Wrayth by Philippa Ballantine

wrayth coverLife continues to get more difficult for Merrick, Sorcha, and Raed in Wrayth, the third installment in the Book of the Order series. Sorcha, one of the most powerful Active Deacons in the Order of the Eye and the Fist has not been able to move or speak since her last battle, and her Sensitive Merrick cannot do anything to help her. Raed–Sorcha’s love and heir to the throne–is missing, and even his crew does not know where he has gone, but his friend Aachon intends to look for him. Aachon does not intend to bring Deacon Sorcha with him, until Sorcha’s former friend Garil pays Aachon to take Sorcha out of the Mother Abbey without informing anyone, including Merrick, who she cannot contact. They escape onto an airship and begin looking for Raed. Merrick is trying to help Grand Duchess Zofiya with suspicious men in the palace, and is not in the Abbey when Sorcha is secreted away in the night. Meanwhile, Raed is searching for his sister in the Shin palace far away from Vermillion and the Mother Abbey. The Rossin, the geistlord who lives inside him and occasionally transforms him into a beast, is now sharing head-space with Raed and conversing with him, helping Raed and helping himself at the same time. They find Raed’s sister, but find something much more devious in the Shin palace. Somehow, Sorcha, Merrick, and Raed must come together to save the empire from enemies both new and old, while protecting each other from the evil around them and the evil inside them as well.

I love this series. The world building is excellent, and Raed, Merrick, and Sorcha all make for excellent leading characters. I especially like Sorcha, a strong-willed female leading character who learns difficult, tragic things about herself, but picks herself up and uses what she learns to help her friends. Merrick stands by her through all of it, keeping her grounded, and using his own powers and intelligence to fight. Raed is probably the character that changes the most in this novel I think. Although it could also be said it’s not so much Raed that changes, as it is the Rossin inside him developing his own voice. To stay alive, Raed had to allow the Rossin more control over him. The Rossin can speak to him, even carry on conversations Raed knows nothing about. The reader gets to learn more about the Rossin and geistlords in general, which is cool since they are such a big part of the novel. We learn the Rossin has his own agenda, and is much more powerful than anyone else realizes. I am very interested to see what happens next with him.

Like most series, this one gets more complex as it goes along. Sometimes by the third book in a series, things get too complicated and I lose interest because I can no longer follow the main points. That didn’t happen in this book. A LOT of things changed, and the next book will be very different, but this book was a good turning point. I know that was exceptionally vague, but I don’t want to give anything away. This one is too much fun to read for yourself for me to spoil it. I think the series is only going to get better from here.

Happy reading,

-Branwen

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