The Storm Witch by Violette Malan does another fine job of demonstrating the author’s ability with world building, creating yet another civilization populated with believable characters and conflicts that her likeable and complex duo, Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane, become embroiled with. The two Mercenaries are trying to clear themselves from the charges of kidnapping and murder resultant from their adventures in “The Soldier King” but they are both kidnapped by the Long Ocean Nomads who need impartial arbitrators to negotiate in their dealings with the landlocked Mortaxa who have suddenly abrogated their treaties and are threatening the Nomads’ way of life. The desperate Nomads have turned to the Mercenaries to negotiate for them but are handicapped even more by the fact that not only is the duo disinclined to cooperate with being conscripted but also Dhulyn has Seen Parno’s death in a storm at sea during one of her erratic Visions. Multiple surprises, including the fascinating Crayx and their intricate relationship with the Nomads culminate in the duo having their uniquely disruptive effect on yet another culture by changing perceptions and long-standing beliefs.
Surprisingly, Ms. Malan is able to repeat the theme of spiritual possession of an unwilling physical body without becoming tedious. She continues to create a very enjoyable series sure to appeal to fans of fantastical quests without losing her ability to create empathy for her main characters and their very strong bonds with each other. Not quite as many entertaining swordfights in this volume but a little more is revealed about the history of the Caids and there are enough references to the previous books in the series to whet one’s appetite for the stories contained in the first two tales if they are unfamiliar to the reader. Dhuylan Wolfshead continues to be a strong Senior Brother with her share of insecurities while she tries to deal with her erratic gift of Sight and Parno learns to stretch his boundaries beyond his physical prowess. A very entertaining read.
Originally Reviewed: 2009-09-20
In Hardback 2009 & Paperback 2010