Seeker's Bane (2009) is an omnibus edition in the Kencyrath series, containing Seeker's Mask and To Ride a Rathorn. In the previous volumes, the Southern Host fought the Wasters. Jame returned her father's sword and ring to Tori. Then Jame walked in a Merikit dreamscape and Chingetai adopted Jame as his son. Tori declared Jame as his Lordan and allows her to enroll at Tentir.
Seeker's Mask (1994) is the third fantasy novel in this series. Tori sends Jame to the Highlord's Keep in Guthregor. The Matriarchs, however, take her away from his steward and install her within the Women's Halls. They put her into the hands of Kallystine -- Tori's temporary consort -- but the relationship is rather strained.
Since Tori had sent her without proper clothing, Jame is clothed from the wardrobe of the dead Aerulan. They also place her in the class for little girls to learn how to act and think like a Highborn Lady.
Jame is not happy as a Highborn Lady trainee. She particularly hates the mask that she is required to wear. She also doesn't believe that the basic tenets of a Highborn Lady are obedience, self-restraint, endurance, and silence. Or maybe she just cannot live such a life.
Then Jame sews her gloves together again. She swears and the teacher inquires as to her distress. In the ensuing discussion, Jame states the nature of Honor's Paradox and the instructress slaps her. Jame restrains herself and only slashes the sampler held before her.
Jame leaves the classroom and again trips on the staircase. Her dress is much too tight for long strides or even normal steps. Naturally, Jame reaches the bottom of the stairs without breaking anything, but she will have more bruises.
Jame hides out in the Ghost Walks. She greets Aerulan's death banner and, for the first time, notices that she has been wearing Aerulan's clothing. When Caineron guards come seeking her, she climbs up to the Highlord's study.
Then a casting of Bashtiri assassins comes to Guthregor. The twelve apprentices are there to be blooded. But the master assassin is after Jame.
When the Caineron finally catch her, Kallystine slaps her face with a razor ring, laying open her skin to the bone. Jame fights against her captors and her beserker rage. Finally, she sounds out a master rune and leaves while everyone else is reeling.
The Matriarch Council sends to the Priest's College for a healer -- Kindrie -- to repair the wound on Jame's face, but Jame hates priests. Brenwyr also lays a curse on her. Jame decides to depart Guthregor.
Jame has another reason to leave. Graykin is being tortured by his father. She travels to Restormir to rescue him.
To Ride A Rathorn (2006) is the fourth fantasy novel in this series. Tori learns that even the Highlord has no rights to punish injuries or deaths within Tentir. If anything happens to Jame, he can do nothing to avenge the harm.
Rue arrives at Tentir to announce the imminent arrival of the Highlord. The college walls are down at several places and guards are not posted. Apparently the earthquakes and high winds have done considerable damage to the structures.
Rue finds a Coman cadet watching a punishment run. The sargeants are running most of the cadets around the arcade. As she is learning the situation, Lord Ardeth rides in the front doorway of the Hall.
With him are the Highlord and his retinue. They are escorting Jame to the school as a cadet candidate. Rue sends the Coman cadet to announce the Highlord's presence to the Commandant.
The Commandant welcomes Jame to the college and sends her to the Knorth quarters. After finally finding the proper corridor, Rue shows Jame the Knorth Lordan suite, but Jame decides to stay elsewhere. She finds a comfortable spot in the attic near the hole in the roof where she can get fresh air and a bit of rain.
The Commandant starts to punish the ten cadets who escorted Jame in the prior adventure, but Jame has a word with him. Then he designates her as the ten of that squad, bumping Briar down to a five leader. Since Jame is the Knorth Lordan, she is also the master ten of the Knorth barracks. She is not really certain what her duties and privileges are in that role.
Then Jame is called by Bel-Tairi and talks to the Whinno-hir briefly. Later she locates the mare as well as the rathorn colt whose mother had been given grace by Jame. The two are traveling together.
Jame introduces Bel-Tairi to the horse-master and he fixes her untended mane, tail, hooves and teeth. He also treats her damaged knee. Then Jame grooms her again.
Jame is intrigued by the story of Bel-Tairi. She finds out pieces here and there, but learns more in her dreams than from the staff and cadets. Her dreams and conversations also provide more information about her father and his older brother.
Jame finds herself in perilous circumstances. Somebody slips a very poisonous snake onto her as she is sleeping, but Jame likes snakes and the two drop off to sleep together. Then the Randir cadets capture Jame and toss her into Bear's locked quarters, but Bear admires her claws. Then someone sabotages the high rope before her ten are scheduled to walk it, but Jame walks the rope and grabs Rue before it breaks.
These stories are packed with threats to Jame's life and position. Every action that she makes is analyzed and criticized by both her friends and enemies. Yet she not only overcomes her foes, but converts many into her friends.
The stories have a compelling urgency that enchants the reader. They also have a subtle humor that may well become addictive. The next volume of this series has been completed and sent to the publishers. Read and enjoy!
Highly recommended for Hodgell fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of weird magic, decadent societies, and a possible avatar of a god of destruction. Anyone who has not yet read this series should start with God Stalk.
-Arthur W. Jordin