The Soldier King by Violette Malan continues the saga of the Mercenary Brotherhood pair of Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane. The Bonded Partners become embroiled in yet another political upheaval when they are not permitted to determine the fate of a wounded prisoner that they have taken from a battlefield, despite the conditions of their contract which automatically encompasses the Mercenary Brotherhood's Common Rule. An honorable adherence to their precepts result in the Partners acting decisively to free the prisoner, Prince Edmir, and undertaking to return him to his mother, the Queen of Tegriani. Declared outlaw due to their actions, Dhulyn and Parno discover that more than political maneuvering is involved and the presence of the Blue Mage in Tegriani causes far more complications than they could have ever imagined. Dhulyn may have found someone with ties to her childhood tribe but the price of his assistance may be higher than she is willing to pay. The multiple skills that Dhulyn and Parno have learned from their profession over the years soon become invaluable in another fashion as they struggle to travel anonymously through a countryside where they are continuously hunted. Once again, the strong Bond between the two is invaluable to their very survival.
An entertaining tale that combines feats of swordsmanship with a challenge of wits as the intrepid pair adapt to every obstacle thrown up against them. Once again, the monetary recompense is outweighed by the strict adherence to a standard of behavior in dictating the actions of the duo. A few more tantalizing clues about Dhulyn's background are revealed to balance the information learned about Parno in the previous work. The combination of steadfast loyalty and affection for one another that is obviously demonstrated and the descriptions of physical skill and dexterity of the pair make this another invigorating and satisfying read.
Fulfilling their mercenary contract, Dhulyn and Parno have accepted the surrender of Prince Edmir. The Common Rule of Mercenary Brothers states that prisoners taken by them go free and unharmed. But when the War Commander who hired them refuses to honor this agreement, the duo breaks the contract and escapes with the prince-a path that might klead Dhulyn to the truth about her past, or lure them into a magical trap from which there may be no escape.