The latest in the series of The Noble Dead by Barb & J. C. Hendee is a fantastic tale of how opposing forces can come together to win the day. We are taken on a trip like no other as we once again join Magiere and Leesil in their quest to get rid of the weapon of the enemy. It consists of 5 orbs that are each guarded by a powerful undead but we still don’t know exactly what it is that they would do if they are all brought together and used at the same time. We do find out some of the effect that they have on the huntress Magiere, a child of all the races and a human and noble dead at the same time. With each orb that she encounters it changes her to where she is afraid of loosing herself entirely. Leesil and Chap, the fay inhabited dog and Leesil’s constant companion, will do all that they can to see that she stays the person and woman that they love and care about.
The story picks up right after the trio escape Calm Seatt along with Brot’an and Leanalham, who is also running away from her own name. They must find passage away to the south so that they can find a fourth orb. Until they find them all and hide them they will never be able to have a normal life again. Leesil so wants to take his wife Magiere back to their inn and live out their days together in relative quite and calm but he knows that is never going to happen till they finish with these orbs once and for all. Brot’an too wants to see an end to the orbs and to keep them from the aging leader of his caste. He will not let the paranoia of an old man that has lived past what he should have destroy his people’s way of life.
Leanalham is lost and feels alone and it is not until Magiere and Chap come up with another translation for the name the ancestors gave her, Wayfarer, that she finally starts to accept who she really is. She is also still in shock from her Grandfather’s death and all the bloodshed that seems to follow the shadow gripper Brot’an. Chap doesn’t make it any easier as he is constantly talking to her in her mind, something that she is both afraid of and fascinated by. She sees Chap as a sacred animal and it will take time for her to treat him as the others do, a troublesome meddler that wont stay out of people’s minds or memories.
If it were just that going on it would be an interesting read but you also have people chasing them, assassins from their own continent that want to kill them all. They have orders to kill Magiere and her friends and to bring back the orbs that have already been hidden by Chap. Each one of them have a personal score to settle and will not stop till they or their target are dead. We also get to learn about the trip that Magiere, Leesil and Chap made into the far north to hide the orb and in the process found yet another. It is in that telling that we find out just how dark the huntress can get and what she will do when she fears for the lives of her friends, especially her husband. We also find out just how far Chap is willing to go to see that secrets are kept and what he is capable of doing to make sure of it. It is a guilt that both Chap and Magiere have to live with each in their own way. The only thing is Chap hasn’t told anyone yet what he has done and probably never will.
Barb & J. C. Hendee keep you guessing right up to the very end. When you finish The Dog In The Dark, which is Btot’an’s name, you can’t wait to read what is going to happen next, especially when it seems Wynn and Shade will be back into the mix of things with Chane at their heels.