The bloodmage Volcrian is dead, but a new enemy lurks in the shadows. The Shade, a fanatical cult of demonic assassins, is trying to resurrect the Dark God and unleash His power back into the world. In their wake, a deadly plague is spreading across the land.
Sora and her companions are the only ones who know of the plague’s true source. As the disease spreads, Sora must journey to the City of Crowns to retrieve The Book of the Named, her only hope of stopping The Shade. She and her companions arrive just in time for the winter solstice festival, a notorious two-weeks of fine wines, grand parties and legendary debauchery. Sora must don the guise of a noblewoman and infiltrate the First Tier nobility to stop The Shade before it’s too late.
Meanwhile, the assassin Crash is confronted by a ghost from his past. As he uncovers more of the Shade’s plot, he finds himself face-to-face with his old Grandmaster, the one who both trained and betrayed him. Can Crash lay to rest his past, or will he succumb to his inner demon and rejoin the man who once made him a killer?
I know: Usually I only write one review per month for Butterfly-O-Meter Books but when I had the chance to read “Ferran’s Map” in advance I could not resist letting you know what I think about it. Therefore, you got a second “Bee on books” in January. A little winter treat :D.
That’s sweet: I was so curious to find out how the story goes on. And I was not disappointed. Even though the fourth book of the series concentrates much more on the characters and their pasts it still keeps a good pace for Sora’s adventure and the crews fight against the Shade an organisation that tries to destroy the world as they know it.
The book also concentrates more on romance that gets even a little steamy when Sora and Crash face their mutual attraction which has grown over the past two books. Of course, it’s a forbidden one as Crash is one of the assassins who have a demonic part in themselves. Trouble is: He is terribly good looking and somehow different than the other assassins. But will he resist his demon?
Sora’s mother and her friend Ferran have a past too, and it suddenly looks like Sora might not have lost her father after all. However, Lorianne is not happy with that possibility. Lots of conflict is possible. And it does not get easier when they have to play the role of a family to re-connect with Ferran’s family as they seem to be connected to the Shade.
T.L. Shreffler has concentrated more on descriptions of the environment that makes the universe they live in much more vibrant and alive. At last we are lead into the City of Crowns which is the capital of the human kingdom and as winter solstice arrives everyone is excited, and a lot of exotic festivities go on. You just want to go and take part in it.
That stings: The fifth book isn’t out yet!
And the honey of it all? This book, no this series is amazing. After I got the first one for free and reviewed it at the beginning of the month on here, I just got the next two as a belated Christmas present. I hardly ever do anything like that. That shows how much I liked it, and I now think I should have given the first book five bees too. But that’s done and dusted. To get the fourth in the series as an ARC copy was just so exciting.
This series has everything: adventure, romance, magic and most of all characters who are real. But as I said in my review of “Sora’s Quest”: One of the biggest appeals to me are the strong women of the book: Sora, her mother Lorianne, Krait, the assassin and Joan, the Dracian.
They are no cliché like Lara Croft: sex bombs with fighting skills. They have their hang-ups and pasts that make them vulnerable but they can fight if necessary, and that is how women are in my opinion. I admire T.L. Shreffler for being able to depict that in an exciting way
. I cannot wait for the next book.
Goodreads | The Bee Writes... | Twitter