RogerBW's Blog

One Fell Sweep, Ilona Andrews 24 June 2018

2016 modern fantasy. Dina Demille's magical inn will be the site of another meeting: a dying species has hired a group mind to work out where to find their new home world. But there's another species out there which regards slaughtering the first one as a religious obligation. Oh, and Dina's sister has just sent a message, asking for help.

I'm not entirely happy about a sister being suddenly brought in like this. Yes, she's mentioned in the first book, though not by name; while her characterisation here isn't inconsistent with the brief mention there, it's certainly not what one would expect. Still, her presence does help to resolve some situations which were veering into cliché, and to set up some more interesting ones; and her daughter, a Killer Moppet, is written with tolerable levels of cute. So that's good.

And he'd lost none of his flair for the dramatic. "Are you going to war, Lord Marshal?" Please don't be going to war.

"No, I was attending a formal dinner." He grimaced. "They make us wear armor to these things so we don't stab ourselves out of sheer boredom."

This is a more straightforward story than the second book: the inn comes under siege, but for plot convenience Dina also has to go out and retrieve the members of the group mind as they suddenly appear in inconvenient places at short notice.

True Love abounds, perhaps a bit too much of it. But there's also post-traumatic stress and major depression… and while they're very well portrayed, the latter seems out of character, as well as removing agency and significance from the nominal protagonist. Perhaps it's the authors' intention to make Dina aware that she's part of a team now, not a solo player, but it tastes a little off; and while that's still lingering, the solution to the warring alien species seems just a shade pat.

But in spite of the minor problems, it's good. The people here are still basically grown-ups, and they resolve their relationship problems like grown-ups rather than just jumping into bed and hoping everything will work out. That's worth a hell of a lot in any book, and especially in one that's got sexy werewolves and vampires in it.

To be followed by Sweep of the Blade, a side story which is still in progress at the authors' site.

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Previous in series: Sweep in Peace | Series: Innkeeper Chronicles | Next in series: Sweep of the Blade

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