Pros: Riveting arc-plot!
Rating: 5 out of 5
In book one, Chavali the Seer was brought back to life after her clan was slaughtered, and she swore to aid the Fallen in their quest to reunite with their Creator. In book two, Chavali and her new companions had to investigate a murder and a mysterious prophecy. In book three, Chavali and her companions had to settle a murder mystery, find a missing boy, and help out a bunch of werewolves. In book four, they had to find out what happened to Harris, rescue a missing princess, and stop a plan to drug an entire city. Now, in A Curse of Memories (The Greatest Sin Book 5), there’s a traitor among the Fallen–someone had to reveal Harris’s courier task, since he was targeted specifically for the statue he was transporting. The thing is, due to the oath they’re bound by, it should be literally impossible for anyone to betray the order without visibly suffering from the Wasting. Princess Aislynn of Shappa comes along, takes over from Eldrack, and locks down the town and tower until the traitor can be found. One of the healers is murdered, and Chavali ends up charged with the task of finding the murderer.
Colby and Chavali’s interesting relationship gets delved into a bit more in this volume since, of course, they’re both trapped in town for the duration in a very stressful situation. The authors really give these two the right amount of antagonism vs. interest–it’s enough to string things out and build up a believable situation without being ridiculously overblown. Chavali is also starting to treat several people almost as though they’re clan even though the ceremony hasn’t been done yet; it’s a nicely subtle change.
The authors remain incredibly good at dropping little crumbs of info here and there and then coming back to them later. They build up a rather complex arc-plot over the course of the series, and in each book some small part of it becomes clearer, and some part of it grows and leaves more questions than it answers.
Another thing the authors excel at is creating dreams and visions. I find most dreams and visions in books are fairly random and not very useful, and could easily be skipped over without the reader losing anything. In here, the visions and dreams mean something and are important to Chavali’s growth and to the plot.
The characters are wonderful. Colby and Chavali and many of their friends feel like real people to me. They’re flawed but strong, and even bad guys have reasons for what they do. I love the fact that Robin, who started out as a mysterious madman, is shown to have the capacity to love.
I cannot wait for French and Kort to put out more books in this series. Even though each individual book’s main plot is wrapped up relatively well by the end, there’s still a strong arc-plot that I can’t wait to see more of.