This is the second book from series 2 of the The Noble Dead Saga by Barb Hendee and J. C. Hendee. This is the continuing adventures of Wynn Hygeorth, a journeyor of the Guild of Sagecraft, as she seeks to uncover the location of the texts that were taken from her so long ago. With so many deaths associated with them she has to find out what is so important in them that the Noble Dead are trying to get to them. What is in them that drive them to kill any who know about them. With these thoughts in her mind and her companions Chane, a noble dead himself, a vampire, and her protector, the Fay-Dog / Mahayji Shade, daughter of Chap and Lily are off to the dwaven city Dhredze Seatt. She hopes that they will be able to find the texts that she believes is guarded by the Stonewalkers. They are supposed to be a sect of the dwarves that care for the dead, especially the thanes. A dwarf must do many great deeds to be titled a thane and given a torque made by the burning ones, one of the 5 fay descendent races.
Traveling with Chane and Shade can be a chore for the young sage as they are always into things one way or the other. Shade is still a very wild creature even though she has the memories of her father. She also has some hidden talents that she is hiding for it would take her out of her comfort zone of memory speech. With memory speech she can rapidly share images and sound that she or others have remembered faster then most can speak. While it carries a wealth of information it is sometimes not the best way when you need specific information about something. Wynn has been trying to teach her how to recognize words and how to convey her meaning but the dog is stubborn in working with them. Shade is hiding something and Wynn wants to find out what it is.
Chane is finding out more about himself as well and about Shade and what she knows about him. The mahayji has been hiding the fact that she knew about Chane and what he is. Even when he removes his ring of nothing she does not attack him like she would any other Noble Dead. He does not know if it is because he and Wynn are close or because he doesn’t seem to be a threat. When he takes the ring off in front of Wynn she almost had a panic attack at what Shade would do but all she did was growl, shiver and then calm down. Shade is more of a mystery then even the Stonewalkers in what is hidden in her. As to how Shade and Chane handle transportation in the dwarven areas? They hate it. Cable cars and trams that sway and rattle cause both no end of worry and it doesn’t do Wynn any good either after drinking with the dwarves to get information.
This book pulls you back and forth and will have you looking things up to remember things from books past of the Noble Dead Sagas but that is actually a good thing as it reminds you of what is really going on. The information that they are seeking is actually one of the most important things for the years to come. They are finding out that there is more to just the one orb that Magiere removed from the ice and snow covered fortress. Wynn knows that from the translations that she has already done and the ink covered scroll that she can only read with mantic site that the beloveds children split up for some reason. She feels that it has something to do with the orb and others as well as the ancient home of the elves and a mysterious Seatt that everyone wants forgotten except for one Stonewalker and the brother of High Tower back in the sages guild.
Once you finish reading this one you are going to want to get your hands on the next one. Many of the excepts that are chosen for people to read just do not give the story justice as there is so much more going on and you really need to read more to understand it. It is not that it can’t be understood but if you don’t read enough of it it is like looking at only one inch of a painting that is 100 times bigger. You see a lot of color but you don’t understand how much bigger and grander it really is. The way that Barb Hendee and J. C. Hendee write the story is going to be with you for a very long time after you read it.