapped up in the end was so, but there were also a lot of new questions raised which will surely be answered in the next or subsequent novels in the series.
Personally I hope there are many more as I really enjoy them.
A great follow up to the first. Check out the sample on Amazon!