Pros: Humor, long odds, intricate relationships
Rating: 4 out of 5
Ilona Andrews’s Sweep In Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles) (Volume 2) tells the story of Gertrude Hunt (a sentient inn, apparently) and her keeper, Dina. Gertrude only has one guest right now, and long-term that isn’t enough to sustain her. Dina needs to get guests to give her inn good reviews so she’ll get guests… it’s a catch-22. An arbitrator named George offers Dina an arrangement that could make or break the Gertrude Hunt: he wants to hold peace talks there. Three different groups all want control of Nexus. But advanced weaponry doesn’t work on the Nexus, making it very hard for any party to just go in and clean house. Three groups come to take part in the talks: the Holy Anocracy (vampires), the Otrakun Horde, and the Nuan Cee merchant clan. All three feel they’ve lost too much in this fight to give up now. As for Dina, her task is to keep anyone from dying within her inn.
There’s plenty of skullduggery going on during the whole affair. Everyone has lost someone important and wants revenge. There are plans within plans for sheer greed or holy wrath. There’s humor, pathos, tall odds, complex plans, intricate relationships. The characters have depth and soul to them. It’s also great fun to learn more about the inns and the complex, vast universe of worlds they’re a part of.
My favorite part of this whole thing is the chef, Orro, that Dina hires to help feed three parties to the negotiation, the arbitrators, herself, her dog, and her one long-term guest. Some great humor comes from this particular angle.
Dina also gets to see her favorite vampire and her favorite werewolf again, stirring up her own emotions when she really needs to put as much care as possible into her inn. I love the depiction of how much she can change the inn in order to handle whatever guests might arrive.
The plans within plans are fun to read about, and I’ll have to stop here before I risk giving too much away. This is a wonderful follow-on to Clean Sweep.