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Corin (a member of the White Shield protection group) is grievously wounded in battle and loses a hand. Due to this he turns into nothing but a drunk. He's helped from his stupor by a half-elven girl named Lhasha, and together they make a formidable team.
A guild known as the Xiliath has come to Elversult and is a new force to be reckoned with. The Cult of the Dragon wants something from them and will know doubt do anything to get it.
Without revealing more of the plot I will say that there are many surprises and hugely likeable characters. You'll laugh at the fates of some, regret the deaths of others. All in all a book that can hardly be faulted except for it's relative shortness.
The main characters were a half-elf named Lhasha, a fighter named Corin and a Gnome Fendel. Each one of these characters were fleshed out some with Corin being dealt with the most. The story of how Lhasha helps Corin regain his dignity is wonderful and the interplay between her and Fendel was fantastic.
The actions scenes were realistic and the author had a good grasp of how to describe a battle, whether with swords or magic. I really felt for Corin and was pulling for him from the beginning. The theme of redemption was strong and the ending was perfect for the story. I would recommend this book to anyone whether they like Fantasy or not. A great read!!
Set in Eversult, a city built by smugglers, the tale revolved
around 2 fairly experienced characters; one was Lhasa, a thief/burglar of human-elven descent, marked by the Purple Masks for her refusal to join THE thieves' guild of the city, the other was Corin, a washed-out fighter who lost his sword arm in the last assignment which caused his White Shield company to disband. Watching over the pair was Fendel, a gnomish tinker priest of Gond.
While on the run from the Purple Masks, Lhasa crossed paths (and more) with Corin. The latter had bankrupted himself after two years of unsuccessfully trying to restore his sword arm at the Temple of the Morninglord. Somehow, though drunk most of the time, he managed to keep himself in good shape enough to tackle a patrol of the Maces, the ruthless enforcers of order in the city. Lhasa persuaded him to be her bodyguard, holding out the hope that her mentor Fendel would be able to provide him with prosthetic arm.
To finance the replacement arm, and to flee from the Masks, Lhasa took on a dangerous assignment, not knowing it was from a traitor who betrayed the White Shields two years before. Corin and Lhasa soon found themselves embroiled in an underworld war between the Cult of the Dragon and an shadowy independent syndicate led by someone known only as Xiliath. Xiliath's top lieutenant Graal was the one who had taken Corin's arm.
No stilted dialogue, excessive self-pity or tedious passages, this book went right into the action. Both Lhasa and Corin acted well for their situations, and no wasteful time nor words that would make the readers feel impatient with the characters.
The book also gave a good introduction to Eversult, which had not been covered in any other FR novels - a city built by smugglers, highlighting its unique flavour, distinguishing it from being just another city with underground mazes.